5. Exercise And Vigorous Purposeful Activity As Life Essentials
Inactivity is characteristic of the nonliving while purposeful activity gives evidence of life. Inactivity other than that needed for rest, relaxation and sleep tends to atrophy our minds and bodies. From infanthood, humans should be involved in numerous activities that develop mental and physical faculties.
Unless we experience vigorous activity in our work, hobby or recreation, a vigorous program of contrived exercises is essential to well-being. Constructive activities that daily exercise most or all the body’s parts are most desirable. Gardening, work and pursuits that involve lifting, stretching, shifting, accelerated breath and pulse are, as a rule, health-building.
Even though we may be involved in activities that develop our muscles and mental acumen, it is still desirable to take brisk walks or runs that build and maintain endurance. The many benefits of running alone are innumerable—they’re still being discovered and catalogued. In short, life is activity and you’ll do well to encourage and foster it in the lives, of those whom you are privileged to touch.
5.1 Vigorous activity as a rejuvenator and fountain of youth factor.
When we examine the vast literature on exercise, we encounter a wealth of evidence that highlights its enormous benefits. Vigorous activity’s role in fitness and well-being could be ranked among the top three essentials of life though, in reality, it is not as vital as many other life factors. But, unless heavy physical activity is a part of an individual’s life, health will be lost and a much shortened life will result. Thus regular and vigorous activity is absolutely essential to healthful living and long life. Without it, neither will be realized.
Dr. Cureton of the Physical Fitness Laboratory of the University of Illinois made perhaps more experiments with exercisers than anyone else. His findings related to the benefits that exercise bestows read like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There are many rewards and everyone can share them, even handicapped persons. Among his many noteworthy contributions to the science of physiology is the discovery that, by the age of 25, the average American has lost 25% of his capillary circulation fitness and, by age 35, 60%. This is tragic, of course. Poor circulation results from lack of usage of musculature. The relatively inactive lives we lead account for this.
Energy and health decline with declining circulation. Poorer sleep, posture, digestion, chronic fatigue, increase in ailments, our disposition and a general decline characterize inactivity. It bears repeating over and over that one must either “be fit or be damned.” It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for an inactive person to be healthy and long-lived.
There is a silver lining to this typical American predicament. Through fasting, proper diet and exercise program, and observance of the other essentials of life appropriately, almost everyone can be rejuvenated unless the powers of life are almost totally lacking.
Perhaps a personal observation is in order. When I was in New York, an associate had a son who was only twelve and tipped the scales at about 180 pounds. I was told this obese boy who stood only five feet five inches tall had two interests in life—eating and watching TV. This boy was shipped to summer camp for two months in the Catskills where he was among over fifty other boys. He was given chores to perform. He was put on a mostly vegetarian diet and permitted only three meals a day. He hiked, ran, played volleyball, baseball and other games vigorously. He did this daily for two months. Can you imagine his parents’ surprise and delight? During these two months, their son increased in height two inches and lost weight down to 130 pounds. He had developed both curricular and athletic interests and wanted to become a professional baseball player. From thereon in life he thrived and today, more than twenty years later, he is a successful businessman who is an superb example of physical fitness.
Most of your clients will be of more advanced years than this but the benefits of exercise can be realized in nearly everyone—they’re just slower in coming. You can be instrumental in rescuing many from a kind of hell of their own making and involving them in vigorous activity will be one of your primary tools.
We are fond of pointing out the immense benefits of fasting. Vigorous activity also yields many salutary benefits and, coupled with fasting and other salubrious practices, will rebuild anyone that has the spark of life still remaining.
To illustrate this, there are cases of retirees who have recharged and rejuvenated themselves. A few years back, an 88-year-old woman entered and finished a marathon, beating out women who were in their forties and fifties! She had not even begun to run until after eighty years of age!
Never underestimate the power of exercise to turn a client’s life around. And of this you can be sure: you’ll meet very few who get enough vigorous physical activity.
5.2 Exercise alone as a healthful activity insufficient
How many articles have you noted of athletes dying of heart conditions, cancer and other problems? There are many. In recent times I’ve read about an 18-year-old star athlete in Bastrop, Texas, dying of a coronary. I’ve read of a football player only 20 years old at Southwest Texas State in San Marcos having serious cancer. I remember the famous coach, Fairchild, of the University of Oklahoma, dying at age 37 of cardiovascular problems. The same thing happened to a professional football player for the Detroit Lions.
These men were extraordinarily fit because of their exercise arid heavy activity. But they were filled through and through with the ravages of chronic toxicosis. While exercise is a very healthful measure, it is not a cure-all for heavy meat-eating, heavy drinking of alcohol or soft drinks, or the use of other toxic fare.
Thus we get warning after warning from physicians to “take it easy” when obviously exercise is required. They often tell us exercise can kill. The truth is that exercise is rejuvenating, life-restoring and life-extending. Persistence in life-destroying dietary and poison habits is what sabotages and kills the body, not constructive habits. At worst, vigorous exercise can be the agency that puts the body to the test which it fails. Chronic toxicosis is the culprit, not the exercise. Other healthful measures must be taken in conjunction with an exercise program.
5.3 Constructive activities that assure long life
Every life essential must be appropriately observed. Some of these life essentials are rather nebulous, especially as they relate to emotional and mental factors.
The basis for healthy emotions and an admirable mental disposition is born of all the other factors of life. The sense of belonging, expression of the creative and procreative urges and security of life are essential to our emotional and mental well-being.
With clients you should search out environmental and social factors that destroy well-being as well as ascertain these that build well-being. Very frequently you’ll find a dearth of influences that build confidence, self-reliance and other attributes of well-being.
You should encourage your clients to develop a hobby. Few pursuits can be as uplifting as organic gardening and orcharding. Not only do they furnish wholesome food, but they also involve the individual in vigorous, creative activity, self-reliance and self-assurance, and they yield a plethora of other benefits.
Encourage your clientele to get deeply involved in some hobby that keeps them physically active, draws upon their creative talents and furnishes them appreciable rewards.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Achieving Natural Life Potential
- 3. Food And Short Or Long Life
- 4. Factors That Shorten Life
- 5. Exercise And Vigorous Purposeful Activity As Life Essentials
- 6. Mental And Emotional Factors In Living A Natural Life Span
- 7. Happiness, Enjoyment And Pleasure As Factors In Realizing Life Potential
- 8. Questions & Answers