Living is actually a struggle for fresh air. Keep the vast surface of the organism supplied with fresh air, and also observe all the other health rules, and there is no reason known to science why you should ever die.” — Prof. J. S. Haldane, English Astronomer
Ok. Here we go again. Responses to the last article which dwelt on exercises have been tremendous and a bit overwhelming. Thank you to all who sent emails, made telephone calls or met me personally to ask questions, make comments and seek clarifications. I really appreciate all of these efforts. And to reciprocate and answer the avalanche of questions that flooded my mail box, this sequel is dedicated to haldanes answering these very important and crucial issues plus new revelations.
For How Long Must I Exercise Daily?
From these responses and reactions, I have come to a realization that a lot of people are in a hurry to improve their overall health and physical well being but some are not willing to put in the desired effort, or have the patience to understand what is to be done, to achieve the best results; even when the instructions are clearly given. Some of them just want “magic” pills or solutions. Consequently, in the process of trying to rush things, they overlook or ignore vital information which is staring them right in the face; but is necessary to achieve their desired goal.
So it was that in the last one month, the questions of “For how long must I exercise?” and “Must I exercise for one hour in order to be healthy?” kept cropping up. It is clear therefore, that some individuals missed the point that was being made concerning the duration for exercising. It will now be clarified by expatiating on this and other sundry issues.
In Part One: “Exercise – How To Strengthen Your Body And Improve Your Health”, under the sub-heading “Tips for Chronic Non-exercisers”, you will find the following passage which has been reproduced here for the benefit of those who are reading this series of articles for the first time:
“Thirdly, if you have been certified fit to start an exercise programme or that you have considered it safe and proper to introduce same in your regimen, then you should take this precautionary step: Start Slowly.
This means, whatever exercise programme you choose, should be introduced in a methodical, sustained and timely manner. No half-hazard or half-hearted attitudes will work. You must be disciplined and keep a definite time schedule. Start with a five to ten minutes period of exercising in the first few days, in order to “test the waters” and confirm your ability to go through the programme. Make adjustments that may become necessary.
If everything goes well, by the end of the first week, you will have been able to determine your “threshold point” and whether or not to increase the time duration for exercising. It is not uncommon for many people who started out on this “ten minute” recommendation, doing a “one to two hour work-out” by the end of the first month.”
Surprisingly, these six important points regarding duration of exercise which answer their questions and stated clearly in the above passage, were either ignored or overlooked. These are:
If you have been certified fit to start an exercise programme;
Take this precautionary step: Start Slowly;
Start with a five to ten minutes period of exercising;
Make adjustmentsthat may become necessary;
Determine your “threshold point”; and
Whether or not to increase the time duration for exercising.
Instead, they were basing their entire understanding of the recommendations on the last sentence which pointed out that: “It is not uncommon for many people who started out on this “ten minute” recommendation, doing a “one to two hour work-out” by the end of the first month.”
That was reading the passage out of context. That many people are able to increase their “threshold point” from ten minutes to one or two hours does not mean it is the ultimate for everyone to achieve. Every individual is different; some are perfectly okay and fine, doing just five minutes everyday but on a consistent and continuous basis. While others just enjoy the longer exercise hauls. There are no static or “hard and fast” rules about this. It is very flexible and must be tailored or customized to meet each individual circumstance or situation.
As an example, you should not expect an injured athlete who regularly exercises for two to three hours while practicing, before his injury, to start jumping and stretching for one hour while recuperating. That will cause him more harm than good. What he may start doing, on his doctor’s advice, will be to just take a two to five minutes guided walk around the clinic or wherever he is. And as his condition improves, the duration of the walks are increased, then other helpful exercise programmes are introduced until he finally finds his usual rhythm.
My reason for including that observation in that article was to encourage those who have the capacity and ability to do so, not to default to laziness because of the “initial recommencement pain”. Remember also I was directing that passage at “chronic non-exercisers”. It is always best to re-read an article or book in order to fully understand the salient points being made in it.
So What Do I Recommend?
Every person has to determine his or her “threshold point”. Meaning, if a five or ten minute duration is what you can endure, and it makes you feel healthier and stronger, then stick with it; but be consistent and persevering to maintain the tempo and benefits. If you have a larger capacity and can stay up longer, doing a one-hour stretch, then go ahead. But if along the way, there is need to cut back on the length or duration of exercise time, don’t hesitate or be ashamed to do so. Because then the body may be sending you a warning signal that either you have “overdone it” or something “needs to be corrected” in relation to your overall health.
Important Note: Lest I forget, please take note that the most important factor in exercising is whether you are doing the correct or recommended exercise tailored to meet your needs and condition; and if you are doing it correctly. The issue of how long or short you should do it comes in only when determining your “threshold point”.
For those who don’t know their “threshold point”, here is an important guiding principle to determine whether you should increase or decrease your exercise time.
If you feel stronger, healthier, happier and more relaxed; not just immediately after the exercise, but well into your day handling other routines and chores quite well and stress-free, then try to establish that as your “threshold point”. Exercising should make you feel better all round and not worse.
If on the other hand, you realize that exercising for longer periods makes you weak, tired, lethargic, generally run-down and unable to effectively carry on the day’s duties, then there will be a need to re-access your situation. First, did you confirm from your healthcare provider, and were you certified fit to undergo the exercise programme, before you started? Where there some restrictions on what you must or must not do? Brain-storm and ask all the relevant questions, contact whoever you are sure will give you the right answers that will be helpful to you.
If a doctor or healthcare provider’s recommendation is hurting you or inimical to your health, you have the right to question it and or ask for an explanation, a very good reason, a clear and unambiguous fact why you must continue to follow his or her prescription. Speak out loud lest you die in silence due to wrong diagnosis and wrong prescriptions. It is your life and it is your duty to protect it from harm – from within and from without.
