Sleeping for long hours, indulging in chocolates, junk foods, aerated drinks, soda, feeling comfortable in the couch / working desk all day long, no time for exercise, neglecting constant weight gain, lowering energy levels and mental sharpness.. rings a bell? Time for a reality check.
Activities that constitute sedentary lifestyle and over nourishment:
Random eating of fried foods, sweets, heavy-to-digest foods, non veg
Using newly harvested rice, grains, fresh wine,
Excess usage of dairy products
Aversion towards exercise, gym, Yoga, outdoor games, camping, trekking.
Indulging in long time day-sleep,
Sleeping and resting all the time,
Feeling comfortable in your couch / desk for long hours, without any movement / physical activities
Feeding on junk foods, aerated drinks, colas.
Effect on Tridosha
By above activities, Kapha Dosha builds up excessively in the body and Tamas in mind.
Diseases due to sedentary lifestyle
Diseases that you are most likely to suffer with due to sedentary lifestyle:
Urinary track disorders – With more and more junk foods, aerated drinks and over nutrition that body metabolism cannot handle, free radical build up in the body hits kidneys and bladders hard.
Diabetes – with excess sugar build up coupled with lethargy, muscles forget to take up and use up the sugar, leading to diabetes.
Carbuncles, urticaria, itching and such other skin disorders – As per Ayurveda, Kapha Dosha increases due to sedentary lifestyle and lazy attitude. Hence person becomes more prone to itching, urticaria etc Kapha dominant skin disorders.
Anorexia, Indigestion, altered metabolism – As per Ayurvedic rule, one should eat and drink only when hungry. But that rule is heavily broken when on feeds himself again and again, inviting an array of digestive and metabolism related disorders.
Drowsiness, lethargy, lack of interest – With Kapha build up, like a person sitting in darkness for a long period of time, starts to feel comfortable in his darkness, you will no more feel guilty about your wrong and lazy lifestyle. In fact, you start enjoying it, you will start more reasons to increase what you already are doing, which makes you to –
– Find reasons and feeling more and more comfort with status quo,
– disinterest to change the things, negative attitude,
Sterility, infertility, excessive obesity – If you are overeating and not exercising, obviously calories that you are taking in is more than calories that you are burning out, which leads to obesity. As per Ayurveda, high obesity and infertility are related. In Obesity, fat tissue alone receives nourishment, depriving bones and sexual organs. (Understand this concept, read Ayurveda explanation about obesity)
To support this unique theory of Ayurveda, there are umpteen number of modern research articles clearly establishing the relationship between obesity and infertility – both in men and women. (research).
In men, it causes decreased sexual interest and semen quality and decrease in sperm count. In women, it causes glucose intolerance and PCOS (read more – PCOS and obesity
Delusion, weak sense organs – Increased body weight and junk foods, naturally brain will suffer from lack of stimulation and nutrition that it actually seeks. Active body leads to an active mind.
High BP, cardiac disorders – with ever increasing body cholesterol levels and salts in junk foods, blood pressure raises and free radicals start hitting the heart and blood pipes related to heart.
Sedentary lifestyle effects Charaka
Sedentary lifestyle habits and their effect on body, as per Charaka:
Reference: Charaka Samita Chikitsa 1.2/2-3
Gramya Ahara – substandard diet
Amla, Lavana, Katuka, Kshara, Shushka Shaka – green vegetables with sour, saline, pungent and alkaline tastes, dry vegetables,
meat, sesame seeds, paste of sesame seeds and pastries
Viruda Nava Shooka Shami Dhanya – Germinated cereals and pulses, freshly harvested corns with bristles and pulses
Viruddha – intake of wrong food combinations
Asathmya – uncongenial foods
Klinna, Guru, Pooti Paryushita Bhojana – softened, moist, heavy, putrid and stale food
Vishamashana – eating at random times
Adhyashana – eating before previously food getting digested
Bad habits that cause illness
Divasvapna, Stree Madya Nitya – daily indulgence in day-sleep, sex and alcohol
Vishama, Ati Vyayama – irregular, excessive exercise,
Bhaya, Krodha, Shoka, Lobha, Moha, Ayasa Bahula – excessive fear, anger, grief, greed, infatuation and over-work.
