In Part 1 of this series, I talked about how to use your body. Part 2 is all about how living with your body in line with nature is natural. Out of line with nature, you get sick. You can remedy most sicknesses by bringing your body back in line with nature and your nature.
Your body is made for activity. If there’s nothing to do, you don’t need a body. Then you can be a disembodied spirit floating about in the ‘ethers.’ No matter how well you eat, inactivity breaks down your body, and activity builds it up.
You already know that you need a body for physical actions. We’re always schlepping stuff from here to there and back again. Externally, you walk, run, jump and dance. You fight, flee and withdraw from danger. You explore. You build and tear down. You meet, sniff, embrace, mate and raise offspring. Internally, the body’s ‘doing’ includes building, maintaining and repairing all cells, tissues, glands, organs and systems. And it includes your thinking, musing, and speaking.
You can’t be incessantly active. Taking care of your body requires a balance between doing and resting. During times of rest and recovery, life rebuilds and heals your body. In addition to rest, you need sleep, for physical healing and for integrating the events of your day in a way that maintains the coherence of your personality. Recovery, rest and sleep are necessary.
Optimized intake of essential nutrients (18 minerals, 13 vitamins, 8 amino acids, 2 fatty acids) helps fitness. Among essential nutrients, undamaged omega-3, vitamin D and magnesium are most often too low for optimum health. Optimizing digestion also helps healing. If you cook foods, replace the probiotics and digestive enzymes that cooking destroys. Eat more plant-based fiber also.
Make sure that circulation is optimal. It is vitally important for health. Besides exercise, bioelectric ‘fields,’ healing touch, massage, chiropractic manipulation, relaxation, yoga, parasympathetic stimulation, and anything else that improves circulation helps healing and fitness.
Optimum fitness requires three kinds of activity: endurance activities such as running, biking and swimming for cardiovascular fitness; strength-building activities with weights to build muscles and bones; and stretching and counterstrain to make you more flexible and prevent injury to joints, ligaments and muscles.
To shed body fat, do cardiovascular and muscle-building exercises. Bigger muscles burn more body fat for energy, and an hour of cardiovascular exercise elevates your metabolic rate for up to 16 hours. To gain weight, build bigger muscles and stronger, denser bones with strength training. Cardiovascular exercise keeps you slim.
A fit body makes you more physically capable, looks sculpted, and makes you proud of your discipline, follow-through, effort and accomplishment. All these make you look and feel healthy. Discipline and follow-through are healthy.
In our next post, I'll go into more details about food.