The “exercise prescription” must not be abused, misused or misinterpreted. If unsure of what to do, please always ask someone who knows and from a reliable source. That brings me to the next very important point and secret about exercise.
Why Do You I Have To Exercise At All?
Whenever I am asked this question, the discourse really becomes very interesting and practical. Ready? Here we go.
Calm down, pause for a moment and take a deep breath in, hold it for a while and then breathe out. Did you notice anything? And are you sure you were breathing in the correct way that you ought to breathe in and out? Do you recall your primary school teacher commanding you to “breathe in . . . breathe out”? And the way he or she asked you to do it? Well, think!
Do you know if you have been programmed to be doing the wrong thing all along, these several years, from such an early age, and you assumed quite ignorantly that it was correct? Can this and its effect on your health be now reversed? Just think about it and reflect. More on that later.
Okay! Let me now briefly call your attention to something that you have just overlooked or glossed over without really considering its relevance or importance. Very few people take note of the “primer” (the quotation at the beginning of an article) which is always the “clue” or part of the answer to the “jigsaw puzzle” in the body of the article. It is the starting point to answer your question, why you have to exercise at all.
Now, go the very beginning of this article, right at the top, and see what Professor J. S. Haldane, an English Astronomer has to say. He declared that:
“Living is actually a struggle for fresh air. Keep the vast surface of the organism supplied with fresh air, and also observe all the other health rules, and there is no reason known to science why you should ever die.”
Powerful! That is a very powerful and revealing statement. So what has this got to do with exercise and being disease-free, especially to be malaria-free? A lot, my friend. It contains the SECRET.
Think . . . That Is The Starting Point . . . Think!
Just think about it again for a moment. You may survive a few days without food or water but cannot survive a few moments without fresh air or oxygen. Remember also that water is primarily composed of oxygen. You ought to also know that your body is composed of seventy-five percent water. And the fire you need to cook your food requires adequate amount of oxygen to burn well. All put together, you then realize that the most important health resource you need to survive is oxygen; which is freely available to you in the form of fresh air.
If the several millions of people who get sick or die every year due to dirty and polluted environment realize this fact of life, they will not need anyone to tell them to keep their surroundings clean and unpolluted – internally and externally. For example, malaria is a disease of unbridled filth and pollution, and the people are virtually “swimming” in them, yet the “experts” want you to believe that the mosquito is to be blamed. The mosquito is just a victim of circumstance in this case. Let’s get back to why “fresh air” or oxygen is vitally important for exercise.
Now that you have come to understand and appreciate the value of oxygen to your health, will it be too much to ask you to ensure that when you breathe in or exercise, you take in the maximum amount of oxygen into your lungs as they have been naturally designed and equipped to? The simple form of exercise helps to increase the amount of oxygen that is available for your body’s use. Apart from helping to loosen your rusted body “nuts” and “screws”, exercise will help stimulate the more efficient functioning of your vital organs.
Here is a classic example of what a simple deep-breathing and stretching exercise can do for a person who is suffering from constipation.
Mrs. R. noticed over several years that her ability to attend nature’s call every morning; has reduced. She eats well, but may not go to the toilet for several days to pass a stool. In desperation, she resorted to using various kinds of laxatives (gotten from friends’ advice) after her regular doctor’s prescriptions didn’t quite fix the problem. As you can guess, when one stops working, she switches to the next “recommended” one.
Then the medications started to have a toll on her entire life, including her job, family and finances. She became frequently sick of other complaints, and it wasn’t long before “external forces” were being blamed for her offering. That faulty reasoning also brought into the scene, some very unusual but “popular” approaches among our people, to try to resolve the matter. It was when all these attempts have failed, that “commonsense” returned and she then thought of a natural and holistic approach.
A comprehensive case-taking was done and the “wicked invisible culprits” who were “tormenting” her found. The only treatment she got to resolve her problem of constipation and cure all her other complaints were: deep-breathing and stretching exercise plus a correction in her diet. No laxatives were given, nor any antibiotics recommended.
First it looked like a child’s play when I told her to try to remember her primary school days to figure out the exercises she was told to do as at that time. Then she was shown the correct way to breathe in and out. It was also discovered that she had a lot of dietary indiscretions, which aggravated her condition. A correction was also made in this regard.
The combination of deep-breathing (done in the correct way) and simple stretching exercises dramatically improved her bowel movement within two weeks. The dietary correction was the “icing on the cake”. This case was in 2001. From that time till today, Mrs. R. goes to toilet once or twice a day, and she does not need any laxatives, enemas or antibiotics. She learnt her lesson the hard way and does not need to be reminded on what to do in order to remain healthy with all her vital organs functioning at optimal level. She knows and realizes that a simple exercise routine, done regularly and consistently is all that it takes to achieve success in good health.
It Is Time For You To Take Action
We must pause here to give you the chance to digest and put into practice all that has been said and what you have learnt. You can learn a lot more about the connection between Exercise and the prevention, treatment, cure and eradication of malaria by reading “The Real Causes And Cure Of MALARIA – Second Edition. You are now well on your way to strengthen your body, improve your health and eradicate malaria from your life and our World.
In the concluding piece on Exercises, which is Part Three, a masterly combination of humor, wit and practical experiences have been distilled and synchronized to highlight a very powerful fact and revelation; a secret which until now, lay hidden in the “archive of universal knowledge”. It is “The Secret Science Behind Exercise”. You will get to know something that the “experts” will never tell you, and that is if they even know it at all. You will also discover why some exercises or the way you do them will help to heal you; while others or the way you do them, if you are not careful, can actually hurt or kill you in a way you least imagine. Watch out for it.