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The problem is, that at the present time the experts don’t know – how much exercise is good and how much more is harmful. Dr. Kenneth Cooper, a leading authority and visionary in the field of exercise physiology, his recent findings fly in the face of all our current exercise standards yet match up perfectly with the exercise requirements laid down over 5000 years ago in the Ayurvedic texts. He found that when people exercise at 60% of their maximum heart rate for four hours a week or more, they will produce a significant amount of harmful exercise induced free radicals which are the leading cause of aging, disease, cancer and death.
Exercise is not about pain or strain. It is about inviting movement into your body to oxygenate, stimulate, strengthen and cleanse your system. It is an important component of overall health. Don’t be constrained by conventional definitions of exercise. Play with your kids. Go dancing with your friends. Walk a dog. The activity can be a ‘lifestyle activity’ (in other words, walking to the shops or taking the dog out) or structured exercise or sport, or a combination of these. But it does need to be of at least moderate intensity.
Thirty to 40 minutes of walking also is enough to meet the bare minimal needs, but even adding small amounts of physical activity to your day can make a big difference.
- Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day.
- Adults should do a minimum of 30 minutes moderate-intensity physical activity, five days a week. 30 minutes not at one go, could be made up of three ten-minute bursts of activity spread through the day, if you prefer.
- To Protect Your Health and Prevent Disease: Regardless of your gender or race, getting in the habit of exercising at least 30 minutes a day is crucial in preventing certain diseases as you age.
- To Burn fat: At least 45-60 minutes at least five times a week provides the most significant weight loss, according to studies.
- To Prevent Regain: That’s 40 minutes six days a week.
- For bone health, activities that produce high physical stresses on the bones are necessary.
Physically inactive: If you’re inactive, doing anything is better than nothing! Studies show that people who have a low fitness level are much more likely to die early than people who have achieved even a moderate level of fitness. If you want to exceed a moderate level of fitness, you need to exercise for 30 to 60 minutes, on most days of the week, at 50 to 80 percent of your maximum capacity.
Senior citizens: More and more seniors are proving every day that they aren’t too old to exercise. In fact, the older you are, the more you need regular exercise. However, you should take some special precautions.
- If you have a family history of heart disease, check with your doctor first.
- Don’t try to do too much too fast.
- Exercise at an intensity appropriate for you.
- Pick activities that are fun, that suit your needs and that you can do year-round.
- Wear comfortable clothing and footwear.
- Choose a well-lighted, safe place with a smooth, soft surface.
- Take more time to warm up and cool down before and after your workout. Stretch slowly.
Children: Set a good example by practicing heart-healthy habits yourself. Limit sedentary activities such as television, movies, videos and computer games to no more than two hours a day. Plan active family outings and vacations. Assign household chores (mowing lawns, raking leaves, scrubbing floors, etc.) that require physical exertion. Observe what sports and activities appeal to your children, then encourage their development with lessons or by joining teams. If it’s safe to walk or bike rather than drive, do so. Use stairs instead of elevators and escalators. Make sure that your children’s physical activities at school or in daycare are adequate. When your children are bored, suggest something that gets them moving – play catch etc.
Women: Women need to step up their exercise game if they want to remain healthy as they age. Plus, after age 30, women may lose from 1 to 2 pounds of lean muscle every decade, so they really should be turning up their exercise regimens, not slowing down. Women also begin to lose bone mineral density. In order to keep bone density up and stave off osteoporosis, which affects women more than men, women need to get in the habit of doing weight-bearing activities, such as strength training, jumping rope or even walking. Thirty to 40 minutes of walking is enough to meet the minimal needs.
To Burn fat: In Ayurveda the causes of obesity are defined as not exerting physically, sleeping in the afternoon, consuming sweet foods, the diet and life styles which cause an increase in the dosha Kapha.
The most important thing you can do in your weight management strategy, and certainly the easiest to put into place, is to begin moving on a daily basis. Join a gym, and start showing up every day. If you absolutely hate gyms, walking is a great place to start, and if you can enlist some friends, all the better.
Numerous tips to reduce obesity have been advised in Ayurveda.
Exercise like brisk walking, jogging, playing out door games etc help to reduce weight.
Physical exertion like doing housework, walking to bring groceries, vegetables etc, walking long distances to collect your child from school, walking to work, climbing stairs. Exerting physically as much as you can, helps to burn more calories.
Mental exertion like worrying or being involved in finding solutions to problems also restricts food consumption in some and thereby can reduce the intake of calories.
Having sex frequently is also good physical output.
Consumption of honey. This is advisable for non diabetic patients.
Consuming 2 tea spoons of honey with a glass of herbal tea which includes weight reducing herbs helps a lot in weight reduction. Honey along with these herbs dissolves the Kapha and medha (body fat).
Sleeping for less hours. Avoiding sleeping in afternoons helps to increase the burning of calories. This avoids the slowing of the basal metabolic rate.
Avoiding food and beverages which increase Kapha and medha. The foods which increase Kapha and medha are sweets, sweetened drinks, large quantities of carbohydrates and oily food.
Consuming wheat products more than rice products helps to reduce obesity. Using Green gram and horse gram helps in reduction of Kapha and meda.