By: Dr. Dipesh Mahendra Waghmare, Medical Advisor Executive to Millennium Herbal Care
Whatever your fitness goal, you can achieve it the Ayurveda way! Sounds exciting? Surely, it can be. The widespread prevalence of urban lifestyle diseases exacerbated by the pandemic and an increasing awareness of the health benefits of a fitness regime has motivated many of us to incorporate a specific diet, exercise plan and other health practice in our daily lives. And if the same could be combined with the excellent and qualitative advantages of Ayurveda then you have a sure-shot winning recipe of a successful fitness goal in your hands. The ancient healthcare system of Ayurveda focuses on life, longevity and your overall well-being – be it physical, mental or spiritual. As a science of self-healing, Ayurvedaencompasses various diets, lifestyle regimens, massages, and medicinal herbs that can help you to attain optimum health. It would be wise to include Ayurveda in your daily physical fitness plan to ensure sustained health and vigour.
How can Ayurveda help?
1. Keeps you Energetic:
Do you feel sluggish after a long day’s work? Are you lacking the enthusiasm to get up in the morning and hitting the gym classes or your yoga sessions? Then coffee or steroids is not your answer. Your body needs the energy of Ayurvedic herbs to curb your lethargy. Herbs like Ashwagandha, Brahmi and Tulsi can boost your energy by enhancing your body’s resilience to physical and mental stress and help you to feel great all day long. Start your day with warm decoction of these herbs to stay energetic.
2. Builds Stamina:
If you are finding yourself exerting too much in your workouts then your reservoir of stamina is fast depleting. Psychological stress and physical activity are believed to be reciprocally related, so one must also keep in mind here that lack of stamina is also a resultant of a stressed mind. Ayurvedic herbs like Ashwagandha, Brahmi and Shatavari will help in building core energy levels through boosting the adrenal strength and increasing the oxygen availability to the muscles, it also keeps you mentally relaxed.
Indulge spices like coriander seeds, cinnamon, cumin and nuts like almonds in your daily diet, all mixed in the right and adequate proportions can bring the zing back in your step and build stamina to accomplish that stretched time of exercise that you so dearly wish at times.
3. Increased Metabolism:
The fastest results of your fitness regimes can be achieved if you have an excellent cellular metabolism. Ayurvedic herbs like Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) helps to promote your gut-health, it increases good gut microbiome in our intestines that produces a short-chain fatty acid and helps to regulate body fat stores and assists in maintaining blood sugar levels within normal range. Spices like cinnamon may help to prevent the formation of fat cells in your body, while Curcumin present in Haldi or turmeric helps in burning fat cells effectively and boosting the body metabolism. Adding black pepper in your regular diet can help polish your metabolism with its thermogenic effect and a fine glass of cumin water (boil a teaspoon of Jeera/cumin in a glass of water) first thing in the morning ensures the best of results.
4. Body Recovery:
Ancient Ayurvedic healers advocated the concept of “Balaardh”. That means exerting only 50% of the body’s entire strength for any kind of rigorous exercises. Modern fitness experts also recommend a 24 hour rest between vigorous exercise sessions, to allow the body to recover fully. An Abhyanga (self-massage) with sesame seed oil is a traditional procedure for relieving the aches and pains in the joints, muscles and connective tissues. Herbs like turmeric and ginger help in reducing inflammation, while Ashwagandha & Bala are magical on strengthening and nourishing muscles. Incorporating legumes rich in proteins helps to build your muscles and Ayurveda sanctions mung beans and urad daal for the same. Almonds, dates, saffron and ghee rejuvenate you adequately and can help in recovering faster from hard & rigorous work-out sessions.
5. Joint Flexibility:
While fitness is top-most in your mind, you will need to take special care of your bone and joints health. Creaks and aches start hampering your movements from an early age, primarily because of unhealthy lifestyle. Women need to take special care anyways right from the onset of their thirties. A better bone-health and joint flexibility can help you to undertake a slightly better fast-paced drill of your desire. Ayurveda recommends several herbs that have been traditionally used to improve bone strength, joints flexibility and reduced localized pain. Herbs like Hadjod, Salai Guggul, Ashwagandha and Bala are clinically proven to reinstate bone cell homeostasis, improve bone mineral density and reduce joint swellings. The Dashmoola (roots of 10 herbs) oil is also a favourite to reduce stiffness of joints and muscles thus improving flexibility.
6. Good sleep:
A good sleep is always significant for a mind body rejuvenation. Your fitness regime should be well smattered and balanced with a sound sleep, when the body is able to heal and repair itself, so that you are raring to hit the mat once again the next day. Brahmi, Shankhapushpi, Sarpagandha, Vacha and Ashwagandha are such essential herbs that relaxes your nervous system, relieves mental fatigue and have a calmative effect on your mind. Thus regulating our sleep and give us a deep, sound slumber that rejuvenates us
Ayurveda is an ancient but extremely relevant system to reevaluate the concept of health, set the right goals, and above all stay fit.
With these tips included in your regime, you can now gain optimally your fitness targets. Having said, Ayurveda does not subscribe to over-doing your work-outs. Balance, regularity and sustained over a period of time along with the goodness of this ancient science can ensure your holistic health and fitness without burning out.