“I’m too busy to eat.”
“Sleep? Who has time for that?”
“I try to take a bath or shower on the weekends. I’ve got too much work to do during the rest of the week.”
You won’t hear people talk like this. Eating, sleeping, and bathing are all part of the normal person’s daily lifestyle. Yet 63% of all Americans do not take part in another regular activity that’s just as vital to our well-being and health—exercising!
Exercise is not a daily part of most people’s lives. And that’s very strange, especially when you consider that over 90% of all adults agree that proper diet and regular exercising would do more to improve health than anything that physicians or medicines could do for us (or to us).
Why isn’t exercising more popular? Well for one thing, exercise requires some hard work, a little time, and a good measure of self-discipline. You have to make room in your life for exercise and vigorous activity.
Once you put daily exercise into your life, the rest is easy. The difficult part is to first devise a lifestyle that includes vigorous activity. That is what this lesson is all about—how to develop a lifestyle for yourself or for your clients that includes regular exercise and daily vigorous activity.
1.1 What Is Vigorous Activity?
Almost everybody is active throughout the day. Performing our normal chores, doing our work and running errands, even simply sitting and reading requires a certain level of activity. Even in sleep, the body is still active, tossing and turning, using up to 60 calories per hour in this reduced metabolism.
Yet vigorous activity is needed by our lungs, our circulatory system, our muscles and nerves for optimum health. Otherwise, we become sluggish. Bodily functions are impaired, the health of the organs deteriorates, and we suffer from poor sleep, digestive problems, constipation, and poor posture.
Vigorous activity is different from normal activity in that it makes our entire body work, strive, grow, and vibrate. It makes our breath quicken, our pulse race, and our heart pound. In short, it makes us feel alive.
1.2 Is Exercise Unnatural?
Thousands of years ago, there was no such thing as “exercise” or calisthenics or daily workouts. Life for primitive man was one of continual vigorous activity. He climbed trees for fruit, migrated 25 to 50 miles per day during the seasonal changes, and did a fair share of sprinting, running, and swimming just to avoid wild animals and his enemies.
Daily life was full of “exercising” for our ancestors, and their bodies remained supple, lean, and strong from just responding to the constant demands of survival and living out in the open twenty-four hours a day.
So you see, exercise is unnatural. If man himself led a purely natural life, unfettered by the demands of civilization, he would receive a full range of vigorous activity that would keep the body in superior health. However, almost no one on this planet today has such a pristine existence. We sleep in buildings at night, “gather” our foods from supermarket bins, and ride in an automobile to a job that requires us to sit at a desk for most of our waking hours.
As Dr. Herbert M. Shelton has observed, “Some people often urge that the normal activities of life should supply all the exercise needed after maturity is reached. The reply is that the activities of civilized life are not normal.”
Still, many people scoff at the idea that they might need daily periods of vigorous activity. They still see exercise or jogging or weight-lifting as something artificial, unnatural, or abnormal. The real reason for their mistrust of exercise may be far simpler, however.
“It is often contended,” writes Dr. Shelton, “that formal exercises are unnatural or abnormal, hence, of no benefit. But there is no difference between the contraction of a muscle in formal exercise and its contraction in what we may designate as primitive activities of life. There is no such thing as artificial contraction of a muscle. No exercise using spontaneous movements, whether in primitive activities or formal exercise, can be called artificial or unnatural. The objection to exercise seems to be the
expression of that laziness that stems from a lack of vigor, the very vigor that exercise provides for.”
Still, people resist the idea of devising a lifestyle that includes vigorous activity. As you deal with your clients and friends, you may hear an all-too common excuse: “I don’t need to exercise because my job or my daily work provides me with all the activity I need.”
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