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MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information
THE BENEFIT OF EXERCISE


For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.





  • Fit For Life - Exercise Benefits
  • Exercise For Energy & Well-Being
  • Physical Fitness
  • Motherhood & Exercise
  • Exercise For Children
  • Boosting Brain Power
  • Exercise & Mood




  • 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.
    jogging

    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.
    sit-ups

    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.
    golf





    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.




    PHYSICAL FITNESS

    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

    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

    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





    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.




    BOOSTING BRAINPOWER

    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".


    stretching


    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.






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    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
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    Spearmint Oil
    Spikenard Oil
    Swiss-Pine Oil
    Tangerine Oil
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    Vanilla Oil
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    Violet Oil
    White-Camphor Oil
    Yarrow Oil
    Ylang-Ylang Oil
    Aromatherapy
    Healing Baths For Colds
    Aromatherapy
    Herbal Cleansers
    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





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