MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information
THE BENEFIT OF EXERCISE
For "Informational Use Only".
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FIT FOR LIFE
The benefits of exercise have been researched, and evidence in its favor is overwhelming. Regular exercise improves the function of the heart and lungs and strengthens muscles to give more stamina. It keeps joints mobile, increases circulation so that the skin looks healthier, helps prevent heart disease and prostate, colon, and breast cancer, lowers high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of diabetes, and helps weight loss. Exercise may help alleviate premenstrual tension and menstrual pain, and strengthens bones by increasing their mineral content, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Physical fitness requires cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance and strength, and flexibility. Getting 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 to 5 times a week brings definite health benefits.
Cardiovascular endurance is developed by vigorous aerobic exercise, such as jogging, sustained for at least 12 minutes without a break (you should be puffing but not so hard that you cannot carry on a conversation). Aerobic exercise oxygenates the muscles and enables the heart to pump more efficiently.
Muscular endurance is built up with repeated exercising of large muscle groups, as in circuit training or swimming. Muscular strength is developed with anaerobic exercise, as in weight lifting or tennis, which consists of brief bursts of intense activity. Muscular endurance is built up with repeated exercising of large muscle groups, as in circuit training or swimming.
Flexibility is achieved by stretching muscles and is maintained by activities such as golf or yoga. It keeps connective tissue from shortening and tightening, prevents muscle pulls and tears, relieves pain, boosts muscle strength and tone, and helps prevent injury. Flexibility can enhance body awareness and appearance, increase energy, and improve circulation.
EXERCISE FOR ENERGY & WELL-BEING
Research has revealed that exercise can improve mood, lift depression, boost self-esteem, lessen anxiety, and enable us to cope better with stress. It encourages sound sleep, improves immune function and helps us live longer. All human activity - physical or mental - is powered by energy converted from food that has been eaten and oxygen that has been breathed into the lungs. Sedentary people often feel less energetic than those who exercise regularly. Exercise actually increases the body's ability to produce energy effectively. A flexible body with good muscle tone, and with an efficient heart and lungs well synchronized with the circulation, can help create a sense of physical wholeness. This makes us feel energized and ready to deal with life's demands.
Being physically fit is not just a matter of running up the stairs without panting. Physical fitness depends on good circulation, physical strength and stamina, and a supple body. Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the heart, blood vessels, and blood to carry oxygen to the cells and to carry waste products away from them. Muscular endurance is the capability of muscles to maintain repeated exercise, and muscular strength is a capacity to carry, lift, push, or pull a heavy load. Flexibility is the ability of joints to move through their full range of motion - they will not move easily if muscle fibers are too tight. Aerobic exercise is vigorous activity requiring a sustained supply of oxygen, which is pumped to the muscles via the blood. Anaerobic exercise consists of brief bursts of activity during which there is no time for blood to pump oxygen to the muscles, so they draw on chemical processes that produce lactic acid, a waste product that can cause muscle fatigue and cramps.
If you stop exercising, the benefits gained can be lost within a matter of weeks. Therefore if you are very busy, or restricted by an injury, it's better to maintain a reduced exercise routine rather than give up altogether.
OPTIMUM HEART RATE
Your optimum heart rate during exercise should ideally be kept at 60-80 percent of your maximum heart rate, which you can establish by subtracting your age from 220. People who exercise regularly learn what their optimum heart rate feels like. As you become fitter, you will need to step up the intensity of exercise to maintain your optimum heart rate. To calculate heart rate, place two fingers on the pulse at the side of your neck or on your wrist. Count the beats for 15 seconds, then multiply the number by four.
In 1995, a study of 10,000 men at the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas found a 44 percent drop in the risk of death for those who improved from being unfit to fit though aerobic exercise. There was also a reduction of risk between men of moderate- and high-level fitness.
MOTHERHOOD & EXERCISE
Some form of exercise can be beneficial during pregnancy when practiced with care. Avoid contact and high-risk sports such as riding or skiing.
During Pregnancy yoga and gentle stretching can be beneficial. Walking and swimming are especially good for flexibility and circulation.
MoonDragon's Prenatal Exercise
Following pregnancy try gentle stretching and toning using floor exercises with your baby, but check with your midwife first before beginning any postpartum exercise plan.
MoonDragon's Postpartum Exercise
EXERCISE FOR CHILDREN
Schools can no longer be counted on to provide the optimum amount of exercise for children and, because of safety concerns, many children no longer walk to school. They lack opportunities to climb and run around and can risk setting a precedent for an inactive adult lifestyle. Sports and exercise help bone and muscle development, physical coordination, and social interaction with other children. If sending your child to out-of-school classes such as gymnastics or dancing, make sure that teachers or clubs do not make excessive demands on a child's time and energy, and check that instructors have appropriate qualifications and are registered with relevant organizations. There are also plenty of activities that families can do together, such as swimming, skating, and cycling.
Exercise can boost brainpower. As we grow older, keeping fit helps feed the brain with oxygen and maintains mental alertness. In one study, sedentary older people showed improvement in various mental tasks after four months of moderate exercise. To function, the brain depends on glucose and oxygen carried in the cardiovascular system. If there are insufficient amounts of these, brain cells die, giving weight to the old adage that if you do not use it, you lose it. Some researchers believe that exercise requiring coordination and mental agility, such as tennis, may generate more connections between nerve cells.
EXERCISE & MOOD
Exercise is nature's antidepressant. Physiological changes in the body and brain can induce elation when we exercise, and depression and anxiety when we do not. During exercise, body temperature rises by two or three degrees, giving a sense of warm relaxation. Endorphins, the body's natural opiates, are released, and the alpha brain waves associated with relaxation become more dominant. Sustained exercise burns the stress chemicals accumulated during an inactive day and, after exercise, the body's natural relaxation response returns body and mind to a regenerative state. It might take 6-8 weeks for exercise to change the body and improve body image, but it can change your mood at once. Vigorous activity is usually followed by 1 to 1-1/2 hours of calm and euphoria, and higher self-esteem may be reported after only one session.
Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming, is best for mood enhancement. Coordinating your movements with your breathing helps to stop you from overexercising and may even help to induce a state of "relaxed awareness".
EXERCISE TIPS Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes before exercising to increase heart rate and blood flow, stretch the muscles, and reduce the risk of injury.
Cool down afterward with slower movements and stretching exercises to prevent muscle cramps and stiffness.
Set sensible goals, especially if you have not exercised for a while. Build up gradually so you are less likely to become fatigued and dispirited.
Drink plenty of fluids to replace what is lost in sweat, during and after exercise, even if you do not feel thirsty.
Stop if you feel any pain. At first muscles may feel sore after exercising.
Wear suitable training shoes.
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
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