That physical fitness and leading an active lifestyle play an essential role in keeping us healthy is a known fact. But did you know that in addition to doing the right kind of exercises, the timing of them also makes a difference? Yes, according to Ayurveda, although “most people get their bodies moving whenever it suits them”, there is a right time to exercise for maximum benefits.
That is exactly what Ayurveda educator N idhi Pandya Bhanshali pointed out in an Instagram post. ” Exercise loosens up the kapha in your body and sets it in motion, which would otherwise get stuck, build up, bog you down and slow you down,” he wrote, adding “exercise is ‘movement’ after all, so which also aggravates vata. When overdone, that vata can get into a lot of mischief, causing dryness, anxiety, amenorrhea, and even insomnia. «
Does that mean you shouldn’t exercise in the afternoon? “In the morning is when your body is ripe to put those fluids in motion. Sleep slows down movement and leads to kapha buildup. Exercising during these hours will wake you up, ignite your agni and fuel you for the day,” she added, suggesting that 6 to 10 a.m. – or the kapha kala – is the ideal time to exercise.
In addition, the expert added that “in the early afternoon is when vata takes control and finally moves you to the evening kapha zone. This is supposed to ground you so you can sleep like a baby.” Exercising during this time can aggravate vata, which can “turn you on and keep you awake.”
Dr Yogini Patil, BAMS and LivLong nutritionist, said: “Ayurveda recommends the Kapha time of day, between 6-10am and 10pm, as ideal for exercise as it is infused with a feeling of rootedness, stability and strength.”
“According to a famous traditional saying, ‘summer bodies are made in winter’, the cold seasons are considered the best time to exercise at maximum up to half strength, which is indicated by sweat on the forehead, palms of the hands and thighs. Therefore, we must refrain from over-exercising beyond our body’s capacity, as it can lead to serious aggravations and tissue loss,” he states.
In addition, Ayurveda expert Medha Singh, CEO of Juvena Herbals, said: “One of the fundamental teachings of Ayurveda suggests exercising early in the morning. Try to exercise early in the morning, 20 minutes after drinking at least two glasses of water and cleansing the intestines. You should never exercise with toxins still in your body. Do not eat anything for the next 45 minutes. You can drink water to stay adequately hydrated. Lightly apply sesame oil (Abhyangam) all over your body. This helps warm up the body. Perform the Yoga/exercise routine as per the instructions of your Yogacharya/Instructor.”
Check out the other rules that Dr. Bhanshali listed
*Make sure you never eat right before exercise .
*Do not sip cold water when short of breath and sweating.
*Exercise to half your capacity (Ardha Shakti Vyayam).
*Be sure to include good fats.
*One can exercise more in the winters while staying lighter in the summer season.