Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health. Physical fitness is a general state of good health as a result of nutrition and exercise.
Our bodies are made for activity. Movement is one of the definitions of life. The human body is endowed for it in terms of strength, agility, flexibility, and precision. To remain in good health with a sound circulatory and respiratory system, we must all exercise regularly. This is crucial in both childhood and adulthood. Simply put, “if you don’t use it - you lose it”. With inactivity un-stretched muscles grow permanently tense or degenerate, immobile bones decalcify, and ligaments tighten.
All exercise programs should include relaxation and stretching movements as well. Individual needs also need to be taken into consideration. The main factors involved are your age, body type and level of health. For example, older people have to take special precaution to avoid sudden, jarring movements that could impose excessive strain. Therefore, they would benefit most from gentler forms of exercise such as leisurely swimming or yoga. People who want to lose weight may need prolonged steady types of exercise such as golf, swimming, or walking; which do not put extreme burden on the joints.
Conditions, such as, high blood pressure, pregnancy or obesity may prevent vigorous physical exercise. For other problems resulting in restricted mobility and stiffness, flexibility exercises are advisable. Specific disabilities may call for special adapted exercise programs - “physiotherapists”, “hydro-therapists”, and some yoga teachers, can alter an exercise program to benefit the individuals condition.
Exercise practiced regularly is the way to protect yourself from coronary disease, improve circulation, reduce fat, control your appetite, combat stress, and improve your sleep.
Exercise is grouped on the overall effect they have on the human body.
The table below gives a selection of sports and everyday activities with an approximate rating of their special benefits. (The Feldenkrais Method is a movement awareness technique.)
CAUTION: If you feel severe pain or dizziness, stop your physical fitness program and rest. If symptoms continue, seek professional advice.
Good nutrition, proper relaxation, vitamin supplements and physical exercise will help to keep you young in mind and body.
Rejuvenating herbs that may help increase your body's resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue include astragalus, basil, dong quai, ginkgo biloba, gotu kola, licorice, siberian ginseng, skullcap and valerian.
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