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MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information

For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
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  • Fit For Life - Exercise Benefits
  • Exercise For Energy & Well-Being
  • Physical Fitness
  • Motherhood & Exercise
  • Exercise For Children
  • Boosting Brain Power
  • Exercise & Mood


    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.
    weight lifting

    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.


    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.

    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.


    exercise during pregnancy

    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

    postpartum 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


    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 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".



  • 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.

  • MoonDragon's Womens Health Index

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    Health & Wellness Index


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  • 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
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  • 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


  • 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


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index
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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index
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  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain
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  • 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
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  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
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