"In order for the brain to have clearness and strength of thought retentive memory, and mental power, the muscles of the body should have exercise a portion of each day in order to preserve and improve health." The Health Reformer, March 1, 1873. (Ellen White)
"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." Counsels on Health, pg. 552.
"The chief if not the only reason why many become invalids is that the blood does not circulate freely, and the changes in the vital fluid, which are necessary to life and health, do not take place. They have not given their bodies exercise not their lungs food, which is pure, fresh air, therefore it is impossible for the blood to be vitalized., and it pursues its course sluggish through the system. The more we exercise, the better will be the circulation of the blood. More people die for want of exercise than through over -fatigue; very man more rust out than wear out. Those who accustom themselves to proper exercise in the open air, will generally have a good and vigorous circulation. We are more dependent upon the air we breathe than upon the food we eat. Men and women, young and old, who desire health and who would enjoy active life, should remember that they cannot have these without a good circulation. Whatever their business and inclinations are, they should make up their minds to exercise in the open air as much as they can." (Ellen White).
"God designed that the living machinery should be in daily activity. For in this activity or motion is its preserving power.... The more we exercise, the better will be the circulation of the blood."—Ellen G. White, Healthful Living, pp. 131-132
"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 the diseased bodies, because in this, all of the organs of the body are brought into use."—Ellen G. White,Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 78
"Moderate exercise every day will impart strength to the muscles, which without exercise become flabby and enfeebled."—Ellen G. White,Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 533
"Exercise will aid in the work of digestion. Take a walk after a meal; but no violent exercise after a full meal."—Ellen G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 530
"Morning exercise, walking in the free, invigorating air of heaven, or cultivating flowers, small fruits, and vegetables, is the surest safeguard against colds, coughs, congestion of the brain, inflammation of the liver, the kidneys, and the lungs, and a hundred other diseases."—Ellen G. White, Healthful Living, p. 176-177
Walking, although one of the simplest exercises has several surprising advantages:
1. Walking uses almost all of the body's 206 bones and almost all of the body's 604 muscles.
2. Almost everyone can do it without having to learn new skills.
3. It does not require any expensive equipment.
4. It is easy on the joints.
5. The pace is easy to adjust.
6. It can be done anywhere—from shopping malls to the great outdoors.
7. You can get fresh air and sunshine at the same time if you are walking outside.
8. Walking lends itself to socializing—make walking fun by including family, friends, or your dog.
An inactive body becomes sluggish. For exercise to be effective, it must be progressive, systematic, and habitual. Walking is an excellent form of exercise and can easily be worked into one's schedule.
Regular exercise provides us with stronger hearts and lungs, increases metabolism, better digestion, sound sleep, the elimination of a multitude of physical ailments, and the needed energy to handle stress calmly.
After a Meal
“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.” 2 Testimonies p530.
Not Violent After Eating
“Neither study nor violent exercise should be engaged in immediately after a full meal; this would be a violation of the laws of the system. Immediately after eating there is a strong draught upon the nervous energy….
“Morning exercise, walking in the free, invigorating air of heaven, or cultivating flowers, small fruits, and vegetables, is necessary to a healthful circulation of the blood. It is the surest safeguard against colds, coughs, congestions of the brain, inflammation of the liver, the kidneys, the lungs, and a hundred other diseases.” Health Reformer.
“Not only will the organs of the body be strengthened by exercise, but the mind also will acquire strength and knowledge through the action of these organs.” 3 Testimonies p525.
“If physical exercise were combined with mental exertion, the blood would be quickened in its circulation, the action of the heart would be more perfect, impure matter would be thrown off, and new vigor would be experienced in every part of the body.” 3 Testimonies p490
Walk All Weathers
“When the weather will permit, all who can possibly do so ought to walk in the open air every day, summer and winter...” 2 Testimonies p529.
Mayo Clinic website describes some of the benefits we can experience from a regular brisk walking routine:
● Maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat
● Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes
● Improve cardiovascular fitness
● Strengthen your bones and muscles
● Improve muscle endurance
● Increase energy levels
● Improve your mood, cognition, memory and sleep
● Improve your balance and coordination
● Strengthen immune system
● Reduce stress and tension
Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a longer healthier life.
The physical benefits are great but additionally the mental boost that can be gained from adding a walk to our daily routine may be more immediate. A Stanford University study found that walking increased creative output by an average of 60 percent. The researchers called this type of creativity “divergent thinking,” which they define as a thought process used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. According to the study, “walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”
In addition to the generation of creative ideas the act of walking is also a proven mood booster. Another study found that just 12 minutes of walking resulted in an increase in cheerfulness, vigor, attentiveness and self-confidence versus the same time spent sitting. Walking in nature, specifically, was found to reduce pondering over negative experiences, which increases activity in the brain associated with negative emotions and raises risk of depression.
Ease dull angry feelings
Have you ever had an intense argument with someone and felt so angry you had to just leave the room or building and start walking? Well, it turns out that getting away from that type of situation by walking is actually calming. One study had the participants on a four-week daily walking plan. Not everybody actually walked as much as they were supposed to, however, the participants’ heart rates slowed, and they were feeling less anger and hostility by the end of the fourth week.
Walking not only reduces upset feelings but increases happier moods, too. A study of ethnic minority women encouraged participants to go walking however much they could handle. After just two months, those who walked more felt significantly less depressed. Not only does walking give you time out to think, it also helps you to reflect and clear your mind. Exercise including walking helps to release endorphins and serotonin, which are your body’s natural mood and self-esteem enhancers. Studies have suggested regular walking can also be a great natural way to manage and prevent depression and anxiety.
This might seem odd but walking does make us less tired. Brisk walking, which is an excellent way to exercise, boosts endorphins, which make us feel more energized, and increases oxygen levels in the blood. Some of the best exercises to overcome fatigue are aerobic exercises, which are most effective at increasing oxygen in the blood and boosting energy levels. Aerobic exercises are really the key to building up oxygen levels in the blood. Let’s keep in mind that feeling tired is sometimes from being too sedentary, lazy and bored. Many times when people are fatigued, the last thing they want to do is exercise, but if you’re physically inactive and fatigued, going for a 20 minute brisk walk can change that.
In a study, published in Psychological Bulletin, the researchers analyzed 70 studies on exercise and fatigue involving more than 6,800 people. More than 90% of the studies showed that sedentary people who completed a regular exercise program reported improved fatigue compared to groups that did not exercise.
Researchers say that nearly every group studied from healthy adults, to cancer patients, and those with chronic conditions including diabetes and heart disease, benefited from exercise. The less you move, the more tired you may feel but walking is a simple way to get recharged.
Good for sleep
In a group of older women, walking on the treadmill for 50 minutes one time led to better quality sleep for at least the next two nights. If we make a habit of walking, there are even bigger benefits. Some studies suggest that young adults who walked for about an hour per day for four weeks slept significantly more, had better quality sleep, had fewer sleep problems, and even used fewer sleep medications. According to WebMD exercise will help insomnia, especially morning exercise. The source states that “an hour of stretching and walking daily can help relieve many sleep problems. Women are plagued more by sleep problems, especially women who are overweight and who don’t take hormones after menopause begins”
Several other studies that have looked at the effect of exercise on sleep problems, found that exercise does help older people fall asleep and stay asleep. How much exercise should we get? What time of day, morning or evening, work best? Walking early in the day, for an hour each time, worked wonders in relieving insomnia, according to a new study by The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.