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The Seven Laws of Radiant Health
Should you be sick or feel only "half alive"? You need to understand the WAY to a healthier, more dynamic life!
by Roderick C. Meredith
DID YOU REALIZE that some thirty million Americans are yearly spending time in a hospital — 1,500,000 on any one day? Did you know that nearly half of all Americans, about 100 million people, suffer with at least one chronic disease or disability?
And the shocking truth is that seven out of ten persons over forty-five are afflicted with at least one chronic condition. A fantastic twenty-five million Americans have some stage of coronary-artery disease — thus making them candidates for heart attacks. In the U.S., heart disease now kills about 750,000 people annually.
In Britain, heart disease is now the biggest killer, causing one out of every three deaths. Forty years ago, the rate was only one in eight. Now it kills 200,000 Britons annually.
Where do you fit in?
Are you bubbling over with health, energy and enthusiasm? Are you free from all aches, pains and sickness? Do you enjoy the kind of vigorous, dynamic health that makes it seem good to be alive?
Or are you among the millions who are just half-well?
Make no mistake.
Christians are called to be a "light" — an example to others. They are called to help and serve others. And they are called to be LEADERS — preparing to rule with and under Jesus Christ in the World Tomorrow. But they simply cannot do this effectively if they are sick most of the time.
There Is a CAUSE for Sickness
People do not just happen to get sick. There is a CAUSE for every effect. And there is a definite cause for all sickness, disease and physical suffering which is so common in this modern world.
God does not intend for us to be sick. In III John, verses 1 and 2, God inspired John to write to an elder in the Church. "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health...." We know that God inspired all Scripture for our instruction (II Timothy 3:16), and so this scripture applies to all who would obey their Creator. God wishes us to be in health! That is His will.
Why, then, are so many sick today?
In a nutshell it is because there are physical laws that regulate our bodies. If you break these laws or if they are accidentally broken, it is a transgression of law (I John 3:4) — and it automatically exacts a penalty. The penalty is pain, sickness — or possibly even death.
Through breaking physical laws, Britons and Americans are becoming the most overfed and undernourished peoples in history. A report from the United States Department of Agriculture showed that one American household in every five eats a nutritionally "poor" combination of foods by the department's standards. Only 15 percent were in this category in 1955 when the previous survey was made.
Surprisingly, families in the upper-income groups, as well as in the lowest, were found in the nutritionally "poor" diet category.
The downturn in nutritional value was attributed largely to a national turn away from milk and milk products, fruits and vegetables. While Americans have been eating less of these foods, they have been eating more fried foods, more ready-made baked goods and drinking far more soft drinks.
A similar report from Britain reveals that 48 percent of British families — about twenty-seven million people — have an average intake of nutrients which is below the level recommended by the British Medical Association.
People NEED Exercise
From Australia, health expert Dr. John Bloomfield reported: "If I picked out any one hundred people in Sydney, I doubt if any could be called fit by European standards." He said that Australians had not worked their bodies for thirty years, when they began coming to the cities to live, and deluded themselves that they were a physically fit nation and tempted heart disease and hardening of the arteries by playing a strenuous sport only once a week.
Back to the U.S., famed nutritionist Jean Mayer said that soft living has left the American male in "absolutely miserable" physical shape. He cited the "shocking" mortality rate from heart disease and laid most of the blame on too little exercise.
In addition to indicting physical inactivity, Mayer says the other leading causes of heart disease are a high-fat diet, too much weight, cigarette smoking, excessive coffee intake and too little sleep.
Based on thirty years' experience in treatment of pulmonary diseases, Dr. Lincoln Stanley, coordinator of the Veterans Administration Central Office, estimates that up to 50 percent of the adult male population of the United States is afflicted by some degree of emphysema.
A recent report stated that, despite an outlay of two billion dollars for research in the past thirty years, the number of Americans who died of cancer rose 25 percent in that time. A record 339,000 Americans died of cancer in 1971. Almost 900,000 Americans were under treatment for cancer in the same year — another all-time high. The National Cancer Institute Director, Dr. Kenneth M. Endicott, said "Seventy to eighty percent of cases of lung cancer could be eliminated if people stopped smoking."
Can we begin to understand that the kind of food we eat, beverages we drink and air we breathe has a GREAT deal to do with our physical health? Can we realize that poor food, bad air, poor sleep and lack of exercise are causing a tremendous amount of the physical impairment that is affecting most of the English-speaking world today?
