Article #2: Exercise: What Most Of Us Forget
Exercise is defined by Webster’s New World Dictionary as “activity for developing the body or mind.” The average American has little difficulty meeting the latter but finds less and less time for the former—developing the body.
Day-to-day living develops the mind. Academician or laborer, wide-eyed child or wise old man, housewife or career woman, all of us are tested day in, day out with exercises for the mind. All the yesterdays of mental exercise, coupled with today’s, strengthen and develop the muscle between our ears.
Whether subtle—reading periodicals, listening and watching the news, solving routine problems at work and at play—or applied, such as the efforts to become a better chess player by studying the masters of the game, our mind gets more than enough exercise daily. It is a natural activity for all of us.
Activity to develop our bodies, on the other hand, is not wholly natural. Although the body is in natural, constant activity throughout the day—even in sleep—vigorous activity needed by the body’s circulatory system, its lungs and its muscles requires our willing commitment. No matter how old or in what state of health, there’s a healthy form of exercise for nearly everyone. And an effort should be made by everyone to find that right exercise to develop the body.
If you, the Natural Hygienist and Life Scientist, are following the rules for natural health—a Hygienic diet, sufficient rest and sleep, occasional supervised fasting and the proper amounts of sunshine and pure air and water—then a regular exercise program is a must.
Why is regular exercise so important? A long-standing, inactive body becomes sluggish. Bodily functions are greatly impaired and reduced. If you suffer from chronic fatigue, poor sleep, digestive disorders, shortness of breath after little exertion or poor posture (just to name a few symptoms) you are not exercising your body. You are depriving your body of the energy that it needs to properly maintain its natural, healthful functions.
Reasonably vigorous exercise builds up the energy reserve our bodies need now more than ever in today’s fastpaced living. Taking appropriate and sufficient exercise daily keeps that energy reserve at its peak. The key to maintaining energy and maximum health is your blood circulation, both arterial and capillary. Without exercise, circulatory fitness is not possible.
Studies show that at age 25 blood flow has decreased 40% and decreases 60% by age 35. From an energy-level standpoint, then, the average American is middle aged at age 26 and all because we are sitters, we Americans. We sit on our way to work, at work and spend a major part of our free hours sitting, engaging only in a minimum of activity. Our endurance and stamina is stagnant as compared to primitive peoples who, all day long, lift and push and climb and more importantly, walk and run.
Regular exercise, then, provides us with a stronger heart and lungs, increased metabolism, better digestion, good sound sleep, the elimination of a multitude of physical ailments and especially with the energy to overcome stress. The question now is, what exercise is best for you.
First, find out how much exercise you can engage in by getting a proper physical. In some cases, it may not be possible for you to exercise at all. But that is a rare occurrence. Once you have determined how much you can exert yourself, your choices are many.
Walking, certainly, is the easiest and the least thought of form of exercise we can all do easily. A short series of calisthenics, cycling, jogging, dance exercises, isometrics and progressive resistance programs at health clubs are other choices. Swimming, tennis, volleyball and golf are others. Yoga and martial arts disciplines from the Far East have a growing following in the United States, too. Whatever you choose as your form of exercising, there are some basic principles that you’ll need to follow.
To be of any real value, your exercise should be a daily ritual, systematically performed. Mornings are the best times to engage in your physical activity and when your body needs it the most. A safe beginning is two to three sessions per week the first month and three to four the second month. Thereafter, as your strength increases, you can exercise more frequently.
Set aside at least 45 minutes each day for your exercise, allowing for a warm-up each time and a slowdown toward the end of your period. Take short rests during your sessions. Most of all, discover what works best for you. Exercise on an empty stomach is ideal. After meals; you should wait at least two hours.
For a well-rounded program, learn to do several types of exercise. This leads to a sustained interest in what you are doing as well as contributing to the developing strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, speed and endurance.
Remember, there is no rule that says exercise has to be hard work. Look at all of the alternatives and what they can do for you. There’s a healthy form of exercise for everyone. Many of you will be content with less vigorous exercise than others, which is fine so long as you are exercising regularly in order to build endurance, burn excess calories and strengthen your cardiovascular system.
Lesson 97 – Devising A Lifestyle That Includes Vigorous Activity
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Informal Exercise
- 3. Formal Exercise
- 4. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Exercise: A Hygienic Perspective By Ralph C. Cinque, D.C.
- Article #2: Exercise: What Most Of Us Forget
- Article #3: Jogging And Other Vigorous Exercise
- Article #4: Hiking Is More Than Just Exercise By Marti Wheeler
- Article #5: Developing Your Arms