Ill effects on the body
Effect of bad food, physical and mental habits:
Shithilee Bhavati Mamsani – muscles become flabby, fragile
Vimuchyante Sandhayaha – Joints become vitiated, weak
Vidahyate Raktam – blood becomes vitiated, burnt out
Vishyandate cha analpam medaha – The fat which is accumulated in excess gets liquefied, vitiated
Na sandheeyate asthishu majja – The marrow does not remain intact inside the (hollow part) bones,
Shukram na pravartate – Impairment in the ejaculation of semen and
Kshayamupaiti Ojaha – The Ojas (vital fluid, responsible for immunity)undergoes diminution.
Such a person suffers from
Glayati, Seedati, Nidra, Tandra, Alasya, Nirutsaha – Feels exhausted, languid, sleepy, drowsy and lazy, lack of enthusiasm
Shwasa – dyspnea
Becomes incapable of physical and mental work,
Loses his memory, intellect and complexion and
Becomes an abode of diseases.
Thus he fails to enjoy the full span of his life.
Management of the diseases caused by over nourishment:
First step is to break the status quo in mind and accepting that it is an emergency problem, needing fast fixing.
Determination to stop feeling comfortable with oneself and positive attitude to adopt changes, forcibly.
Get rid of laziness and procrastination
No matter what, hit the bed on or before 11 pm (Read: Why 11 pm is ideal time to sleep)
Set the alarm clock to 6 am (Read: Why to wake up by 6)
If you are accustomed to napping and find it hard to quit, at least, follow these rules of day sleeping
If you are hooked to your chair for long hours in your office, try stand working. Standing burns more calories.
Regular exercise – Join Yoga class or start playing tennis with your kid or jog with your wife, do something for at least fifteen minutes in the day and make sure to sweat.
Fasting: Many a times, regular fasting – at least once a week, at least, skipping a meal or two per day, helps to break the jinx of lazy lifestyle. Try it. If you cannot do full day fasting, at least you can try with juice fasting.
Why don’t you replace your junk burgers, chips and pizzas with vegetable salad, dry fruit salad and fresh fruits? Why don’t you replace cola with vegetable smoothie?
Panchakarma treatment and other therapies:
Vamana therapy – This is emesis therapy, helps to expel out excess Kapha from the body. This treatment will act as a trigger to your path of recovery. After this treatment, you will start feeling light, will lose some weight and become more active. Read more about Vamana treatment
Virechana therapy– Purgation therapy is usually done as follow up for Vamana treatment, helps to expel out remnant Kapha dosha and also Pitta dosha. Read more about Virechana
Dhumapana – herbal smoking – helps to clear your mind and makes it more active. Read more: how to do herbal smoking
Swedana – fomentation / sweating treatment – helps to clear up the body channels and initiates the process of reducing cholesterol. Read more Why and how to sweat?
Herbal Powder massage – helps to burn fat quickly from arms, abdomen and legs.
Useful herbs and spices
Ginger, long pepper, black pepper, Coriander seeds, Asa foetida, Moringa, cardamom, neem, turmeric, Triphala, Aragvadha (Cassia fistula), Patha (Cissampelos pareira Linn), Saptaparna (Alstonia scholaris .Br), Vatsaka (Holarrhena antidysenterica Wall.), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Madanaphala (Randia dumetorum Lam), etc.
It largely depends on the associated complaints of obesity that needs concentration. However, here are a few.
Triphala churna – rich in anti oxidants, excellent rejuvenator, helps to lose weight
Agastya haritaki – useful in respiratory disorders, obesity, clears body channels and reduces cholesterol.
Ayaskruti – indicated in obesity. fatty liver changes, anemia, skin disorders
Asanadi Kashayam, Varanadi Kashayam, Varadi Kashayam
You have so many other options. Consult your Ayurvedic doctor to know which is the right combination for you.
Bottom line is For a better tomorrow, start today!