The CAUSE of sickness is the breaking of physical laws set in motion to govern the operation of our human bodies. These laws are just as real as the law of gravity, and the penalty for breaking them is just as sure.
God has been interested in the physical health of His people from the beginning. The Old Testament is full of directions and laws concerned with maintaining health. For a full and technical exposition of these laws, read the article "Bible Laws — The Foundation of Good Health" beginning on page 14 of this issue.
An honest and careful study of the New Testament will show that in apostolic times Christianity was a definite WAY OF LIFE (Acts 18:26; 19:23) — including an understanding and practice of basic health principles. The Apostle Paul commanded the Christians at Corinth: "Glorify God in your body" (I Cor. 6:20). He said that we are "bought with a price" — our bodies belong to God. We should therefore glorify God in our physical bodies by using them as He intended, and by obeying the physical laws He has set in motion.
Using the health principles revealed in God's Word as a guide, and utilizing the results of man's observation and research into the subject, we can learn the definite laws which govern our physical health. By really understanding and obeying these laws, we can build the kind of radiant health which will enable us to live the kind of full, active, and joyful lives that God intended.
There is no excuse for feeling and being only half alive. The mounting rate of sickness, suffering and death clearly shows that this world has lost the way to health — the way to live. We need to learn how to really LIVE.
What, then, are the physical laws which affect our bodies — our lives — so much?
1) Food and Fasting
We are what we eat. The body is formed entirely from the food we eat. Yet the average person has very little knowledge of what he really ought to eat to build a strong, vigorous body.
Many of the products commonly called foods are of little or no value in sustaining, nourishing or building the body. In fact, it has been proven by tests that they do actual harm to the body. They clog the digestive system, aggravate it and become a real burden for the body to eliminate. In many cases, they act as poisons — not foods!
The basic thing to remember in selecting foods is to be sure you eat natural foods which have not been corrupted or perverted in man-made "food" factories, and that you learn to have a balanced diet containing all the elements your body requires to sustain and build health.
Take care that your food is properly prepared so as not to destroy the bodybuilding elements. Avoid the starchy, greasy, sugary, and spiced-up concoctions which may taste good at the moment, but which contain little nutritional value and will, in time, wreck your stomach.
It is beyond the scope of this article to give you specific dietetic instruction, but remember the principle that your foods should be natural foods — as the Creator caused them to grow or be formed in nature. These will include genuine whole grain breads (without poisonous preservatives added) and whole grain cereals, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables — or vegetables cooked at low temperatures so as to preserve their nutritional value, lean meats cooked without grease or fat, and dairy products.
Few people fully realize the detriment caused by such "refined" or "improved" products as white bread, when these are substituted in place of the natural products that were intended as food.
Man's effort to improve upon the creation has FAILED. The more you intelligently study the food question, the more you will realize this. So eat a balanced diet of the natural foods that have not been perverted by the hand of man. And learn to prepare all foods so as not to destroy their nutritional value.
[Editor's Note: For further information about foods, request our free reprints, "Eat Right to Be Healthy," and "Bread — the Broken Staff of Life.")
Under the heading of diet, we should also consider the health value of water. Drinking water — and plenty of it — is one of the greatest aids to eliminating body poisons and keeping the entire system clean. It is an aid in preventing or overcoming constipation — that source of so many bodily ills. So drink water daily — preferably between meals, but never use it to wash food down. The total intake of all fluids — milk, soup, fruit juices, water — is generally a recommended six to eight glasses daily, or more for those who work in the sun.
Greatly restricting one's diet is known as fasting. An animal, when sick, will frequently refuse to eat. It loses all appetite. Governed by its instincts, it fasts until it is well — a sure cure provided by nature.
But what about humans?
Doctors and dieticians agree that we humans are in the habit of eating far more food than our bodies require. If food is eaten in excess of bodily needs, it is bound to produce a clogging up of the vital processes; for if it is not needed, it is invariably harmful and becomes productive of causes which lead to sickness and disease.
A great number of sicknesses are caused by the presence of poison in the bloodstream. Greatly restricting one's diet enables the body to cleanse itself of the accumulation of the products of an imperfect diet. As food intake is retarded, elimination proceeds rapidly and the body is truly "house-cleaning" itself.
For many, many common sicknesses such as colds, headaches, fevers, and stomach distress, such a procedure is often effective.
[Photo Caption — A balanced diet of wholesome natural foods is a must for good health.]
2) Cleanliness and Dress
It has been said that "cleanliness is next to Godliness," and, while this saying didn't come directly from the Bible, the principle is certainly correct.
