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Counsels on Health

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    Physical Exercise

    [Testimonies for the Church 2:528-533 (1870).]

    Another precious blessing is proper exercise. There are many indolent, inactive ones who are disinclined to physical labor or exercise because it wearies them. What if it does weary them? The reason why they become weary is that they do not strengthen their muscles by exercise, therefore they feel the least exertion. Invalid women and girls are better pleased to busy themselves with light employment, as crocheting, embroidering, or making tatting, than to engage in physical labor. If invalids would recover health, they should not discontinue physical exercise; for they will thus increase muscular weakness and general debility. Bind up the arm and permit it to remain useless, even for a few weeks, then free it from its bondage, and you will discover that it is weaker than the one you have been using moderately during the same time. Inactivity produces the same effect upon the whole muscular system. The blood is not enabled to expel the impurities as it would if active circulation were induced by exercise.CH 52.1

    When the weather will permit, all who can possibly do so ought to walk in the open air every day, summer and winter. But the clothing should be suitable for the exercise, and the feet should be well protected. A walk, even in winter, would be more beneficial to the health than all the medicine the doctors may prescribe. For those who can walk, walking is preferable to riding. The muscles and veins are enabled better to perform their work. There will be increased vitality, which is so necessary to health. The lungs will have needful action; for it is impossible to go out in the bracing air of a winter's morning without inflating the lungs.CH 52.2

    Riches and idleness are thought by some to be blessings indeed. But when some persons have acquired wealth, or inherited it unexpectedly, their active habits have been broken up, their time is unemployed, they live at ease, and their usefulness seems at an end; they become restless, anxious, and unhappy, and their lives soon close. Those who are always busy, and go cheerfully about the performance of their daily tasks, are the most happy and healthy. The rest and composure of night brings to their wearied frames unbroken slumber....CH 53.1

    Exercise will aid the work of digestion. To walk out after a meal, hold the head erect, put back the shoulders, and exercise moderately, will be a great benefit. The mind will be diverted from self to the beauties of nature. The less the attention is called to the stomach after a meal, the better. If you are in constant fear that your food will hurt you, it most assuredly will. Forget self, and think of something cheerful.CH 53.2

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