Benefits of gym and exercise – Ayurvedic explanation

Benefits of gym and exercise is very well explained in Ancient Ayurvedic text-book – Sushruta Samhita. It is so meaningful and interesting, I can’t resist mentioning the original Sanskrit shloka from the text-book, along with meaning.

For easy understanding, the terms – weight lifting exercise, workout exercise, weight training exercise, fitness routine, are all covered under the term Vyayama  (Exercise).

Hope that this article will encourage all to take up exercises in right quantities, and in right time.

exercise benefits

The verses as it is given at the end. Here is the actual meaning of those verses –
Anything that brings about tiredness to the body is called as Vyayama (exercise).
After exercise, the whole body should be gently pressed.
Due to exercise, overall body nourishment, lustre, and body curves improve.
It improves digestive power, body stability, lightness,  removes laziness, brings about tolerance towards tiredness, thirst, hot or cold weather. Exercise begets health.
There is no other thing as effective as exercise to cure obesity.
An exercised body is feared by his enemies. Such a body will even defy old age.
Exercised and well massaged body keeps diseases at bay, as similar to lion keeps small animals at bay.
Exercised body can digest even half-baked food.
Slightly oily food can be had by person doing gym and exercise.
Maximum exercise can be done in Winter and autumn.
Exercise should be done till one’s half strength.
When a person starts feeling as if his breath is coming out of his heart level, it indicates he has reached to half of his original strenghth. Then the exercise should be stopped.

Quantity of exercise should be determined taking place (warmer places – lesser exercise), time (summer – lesser exercise), diet (soon after food – no exercise) and disease condition.
If one over exercises, he will suffer from depleted body strength, thirst, tastelessness,  giddiness, bleeding disorders (such as nasal bleeding), cough, fever, respiratory disorders etc.

Avoid gym – Those suffering from bleeding disorders, emaciated, suffering from respiratory disorders, soon after eating or having giddiness, should avoid exercise.
Those who indulges in excessive sexual activity, who lift heavy weight, who walk long distances, weakened by excessive physical and mental work, who are suffering from Vata disorder, who are hungry and thirsty should avoid exercise.

Related articles:
Diabetes and exercise
How Long To Exercise? How Much Time To Workout? 

Side effects of over-exercise: 
Shrama – tiredness,
Klama – exhaution
Kshaya – depletion of body tissues
Trushna – excessive thirst
Raktapitta – bleeding disorders – such as nasal bleeding, worsening of menorrhagia in women etc.
Pratamaka – breathing difficulties,
Kasa – cough,
Jwara – fever,
Chardi – vomiting.

शरीर आयास जननं कर्म व्यायामसज्ञितम् ।
shareera aayaasa jananam karma vyayama sajnitam |
तत् कृत्वा तु सुखं देहं विमृद्नीयात् समन्तत: ।।
Tat krutva sukham deham vimrudeeyat samantataha |
शरीरोपचय: कान्तिर्गात्राणां सुविभक्तता ।
Shareeropachayaha kaantir gaatraanaam suvibhaktataa |
दीप्ताग्नित्वं अनालस्यं स्थिरत्वं लाघवं मृजा ॥
Deeptaagnitvam anaalasyam sthiratvam laaghavam mrujaa |
श्रम क्लम पिपासोष्ण शीतादीनां सहिष्णुता ।
Shrama klama pipaasoshna sheetaadeenaam sahishnutaa |
आरोग्यं चापि परमं व्यायामादुपजायते ।।
aarogyam chaapi paramam vyaayaamaadupajaayate ||
न चास्ति सदृशं तेन किंचित् स्थौल्यापकर्षणम् ।
Na chaasti sadrusham tena kinchit sthoulyaapakarshanam |
न च व्यायामिनं मर्त्यमर्दयन्त्यरयो बलात् ।।
Na cha vyaayaaminam martyamardayantyarayu balaat |
न चैनं सहसा आक्रम्य जरा समधिरोहति ।
Na chainam sahasaa aakramya jaraa samadhirohati |
स्थिरीभवति मांसं च व्यायामाभिरतस्य च ।
Sthireebhavati maamsam cha vyaayaamabdiratasya cha |
व्यायामस्विन्नगात्रस्य पद्म्यामुद्वतितस्य च ।
Vyaayaamasvinna gaatrasya pdmyamydvatitasya cha |
व्याधयो नोपसर्पन्ति सिंहं क्षुदमृगा इव ॥
vyaadhayo nopasarpanti simham kshud mrugaa iva |
व्यायामं कुर्वतो नित्यं विरुद्धमपि भोजनम् ।
Vyaayaamam kurvato nityam viruddhamapi bhojanam |
विदग्धं अविदग्धं वा निर्दोषं परिपच्यते ॥
Vidagdham avidagdham vaa nirdosham paripachyate |
व्यायामो हि सदा पथ्यो बलिनां स्निग्धभोजिनाम् ।
vyaayaamo hi sadaa pathyo balinaam snigdha bhojinaam |
स च शीते वसन्ते च तेषां पथ्यतम: स्मृत: ॥
Sa cha sheete vasante cha teshaam pathyatamaha smrutaha ||
सर्वेषु अवृतु अरह: पुम्भिरात्महितैशिभि: ।
sarveshu avrutu arahaha pumbhiratmahitaishibhihi |
बलस्यर्धेन कर्तव्यो व्यायामो हन्यतोऽथवा ॥
Balasyardhena kartavyo vyaayaamo hanyato athavaa||
हृदि स्थानस्थितो वायुर्यदा वक्त्रं प्रपद्यते ।
Hrudi sthaanasthito vaayuryadaa vaktram prapadyate |
व्यायामं कुर्वतो जन्तोस्तद् बलार्धस्य लक्षणम् ॥
Vyaayaamam kuravato jantostad balaardhasya lakshanam |
वयोबल शरीराणि देशकालाशनानि च ।
Vayobala shareeraani deshakaalaashanaani cha |
समीक्ष्य कुर्यात् व्यायामं अन्यथा रोगमाप्नुयात् ॥
sameekshya kuryaat vyaayaamam anyathaa rogamaapnuyaat ||
क्षय तृष्णा अरुचि छर्दि रक्तपित्त भ्रम क्लमा: ।
Kshaya trushnaa aruchi chardi raktapitta bhrama klamaaha |
कासशोषज्वर श्वासा अतिव्यायामसम्भवा: ॥
Kasa shosha jvara shwaasaa ativyaayaama sambhavaaha ||
रक्तपित्तो कृश: शोषी श्वासकासक्षतातुर: ।
raktapitto krushaha shoshee shwaasa kaasa kshataaturaha |
भुक्तवान् स्त्रीषु च क्षीण तृट् भ्रमार्तश्च वर्जयेत् ॥
bhuktavaan streeshu cha ksheena trut bhramaarthascha varjayet ||

Dr JV Hebbar is an Ayurveda Doctor, Assistant Professor, From Mangalore, India. Click here to consult Dr Hebbar
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Comments

  1. sunil kamath says:

    nice article

  2. Sir, is it ok to do gym. According to me natural exercises are the best. People who leave gyms are prone to more obesity & their body shape too suffers quite quickly.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Gym is also good. But someone who stops going to gym should adopt some other kind of physical activity like jogging, Yoga etc. That way he can avoid putting on weight. For that matter, anyone abruptly stopping any kind of physical activity is prone to put on weight.

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