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Vyayama Shakti Pariksha Examination Of Capacity To Exercise

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By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Examination of capacity to exercise is the 9th tool among the 10 fold examinations of the patient explained by Master Charaka.
Vyayama = exercise
Shakti = strength
Pariksha = examination
Read – Exercise Timing, Benefits, Side Effects, Ayurvedic Management

Introduction

We all have different capacities to perform exercise. Capacity to exercise is dependent on our strength to exercise. Some people have good strength and hence good capacity to exercise. Similarly, those having moderate to mild strength will exercise to moderate or mild proportions since their capacity is limited to those thresholds.
There are also below mentioned exceptions which come into play –

A person having good physical strength and great capacity to exercise might be able to indulge in milder form of simple exercises. This may be either by choice or circumstances which do not allow them to exercise. Example – person being amidst busy schedules and not being able to exercise. Similarly, a person having less capacity and strength to exercise may push self excessively into self-trim obsession. Both these approaches are harmful to health.

There are people who are obsessive and competitive about exercise. They have goals to match with others exercising schedules and to get into desired shapes quicker than their counterparts. Ideology of being and looking good, fit and healthy is not bad but being too much obsessive about anything might be lethal. One needs to understand their capacity to exercise and also that they are totally different from the others.

Some people exercise merely on the grounds of their mental strength and determination. Even these people often ignore the ‘capacity concept’. This will eventually put them into troublesome territory. Therefore, one should exercise only to one’s capacity. Exercising beyond one’s capacity will lead to bad consequences and complications.
Read – Gym, Exercise, Fitness And Ayurvedic Bodybuilding Herbal Supplements

Vyayama Shakti Pariksha

The patient can also be examined by the perspective of examination of capacity to exercise. This done by keenly observing the capacity of the person to perform day to day activities. It needs to be observed how much and how well the person copes up with doing the activities. It also needs to be seen how much the person is at ease or how much he is finding it difficult to do any kind of activity or exercise on a day to day basis.
Read – 10 Factors Of Patient Examination – Dasha Vidha Atura Pareeksha

Vyayama Shakti is of 3 kinds depending on the capacity to do the activities. They are –

Sl No Type of Capacity to exercise Meaning Involvement in activities / exercise / tasks Activeness gradient
1 Uttama / Pravara Vyayama Shakti Good capacity or strength to exercise Capable of easily accomplishing any activities and without difficulty, doesn’t feel tired or worn out Highly active
2 Madhyama Vyayama Shakti Moderate capacity to exercise Moderately capable of accomplishing any activities with moderate ease and with moderate difficulty, doesn’t feel tired or worn out but is not even at the best of comfort Moderately active
3 Alpa / Heena Vyayama Shakti Less capacity or strength to exercise Less capable of accomplishing any activities and finds it difficult to get involved / indulged in activities, gets easily tired or worn out Least active

Capacity to perform activities will also reflect the strength of the person. Therefore, examining this part in any given patient is mandatory and should be inclusive in the protocol.

Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)

Questions to ask

Exercise frequency – once a day, 4 – 5 times in a week or once a week?
Ask the patient to sit down on floor and then stand up without using the support of hand
Nature of exercise that they do daily
How long can they walk, how long can they run? How many stairs can they climb?
Examine how muscular or how obese are they?
Ask them to do 5 – 10 squats and examine their breath. If they are panting, then less Vyayama Shakti.
What are the outdoor games that they play? What Yoga Poses that they do?

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