Lawsonomy Volume One
Penetrability causes movement without which there could be no life.
Man is an organized mass of movable substances which obtains stability through proportionate activity.
Action creates life and health in man and in order to retain it the body requires continual exercise as well as nourishment. In fact, nourishment would be useless without action to distribute and utilize it to the best advantage throughout the entire system.
The bones and muscles of the body are developed by exercise. The senses of man are also developed by exercise.
If the arm of a baby at birth would be tied to its body and never allowed to move, it would not grow at all. Or if a well developed arm of the strongest athlete would be tied to his body and remain in that position for some time without exercise, it would wither up and become useless.
Inactivity of any organ or function of the body causes decay and death to that part and throws the entire system out of balance.
So it must be understood that exercise makes strength and that the body with its different organs and functions must be exercised proportionately to have Equaeverpoise, health and long life.
Sudden and unexpected movement, however, causes strains and shocks which weaken or destroy important parts of the machinery. So movement of a violent nature should be gradually introduced to the system.
Exercise should only be indulged in which can be kept up through the entire life, but if it should be increased or decreased in violence then it should be accomplished gradually. Muscles or organs begin to decay after being developed to the highest grade of efficiency and then allowed to retrograde for want of the same exercise that helped to build them up.
Unless great physical strength is to be used permanently it is best not to develop it at all, for as decomposition sets in to the parts already developed, but no longer used, or exercised, it also weakens other parts as well as the neglected ones.
Some of the very strongest athletes die early in years because they strain their muscles up to a very high grade of efficiency and then do not keep them there by the same vigorous exercise. This causes sudden contraction and decomposition and early death.
Great physical strength does not result in long life nor perfect health. A 35 H. P. motor with proper care will outlive a 100 H. P. motor not properly cared for.
Sudden putting on and taking away full power will quickly depreciate either motor or man.
A 35 H. P. motor, however, will not furnish as much power as a 100 H. P. motor, neither will weak muscles furnish as much strength as strong ones.
If muscles are weak they cannot be strengthened by sudden or violent exercises that cause strains. They must be strengthened by gradually increasing the force of the exercises until the nourishment necessary for their growth has been drawn to them and properly assimilated, as well as to gradually develop to a higher grade of efficiency the numerous little power plants which furnish the power for their movement. This takes time.
A young person who has not yet reached maturity can resist the bad effects of shocks from sudden and violent exercise better than older persons, because growing muscles have more elasticity than full-grown ones.
However, elasticity of movement can be brought back to older and stiffer bones and muscles to some extent if patience is taken to gradually increase the exercises for a number of years.
Almost any man who has not yet reached the edge of the grave can entirely remake himself during a period of ten years if patience, will power and effort are brought to bear upon his daily existence.
The desire to do a thing increases the ease of its performance and of course one must first acquire the ambition to do it.
Constant daily exercise is just as essential as gradual increase of exercise, but the habit once acquired will be almost as hard to discontinue as to get rid of deteriorating habits.
There are a number of ways in which the body can be exercised. The main factor in physical exercise is of course to move the body about, but the methods adopted for the purpose should be to bring into action the largest number of organs and muscles at the same time.
Exercises that require springing, bending and twisting of the body or pushing and pulling movements are essential for muscular development.
Everybody should indulge in plenty of walking because that is generally taken out of doors and if briskly performed it increases the circulation of the blood to such an extent that the lungs are forced to draw into the system increased quantities of oxygen from the air breathed.
Running is far better exercise than walking, as it brings into movement almost every muscle and organ of the body and forces through the lungs more rapidly a much greater supply of oxygen.
Anywhere from a two- to five-mile walk every day must be taken by everyone that wants to preserve a sound body and good health and one-quarter of this distance should be interspersed by short sprints of running in order to secure the best results.
It took millions of years for man to develop himself so that he could walk and run and this was only accomplished after long and patient efforts of predecessors who gradually developed feet and legs of sufficient size and strength for the purpose.
Now that man has feet and legs he should appreciate them and try and preserve them, through exercise in the same way that caused their growth. He should also retain his muscular machinery by exercising it daily.
A man lived without food for a period of seventy days and then died for want of nourishment. A man can live without exercise for a certain length of time, also, but he will die for want of it just as he will die for want of nourishment.
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