Why is walking ideal?
Author: Linda Sinden Date Posted:30 January 2020
"From physical exercises one gets lightness, a capacity for work, firmness, tolerance of difficulties, elimination of impurities and stimulation of digestion"—Charaka
These are the benefits that Ayurvedic Physician, Charaka described in 300 BC.
Our bodies are designed to move—movement and breathing is how we circulate Prana, our vital life energy. Exercise is meant to give more than it takes and be a pleasurable activity that you will look forward to.
Why is walking ideal?
Walking is considered the ideal exercise for all body types. For Vatas, a walk is soothing, and a long walk has a tranquilising effect upon them. For Pittas, a walk is cooling as it gives them an opportunity to slow down from the driving pace of their day. Kaphas find a brisk walk helps to throw off sluggishness or minor congestion, and it helps warm up their slower digestion. That is why walking for 30 minutes or more at a pace that is comfortable for you is considered ideal for all body types! Dependant on your body type your walking pace will vary.
Here are some tips for daily exercise:
- Exercise to 50% of your capacity - the point where you get a light sweat on your forehead or tip of the nose.
- Breathe comfortably through your nose while exercising.
- Exercise 2 hours after a large meal.
- If recovering from an acute illness, or during the monthly cycle for women it is best not to exercise. Your body is busy with self repair at this time.
- Choose exercise forms that suit your Prakruti or constitution.
- To support stamina, development of lean muscle and strength take 2-4 tablets of Premium Amla Berry prior breakfast and evening meals with 2 tablets of Energy Plus. This combo is both nourishing and energising in one!
- Applying a little Pitta, Vata or Kapha massage oil prior swimming provides great protection and a regular morning massage helps to keep the joints lubricated and some clients have said can helps reduce exercise injury.
Vata types are light, and quick on their feet! They love excitement and change. Whilst their energy comes in short bursts, they exude a natural enthusiasm and agility. They do best with activities that enhance their balance, flexibility and strength. Grounding varieties of exercise that promote mental equanimity are a great way of satisfying the desire to move.
Exercises forms that help to balance Vata dosha are
- Yoga, Dance, Walking, Light cycling, Gymnastics, Short and easy hikes, Badminton, Horse Riding, Bowling, Kayaking/Canoeing, Non-violent Martial Arts
- When the exercise type is appropriately balancing, the natural qualities of the Vata type are enhanced:
- Inner exhilaration
Pitta types are competitive spirits! They have a natural athleticism, and thrive on challenges. They gravitate towards individual activities that demand speed, strength and stamina. They are also attracted to sports that allow them to stay cool. Pitta types are best served by exercise that provides opportunity for their competitive nature to shine, while fostering teamwork and self-competition. They enjoy the opportunity to practice their inherent athletic qualities.
Exercise forms that help to balance Pitta dosha are:
- Basketball, Hockey, Power walking or jogging, Hiking and mountain climbing, Tennis, Surfing, Ice-skating, Skiing, Snowboarding, Swimming and all types of water sports
- Exercise appropriate for Pitta-types has the following benefits:
- Opportunity to use natural strength
- Opportunity to use natural speed
- Opportunity to use natural stamina
- Provides opportunity to express determination and competitive spirit.
- Warming up of body
- Increased heart capacity
- Circulation of blood to all parts
Kapha types need vigorous exercise to stimulate and energize them. Because Kaphas are naturally more easy-going, they often need more motivation to get moving. To balance this nature Kaphas require more intense exercise than the other types. They can really excel when they put their best foot forward due to their strength and stamina!
Exercises forms that help to balance Kapha dosha are:
- Running, Cycling, Rowing, Dance, Volleyball, Weight training, Rugby, Soccer, Golf, Archery, Lacrosse, Rock climbing, Tennis
- Exercise appropriate for Kapha-types will accentuate their:
- Steady energy
- Physical endurance
- Mind-body coordination
Do what makes you happy!
This saying has particular importance when considering a lifetime of being physically active. Do what gives you joy and share the joy with your friends and family. Enrolling others in being physically active with you is a great way to catch up and to help them look after their health also. Exercising to 50% of your capacity is enjoyable and fitness levels are built and maintained in an easy and natural way.
Wishing you the bliss of balance.
Linda Sinden and the Get Balance Team