As a Kapha type, you’re blessed with great physical strength and steady energy. Because of this, you can excel at physical activities that require endurance, such as long-distance running, rowing, cycling, and hiking. You also have well-lubricated joints and are the least likely of the three dosha types to get injured.
Frequent vigorous exercise is particularly important for Kapha types, who have a tendency to become sedentary and gain weight as adults. The commitment to get up and move is well worth the effort. As thousands of studies show, physical activity is one of the most powerful ways to create radiant health and emotional well-being. Here are just a few of the physical and mental benefits of regular exercise:
- Decreased depression and anxiety
- Increased resilience to stress
- Improved sleep
- Increased focus and decreased symptoms of attention deficit disorder
- Increased metabolism and reduced obesity
- Greater bone density (from weight-bearing exercise)
- Improved cardiovascular function
- Decreased symptoms of PMS
- Greater cognitive ability and a decrease in brain-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s
- Increased ability to give up addictions such as smoking and alcohol abuse
- Decreased blood pressure and cholesterol
In short, exercise makes you feel good. It can also slow down and even reverse the aging process. More than 5,000 years ago, the master Ayurvedic physician Charaka wrote, “From physical exercise, one gets lightness, a capacity for work, firmness, tolerance of difficulties, elimination of impurities, and stimulation of digestion.”
The Best Exercise for Kaphas
There are two keys to creating a fitness plan. First, choose physical activities that you enjoy. If you don’t like running, you’re not going to stick with it for very long. The second key is to choose activities that are suited to your mind-body type. Since Kapha types are naturally drawn to connecting and being part of a community, you may enjoy joining a sports team or group activities.
Here are some Ayurvedic tips for energizing your Kapha while enjoying all the benefits of regular physical activity:
1) Move and break a sweat every day. Get your heart rate up for at least twenty minutes, or until you’re covered with a fine layer of perspiration. In addition to endurance sports, Kaphas may enjoy activities such as …
- High-intensity interval training
- Spinning classes
- Hot yoga
Bottom line: you should try anything that sounds fun to you.
2) Include not only cardiovascular activity, but also weight training to strengthen and tone your muscles. It will also help you let go of any extra weight you may be carrying. A pound of muscle tissue burns more calories than body fat, even when you’re at rest.
3) Seek adventure. Outdoor activities that include an element of excitement or adventure are energizing for Kaphas. Try …
- White-water rafting
- Rock climbing
- Mountain biking
- Sea kayaking
4) Stay warm. Since Kapha is sensitive to cold and damp environments, be sure to bundle up and stay dry when you’re exercising outside in the winter or spring. When you finish a workout, nourish yourself with hot, spicy teas such as ginger or chai to keep your energy flowing.
5) Try competitive sports. A little friendly competition will energize your Kapha and add some fire to the water and earth elements that are predominant in your constitution. Consider …
Explore and see what types of physical activity spark your joy. The important thing is to make a conscious effort to seek out new activities. Instead of watching the parade of life go by from the comfort of your couch, give yourself the gift of moving, breathing, and appreciating your Kapha strength.