In order to teach ancient Israel the habit of cleanliness, God, through Moses, instituted many regulations commanding the people to bathe or wash their clothes after coming in contact with likely disease carriers. We should certainly keep our physical bodies clean.
Regular care of the skin, hair, nails, and teeth and freedom from perspiration odor are essential to cleanliness and contribute to health. Waste products are eliminated through the pores of the skin, and regular bathing is always important.
Keeping your person, your clothes, and your living quarters clean will not only aid in promoting vigorous health, but will tend to keep your thoughts on a higher level of productivity and accomplishment.
Untold physical impairments are caused by the wearing of tight, ill-fitting, or unsuitable clothing. Clothing should afford proper protection from the weather, and should be loose-fitting and comfortable. The wearing of extremely tight girdles or corsets by women often results in the cramping of vital organs, and the weakening of muscles and tissues in the abdominal and pelvic areas — often causing physical distress in later life — and sometimes resulting in the inability to have children normally. It just doesn't pay.
Also, shoes that throw the whole body out of line often cause harm not only to the feet, but to the entire body. Another common fault among women is wearing unnecessarily tight-fitting shoes, which cause bunions, corns and ingrown nails.
3) Sunshine and Fresh Air
Occasionally exposing a portion of the body to the sun's rays is beneficial. The sun's rays which provide the greatest benefit to health are the ultraviolet rays. These rays activate the body's natural sterols to produce the needed calciferol and related coenzymes which aid in the utilization of phosphorus and calcium.
Try to spend as much time out of doors in the open air and sunshine as you can. Remember that there is danger in sunlight if the body is exposed too long before it is conditioned to the sun. So, in acquiring a tan, you should proceed cautiously.
At every opportunity, step outside and take a deep breath of pure, fresh air. After all, breath is the stuff life itself is made of.
Breathe deeply to be healthy.
We breathe to get oxygen into our systems, for without oxygen we would quickly die. Every vital process in the body depends on oxygen for its performance. The more you breathe pure, fresh air, the more pep you will have, the brighter will be your color, the more alert you will be, and the better posture you will have.
Most of us take in enough air to sustain life, but not enough to live it vigorously.
[Photo Caption — Everyone needs exercise! Calisthenics and bicycle riding are excellent forms of exercise.]
In this day of push-button gadgets and automobiles, millions of people are only half the physical specimens they ought to be — because of a lack of exercise.
Notice a crowd of people some time. Observe the various sizes and shapes — the fat people, the overfed businessmen, and then others who have no more meat on their bones than a scarecrow.
Am I talking about a need for huge, bulging muscles? No, not necessarily at all.
But nearly everyone today does need an intelligently planned program of exercise. Exercise stimulates deep breathing and increases blood circulation. It aids in the expelling of poisons from the system, and tends to produce "normalcy" in all bodily functions.
While work leaves one tired and sometimes enervated, proper exercise is of remarkable assistance in building up energy. The body is often recharged after systematic calisthenics, and this form of exercise can include all of the muscle groups of the body — whereas regular work or games often neglect many of these, while overtaxing others.
Especially for young people, games and sports naturally afford an enjoyable opportunity to get needed exercise. But these should be supplemented with calisthenics or some form of exercise at home as one grows past that stage in life and tends to neglect physical exercise. Remember that exercise ought to be a regular thing.
Walking and hiking are excellent forms of exercise for people of all ages and occupations. But vigorous young people should supplement even these with some form of activity which directly utilizes the arms, shoulders, and torso.
Medical and physical education authorities now realize more than ever the importance of running, swimming, cycling, brisk walking and other similar forms of exercise which condition the heart, lungs and blood vessels of the body. Before doing anything violent, it is important, of course, to be sure your heart will take it and be under the guidance of a reputable physical trainer or physician. But most "non-walking" people in our Western world — clear up into their forties and fifties — would benefit immeasurably by a controlled program of cycling, swimming or especially jogging in proper balance.
This type of "conditioning" is not something new at all. It has always been the basis — or at least part of the basis — of the training and conditioning program for most sports. Football, basketball, baseball and track coaches have always had their players "take their laps." Boxers have always done their "roadwork." Swimmers also "take their laps."
It has now been scientifically and medically demonstrated that this type of training increases the efficiency of the heart, the lungs and the number and size of the blood vessels that carry the blood to the body tissues, saturating the tissue throughout the body with energy-producing oxygen.
