Integrative Nutrition Blog

Olympic IINspiration: Exercise Right For Your Type

August 8, 2012

If you have been watching the London Olympics, you might be dreaming of landing the perfect vault, winning gold in the 400-meter freestyle, or sprinting to victory in the 100-meter dash.

As many Health Coaches know, the range of sports and body types represented by the Olympics is proof that there isn’t a one-size-fits all way to exercise. While running a marathon might work for your best friend, you may find that you’re better suited for yoga or swimming.

According to John Douillard, visiting teacher and board member at Integrative Nutrition and author of Body, Mind, and Sport, each of the Ayurvedic doshas – or types – work better with different types of exercise.

Vata (Winter)

On the go and restless, Vata, or Winter, types perform well in short bursts of activity. Vata types tend to get tired easily and have little endurance.

Some ideal exercise for Vata include yoga to calm the mind; dancing for stress-free movement; and easy walking to keep your body in a steady rhythm.

Pitta (Summer)

Highly motivated and competitive, Pitta, or Summer, types excel in sports requiring speed, strength, and stamina. They tend to get overheated and are often overly competitive.

Ideal exercises for Pitta types include swimming to cool the overheated body; long distance bicycling for speed and strength; and hiking in nature for stamina while calming your inner competitor.

Kapha (Spring)

Naturally calm and easygoing, Kapha, or Spring, types have strong endurance and physical strength. They tend to retain water and dislike “exercising for the sake of exercising”.

Kapha types can try jogging to clear up congestion and get blood pumping; hatha yoga to energize and strengthen; and basketball for cardio that doesn’t feel like a work out.

What’s your type? Take this body type quiz from John Douillard’s web site.

Do you tend to do exercise for or against your natural type? Let us know in the comments.

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