8 Laws of Natural Health:
E X E R C I S E
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Genesis 2:15.
When God created Adam and Eve He gave to them employment, which was to dress and keep their "garden home." In this activity He designed that by working about their "garden home," Adam and Eve would exercise in the pure air, in the beauty of nature, and in the warmth of the sun's golden rays. We can learn alot as we study the Eden model which will enlighten our understanding of the Creator's design and purpose for humanity. This work was to strengthen their bodies, and while occupied with daily tasks, the mind was to further develop and expand as they studied nature. God had also designed that the first couple should learn lessons hidden in nature, which would reveal to them the character and purposes of God. This, in turn, would develop character in them. After sin entered in, God stated that, "In the sweat of thy face thou shall eat bread…." Genesis. 3:19. Man's need for exercise must have increased with the downfall of sin in his life.
Exercise -- It Does A Body Good!
It was the design of the Creator that exercise in His pure fresh air, golden sunshine and beauty of nature would uplift man, physically, mentally, and spiritually. He did not fail in His attempt! Have you ever climbed a mountain and stood on the summit? Remember how you felt after the strenuous climb as you viewed the valley below? Or during an evening stroll on the beach at sunset as you viewed the sun gradually sinking into the immense ocean before you? You can thank your Creator for the feelings of peace, happiness, and euphoria that made your spirit soar and brighten your life. If you could have looked inside your body during those moments that you felt to be one with yourself, nature, and God, you would know that it was one of the most healthy experiences of your life. As you walked, your muscles called for more oxygen. Your heart received the command from the brain and increased it's pulsating beat to supply the speed and pressure of fresh oxygenated blood that coursed through the arteries, veins, and thousands of little capillaries. New life flowed into billions of cells, which nourished, cleansed, and repaired them.
Remember the wood stove analogy that we used in chapter one? When we exercise it is like opening the air vents and damper, which allows the wood to burn faster and hotter. This action also cleans out the carbon buildup in the stove pipes, keeping the chimney cleaner and safer.
Major Benefits Of Exercise:
- Tones the muscles, improves metabolism and digestion, and expels body waste and impurities.
- Improves oxygenation of the cells. One of the causes of sickness, disease, and premature aging, is lack of oxygen in our cells!
- Blood circulation is increased, the heart is strengthened, and through daily exercise the stroke volume, the amount of blood pumped, increases. The pulse rate decreases, giving the heart longer rests between beats, increasing life span. This greatly improves one's health, and decreases one's risk of heart attack and disease.
- The lungs expand and strengthen, thereby giving greater volume of fresh air to the blood.
- All the internal organs, will function better. Digestion will be aided, and this in turn will increase cell nutrition.
- Exercise and fresh oxygen will invigorate the brain, which will enhance the mind. We will feel better, think better, and hopefully, act better by God's grace. Endorphins and hormones are released that will give us a sense of well being and euphoria. This will also give us greater natural ability to deal with stress. I have found that following the eight laws of health, along with long walks in nature, prayer, and trusting in God's promises, to be the only formula I need to control stressful situations.
- IThe skin will be toned up as the cells are repaired and cleansed by receiving ample oxygen and nutrients. This will give increased vitality and a radiant appearance. If you want to look good, exercise is a real beauty aid.
- The body's ability to eliminate waste and impurities is enhanced by exercise. Increased blood circulation will deposit waste more efficiently in our four organs of elimination: kidneys, bowels, lungs, and skin. Have you ever tried to start a wood stove with a chimney plugged with soot? It doesn't burn well, and so it is with us if impurities are not leaving our system. Our skin is responsible for eliminating about one third of our body waste. When we exercise we sweat, pores are opened, and dead cells, waste matter, and impurities are discharged along with water.
- Exercise prevents disease, such as cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and aging. A daily exercise program practiced in one's life can greatly help in preventing or curing osteoporosis. Exercise becomes even more important as we grow older and the body starts to wear out. A greater effort must then be put forth to combat the effects of aging.
- Our immune system is strengthened and enhanced by daily exercise. The lymphatic system is helped in its circulation of the lymph fluid by 5 to 15 times during vigorous exercise.
Types Of Exercise:
"The labour of the righteous tendeth to life…." "And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God." Proverbs 10:16; Ecclesiastes 3:13.
Manual Labor--This type of exercise not only has positive health benefits, but we can accomplish many useful tasks in doing it. Our first parents were given the work of keeping and dressing their "Garden Home." One of the best forms of labor and exercise is gardening. I have found so much peace, satisfaction, enjoyment, and reward in working with nature. No matter how stressful my day may be, when I work in our garden, my body and mind finds rest and re-creation.
Walking--Earlier we depicted hiking up a scenic mountain or walking on a beach at sunset. Somehow, our Creator designed that when we combine nature and exercise we receive our greatest health benefits. Walking will burn about 90 to 100 calories per mile, and even more for uphill treks. By walking daily we can increase our oxygen volume to that of a person 10 to 15 years younger than ourselves, thus delaying the aging process.
Millions of people have found that walking daily is good for both their health and mental attitude. A recent study by the Honolulu Heart Program reveals just how good walking is. This study of 707 non-smoking men was started in 1980 and concluded in 1994. Their ages ranged from 61 to 81, with an average age of 69 years. During this study 208 men died and after adjustments were made, it was found that those men who walked less than a mile a day had a death rate of more than twice that of men who walked two or more miles a day. This study also found that those who walked over two miles per day decreased their risk of cancer by two and a half times over those who walked under one mile a day.
Other Forms of Exercise--Just as walking and hiking are extremely beneficial forms of exercise, other methods of outdoor activity are also very productive in maintaining good health. Some of these activities would include, running or jogging, bicycling and swimming. Many have enjoyed the benefits of running 30 minutes to an hour or more several days a week, however, others have succombed to joint pain from the jarring from this activity. Bicycling, depending upon the pace, is an excellent activity, benefiting the cardiovascular system, the lungs, and toning many muscle groups in the upper and lower body, while enjoying the beauties of nature, the sunshine and the open air. Bicycling, along with walking and hiking, is an activity that can be enjoyed the entire life, well up into the senior years.
Daily exercise has been shown to be an excellent way to slow down the effects of aging and to enhance one's quality of life, especially as one grows older! New England Journal of Medicine, 1998;94-99
Our Lord is a very kind and merciful Creator and He knows what is best for us both spiritually and physically. The sun is a free gift to us from Him and we need to know how to use it for the greatest benefit. Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun. Ecclesiastes 11:7.
Much of this article was extracted from an article by Dr. Michael Casey and Ashley Cunningham, Our Creator's Plan for Excellent Health, www.pathwaytoeden.com