My wife, Mary, and I were speaking at a church in Texas, giving our presentation on the Seven Pillars of Health, and afterward, a man in his early 30s came up to me. He must have weighed 450 pounds. He said he had been on bed rest for years because of some kind of infection. Now the infection was gone, but he was having trouble regaining his health. Just by looking at him, I could tell he had reached a place of lymphatic stasis—stagnation—so extreme that his legs had blown up to huge proportions. He was so full of toxins that his body was literally bulging with them.
He asked what I thought his problem might be—why he had gained so much weight and why he felt so unhealthy. I told him it was most likely because he hadn't stirred his waters with exercise.
For many people, exercise is the most difficult part of healthy living. Even people who are paid to be physically fit slack off. Public servants whose job it is to "serve and protect" others especially need to be fit, because someone's life may depend on it. In one community, a city ordinance was passed that said doughnut shops were off limits to police officers on duty because they were spending too much time there, and it showed in their waistlines. I once treated a police officer who weighed more than 300 pounds. The excess weight and lack of exercise were not only putting his life in jeopardy, but they were also jeopardizing anyone he might have been called on to rescue.
The Case for Exercise
Stirring the waters with exercise is essential for you to prevent bodily stagnation, which is why exercise is our fourth pillar of health. We saw earlier that our bodies are approximately two-thirds water. Think of what happens when water sits for a long time in a cup, puddle or pond. It eventually gets covered with slime and gunk, breeds disease and becomes toxic. Think of those green algae-covered ponds you see when you drive through the country. That process is similar to what's going on in many people's bodies.
On the other hand, when water moves, life thrives. Running water is usually fresh water. Rivers and waterfalls are beautiful and inviting—alive. That's a perfect picture of what exercise does. It refreshes your body and clears it of toxins and cellular garbage, sharpening your mind and giving you strength and energy.
In ancient times, people of the Bible lived in action and motion. They didn't call it exercise, but that's what it was. People did heavy manual labor and usually walked wherever they needed to go.
Jesus did heavy manual labor as a carpenter. From the time He was 5 until the age of 30, it's very likely that He walked at least 18,000 miles just on the three annual pilgrimages from Galilee to Jerusalem (see John 5:1-7).
Adding up the total miles Jesus walked during His life would be at least 21,595 miles; the distance around the world at the equator is 24,901.55 miles.
Bodies in Motion
Consider again that your body is mostly water. There are many references in the Bible that associate flowing water with life and healing. The Gospel of John tells about the crippled people who waited at the pool of Bethesda because they believed an angel would occasionally stir the waters, healing whomever got into the pool at that moment (John 5). To them, life was symbolized by the movement of the water.
When water moves, things grow and thrive. On the other hand, dead things are commonly associated with stagnant bodies of water. The Dead Sea in Israel is a good example. Nothing can survive and thrive in it except for microscopic bacteria, viruses and other microbes.
Exercise is the remedy to prevent death and stir the waters of life in our bodies. If you are one of those people who uses the Bible to excuse your sedentary lifestyle, that excuse is now gone. It's time to take your health into your own hands and stir the waters of life with exercise.
This article is an excerpt from The Seven Pillars of Health by Don Colbert, M.D. Copyright 2007, Don Colbert.
Don Colbert, M.D., is board-certified in family practice and anti-aging medicine. He has also received extensive training in nutritional and preventative medicine, and he has helped millions of people to discover the joy of living in divine health. In addition to speaking at conferences, he is the author of the best-sellers Toxic Relief, Stress Less, the Bible Cure series, Living in Divine Health, Deadly Emotions and What Would Jesus Eat? He has sold more than 4 million books and treated over 30,000 patients.
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