Unification News for May 1996
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Over the last ten years or so, I have noticed a rather troubling development in the physique of quite a few Unificationists. We used to be a movement of slim, trim, almost athletic, people. Now I see many familiar faces residing on top of bodies with increasingly bulging waistlines. Part of the reason surely lies in the unhealthy eating habits of many Unificationists and the accumulation of waste products in their bodies. It is for that reason that over the last 8 months I have shared with you my Internal Cleansing and Food Combining Program. It has given a new lease on life, abundantly lived, to so many people around the country and overseas as well.
This month, however, I want to focus on another aspect that many Unificationists are ignoring: EXERCISE!
In a recent article I spoke about the lymph system and how it is responsible for the nourishment of internal organs and the removal of waste products from the body. I stressed, that the lymph system lacks one important aspect of the circulatory system"a pump. Whereas blood is pumped through our arteries and veins by the heart, the lymph fluid moves only by means of massage and especially exercise.
As a nation we are crazy about sports"as long as it does not involve moving our bodies beyond changing TV channels. The cost to us as a nation? Billions and billions of dollars are lost due to ailments, beyond mere weight gain, that could be easily avoided by regular exercise. Studies have shown that a mere 20 minutes of extra activity per day can reduce an individual's risk of heart disease by 50%! Studies, however, also show that 60 percent of Americans are sedentary and that we are a nation of excuse-makers. We are ""too tired, too busy, and too lazy," says a report by the President's Council on Physical Fitness. One of our favorite excuses is to say that aging simply brings with it unavoidable health problems. I pointed out before that this is simply not so. Rev. Moon is going on 80 years, but who can keep up with him? Having a strong spirit is not the only reason why he can be so active.
A study in Colorado showed that active women in their 60's had the same total heart output (heart beat per minutes, amount of blood pumped, and total blood volume) as active women in their 20's! Sedentary women in their 60's, however, were a sorry lot in comparison. Women can suffer a lot from PMS. A moderate exercise program has been shown to help alleviate a number of symptoms associated with it.
Diabetes is ravaging an ever increasing percentage of American adults. A study from Hawaii suggests that opening the door to a health club may be just as important as closing the door to your refrigerator. Adult onset, or Type II, diabetes occurs primarily in adults over the age of 40. Over a 30-year period, the folks in Hawaii discovered that sedentary adults had more than twice the rate of diabetes than their active counterparts.
I wonder; are Unificationists now like the rest of America? Whatever happened to mind-body unity? Please don't think that you have to engage in strenuous exercise until your body is drenched in sweat in order to gain health benefits. Not at all. Last year, a seven-year study finally was concluded with the announcement that men who are regularly active in household chores, including mowing the lawn and taking walks, significantly lowered their risk of heart disease. Imagine, getting healthier and improving marital relations all at once. So take some brisk walks. That is what I have been doing for quite a few years. I get up early in the morning and drive to a nearby park where I walk for 45 to 60 minutes. You may say that you don't have that much time. Then try a shorter walk and combine your walk with morning service. I had some of my best prayer experiences while walking through a beautiful park, in the early morning hours, surrounded by God's creation. I believe that we can agree that prayer does not have to take place by kneeling in the prayer room.
How is your blood pressure? If it's too high Exercise. About 20% of all Americans have high blood pressure. Blood pressure medication is quite expensive and has some pretty nasty side effects including exhaustion and sexual dysfunction. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that over a 8 month period, blood pressure dropped by about 5 points in adults who exercised, but rose by 2 points in adults that took blood pressure medication and did not exercise. Exercise may not bring your level down to where it should be, but it most certainly will help.
Physicians at an international symposium in Ulm, Germany, called on people who live in high rise buildings to use the stairs rather than taking the elevator. One of the participants, had this to say: "It is plainly life threatening to just sit on the sofa and drink beer." He may have been addressing the average German soccer fan, but you can judge your own situation in light of his remark. One other very serious point of discussion during the symposium dealt with the sedentary lifestyle of an ever growing number of children. Children used to spend a lot of time outdoors, running around. Now, many opt for imitating their parents (shall I say dads) by spending too much time in front of the tube, which has been shown to lead to a buildup of aggression. Some studies found that overweight in adolescence is a predictor for problems with arthritis later in life.
The list goes on and on. People with weakened immune systems become healthier when they exercise, insomniacs sleep better when they start exercising while they are awake (remember, it's not a matter of exhaustion,) and amazingly enough, when people with certain emotional problems start exercising, they show an increased ability to better deal with their problems.
Of course, if you suffer from any serious ailment, start an exercise regimen under the supervision of your family doctor.
To sum it all up: If you want to live longer and live better EXERCISE.
"Evil people resist the awareness of their own condition. A mark of the spiritually advanced is their awareness of their own laziness."
Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled)
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