Daily Exercise

by Celeste Lee

The human body may be compared to a well adjusted machine which must have care in order for it to run well. In the last two lessons the benefits from sunshine and open air were reviewed. Exercise in the sunshine and open air is a necessary ingredient for the body to maintain health as well as return to optimum health.






The body is made up of cells. Cells in turn make up tissues and tissues in turn make up the organs of the body. Every function carried on by the body is directly related to the life of the cells. Each muscle in the body is made up of individual muscle cells. Since all cells require energy to function, any movement by these muscle cells requires energy. All cells use amino acids and fatty acids combined with a glucose and oxygen to make energy. Amino acids come from protein and fatty acids come from fats while glucose comes from sugar and oxygen from the air we breathe. Thus for the muscle cells to function they need a sufficient amount of acids, glucose and oxygen. The more energy the muscle cells burn due to exercise the more acids, glucose, and oxygen is needed to allow the cells to continue moving in exercise.

Oxygen can only be supplied to the muscles through the red blood cells. When muscles are being used in exercise, the heart must pump more blood through the body to supply the need for extra oxygen. This in turn, causes the lungs to be expanded to fill the need of oxygen required by the red blood cells. Therefore increased heart rate and rapid breathing are the result of proper exercise.


Cells require oxygen to create energy




Leviticus 17:11 says, "The life of the flesh is in the blood." What is in the blood constitutes life. If there is life in the blood, but bad circulation, the entire system cannot receive the life it needs. Each cell in the body requires nourishment from nutrients and cleansing from its own wastes, to be healthy. Nutrients are delivered to each cell through the blood stream and in turn the wastes are picked up by the blood and deposited in the eliminating organs. Thus we can understand the statement, "Perfect health depends upon perfect circulation." 2 Testimonies, p. 531. 'The more active the circulation the more free from obstructions and impurities will be the blood." Healthful Living, p. 178.


Circulation cleanses and supplies nutrition




Due to the fact that the muscles are requiring more oxygen to create energy the body naturally increases the amount of oxygen inhaled. The heart rate increases as it pumps the blood, which moves faster now, through the system to supply the necessary oxygen to each muscle. Thus the circulation of the blood is greatly increased. This increase in circulation has a two fold benefit to the body. First, an abundant supply of oxygen is taken not only to the muscles, but to every part of the system. And second, the blood is circulated through the eliminating organs at a much greater amount, thus resulting in an increase in the elimination of the body's wastes. Both of these are essential for good health and healing.


How exercise increases circulation




Exercise benefits the whole system, but let us notice in what ways the heart and lungs are especially benefited from daily exercise. This type of exercise is called cardiopulmonary exercise. (What is involved in cardiopulmonary exercise will be shown later.)

1) It increases the stroke volume, the amount of blood
pumped with each heart beat.

2) It decreases the pulse rate, thereby giving the heart more time to rest between beats.

3) It decreases one's risk of death in the event of a heart attack.

4) The lungs are expanded and thus strengthened to supply fresh oxygen to the entire system.


Benefits to heart and lungs




Perhaps the most important benefit is that of increased circulation. Other benefits realized by the whole body due to the increase of circulation are:

1) The liver, kidneys, and lungs will be strengthened to perform their work.

2) Exercise invigorates the mind.

3) Digestion is aided, a diseased stomach is relieved, and the bowels are strengthened for correct elimination.

4) Impurities are expelled from the system.

5) The skin expels impurities that otherwise would have to be expelled by the excretory organs, and the skin is given a healthy glow.


Benefits received due to increased circulation




In what ways can one exercise to receive the best benefits for restoration of the body to health? The most important results from exercise are realized when the exercise is in combination with the first two laws of health, sunshine and open air. Almost every time the Spirit of Prophecy mentions one of these laws, another is listed with it, if not both of them. "Outdoor life is the only remedy that many invalids need...How glad they would be to sit in the open air, rejoice in the sunshine, and breathe the fragrance of tree and flower...For those who are able to work, let some pleasant, easy employment be provided." Ministry of Healing, p. 264. Here all three aspects are listed as the most helpful remedies for the invalid.


Outdoor exercise best




What is the best exercise? "There is NO exercise that can take the place of walking. By it the circulation of the blood is greatly improved. Walking, in all cases where it is possible, is the best remedy for diseased bodies, because in this exercise ALL THE ORGANS OF THE BODY ARE BROUGHT INTO USE." 3 Testimonies, p. 78. "A walk, even in winter, would be more beneficial to the health than all the medicine the doctors may prescribe. There will be increased vitality, which is so necessary to health." 2 Testimonies, p. 529. "There is no exercise that will prove as beneficial to every part of the body as walking. Walking is also one of the most efficient remedies for the recovery of health of the invalid." Healthful Living, p. 130.


Walking is the best exercise




The other method of exercising that Heaven approves of is useful labor.
In the world today people go to great lengths to get exercise. They participate in sports, go to gyms, invest in expensive machines, and many other things. But God has given us a guideline by which to know the proper, approved exercise. "Physical exercise in the direction of useful labor has a happy influence upon the mind, strengthens the muscles, improves the circulation, and gives the invalid the satisfaction of knowing how much he can endure." Counsels on Health, p. 199. "Useful labor that affords physical exercise will often have a more beneficial influence upon the mind, while at the same time it will strengthen the muscles, improve the circulation, and prove a powerful agent in the recovery of health." Counsels on Health, p. 627.


Exercise through useful labor




One last point to be made is stressing the importance of cardiopulmonary exercise. This is when the pulse rate is raised and kept up for at least twenty minutes. The safe level of the pulse rate is determined by subtracting the person's age from 200. The pulse should not exceed this amount per minute to be on the safe side. Of course, an invalid, or sick person will not have the strength to achieve this at once. This is a goal to be worked toward that will give the most benefit to the entire system.

In the use of these three remedies—sunshine, open air, and exercise—healing will result. We can trust to God's Plan.


Cardiopulmonary exercise










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