While most of us see exercise as a tool to remain fit and healthy, most people don’t fully understand how these different types of exercise elicit very different responses within our bodies. A basic understanding of how our body uses energy during different forms of exercise is critical for designing an effective exercise program.

For me, ideal exercise is that which keeps body in balance, well within the range of lactate or anaerobic threshold and exerts a moderate stress of cardiorespiratory system. The middle path. No extreme. One can increase one’s limit or the middle path, step by step.


As per research performed Defense Institute of Physiology & Allied Science, Delhi, Surya Namaskar fits well for both energy cost and cardiorespiratory stress.


Energy cost and cardiorespiratory changes during the practice of Surya Namaskar.

Surya Namaskar (SN), a group of Yogic exercise consists of a set of twelve postures which is practiced by some of the yoga practitioners. The present study was undertaken to observe critically the energy cost and different cardiorespiratory changes during the practice of SN. Twenty-one male volunteers from the Indian Army practiced selected Yogic exercises for six days in a week for three months duration. The Yogic practice schedule consisted of Hatha Yogic Asanas (28 min), Pranayama (10.5 min) and Meditation (5 min). In the Yogic practice schedule 1st they practiced Kapal Bhathi (breathing maneuvers) for 2 min then Yogamudra (yogic postural exercise) for 2 min, after that they took rest until oxygen consumption and heart rate (HR) came to resting value. Subsequently subjects performed SN for 3 min 40 seconds on an average. After three months of training at the beginning of the fourth month subjects performed entire Yogic practice schedule in the laboratory as they practiced during their training session and experiments were carried out. Their pulmonary ventilation, carbondioxide output, Oxygen consumption, HR and other cardiorespiratory parameters were measured during the actual practice of SN. Oxygen consumption was highest in the eighth posture (1.22+/-0.073 1 min(-1)) and lowest in the first posture (0.35+/-0.02 1 min(-1)). Total energy cost throughout the practice of SN was 13.91 kcal and at an average of 3.79 kcal/min. During its practice highest HR was 101+/-13.5 b.p.m. As an aerobic exercise SN seemed to be ideal as it involves both static stretching and slow dynamic component of exercise with optimal stress on the cardiorespiratory system.

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