The training effect from this type of exercise will tend to relax the individual, help banish many of his tensions and emotional traumas. It will enable him to tolerate the stress of daily living better. It will even help him sleep better, and get more work done, with less fatigue. And it will definitely help prevent heart disease.
Few of us in this degenerate age are inclined to get too much exercise. Yet we do need a proper amount to build the kind of abundant, radiant health we should all enjoy.
Building a strong, supple, graceful body does require effort. But it is eminently worthwhile — especially in this day when we are inclined to let machines do everything while our own bodies stagnate.
5) Sleep and Rest
Many people, especially students, are inclined to delude themselves with the idea they can drive themselves on in work or play, then "catch up on sleep" later on — and be none the worse for it. Nothing will take the place of regular sleep and rest in its recuperative effects on the human body.
Man can go much longer without food than he can without sleep. Sleep becomes unbelievably necessary after long periods of sleeplessness.
Sufficient, regular sleep for most adults ranges from seven to nine hours each night. This is definitely not wasted time. It will enable one to be fully alive during his work and play, and to live a longer and fuller life in the end.
However, too much sleep is not a benefit. Rather, it is depressing and causes sluggishness and a state of lethargy. We are warned in Proverbs against oversleeping and laziness (Prov. 24:33, 34).
In addition to regular sleep, many physical education and health authorities recommend one or more short periods of rest throughout the day to recharge our worn nerve batteries.
When the Creator said, "Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work," He was giving a law of health — as well as a spiritual principle — which will never grow old. Both physically and mentally, we need to rest every seventh day — and so God gave the Sabbath rest as a great blessing.
Thousands of years ago, God knew and enunciated what many men still haven't found out — that in depriving yourself of sufficient sleep and rest, you will accomplish not more, but less in the end.
[Photo Caption — A balanced program of jogging is one good form of maintaining physical fitness. Walking is always an excellent conditioner. (RIGHT) Comparing casts. Avoiding bodily injury is a vital key to good health.]
6) Avoid Bodily Injury
Over 11 million Americans were victims of accidental injuries in 1968. That is about one out of every 18 people.
Think of the billions of dollars lost in doctor and hospital bills, and of the countless work hours which were forfeited.
This is entirely unnecessary!
We have become a nation of reckless, careless people who defile and destroy our bodies not only with perverted foods, drinks, cigarettes and the like — but by carelessly injuring them.
There is abundant information available regarding the prevention of accidents. The main thing is that you realize how seriously you should take this problem — and resolve to quit taking physical risks in your work or play. One such careless moment can easily undo and wreck the physical wellbeing you may have nourished for years.
Carelessness just doesn't pay.
7) Build a POSITIVE Mental Attitude
One of the least-understood factors governing health is the profound effect that the mind has on the body. It is becoming increasingly recognized that a large part of the common ailments of mankind are caused — not so much by the body — as by the mind. Ulcers, indigestion, headaches, eyestrain, nervousness, and a host of other ailments are often found to be caused by the mind — not the body.
Some medical authorities now believe that over 50 percent of all those seeking medical aid are sick or disturbed because of mental problems. And the startling fact is that emotionally induced illness becomes more prevalent as one goes up the ladder of human responsibility, mental alertness and capacity. Perhaps an alert mind can think of more to be worried about than an ordinary mind can!
Strife, fear, tension and anxiety all take a terrible toll in the physical impairments which they either directly cause or aggravate in our bodies.
Haven't you known families who engaged in a "free-for-all battle" during every meal? Perhaps they were ignorant of the fact that fighting, nagging, and quarreling at the table is almost certain to cause nervous indigestion and other ailments.
Few people today have the sense of contentment and genuine peace of mind upon which good health is predicated. And physical nourishment, exercise and care are not enough. For, as the writer of Proverbs stated: "Better is a dinner of herbs where LOVE is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith" (Prov. 15:17).
But the strife, tension, resentments and bitterness which our present competitive society fosters create the exact opposite conditions in the body and nervous system than those which would guarantee good health and mental wellbeing.
Hundreds of years before modern psychiatry "discovered" that carnal emotions help cause many of our bodily ills, the Bible condemned these emotions and provided a cure for them: "The activities of the lower nature are obvious. Here is a list: sexual immorality ... hatred, quarreling, jealousy, bad temper, rivalry, factions, party-spirit, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like that...." Then: "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its emotions and passions" (Galatians 5:19-24).
Someday soon, this world will again take literally the teachings of Jesus Christ. Then all people will be happy — for they will live by the laws of LOVE outlined in the Bible. They will base their lives on the Ten Commandments and will learn how to love God, their Creator and how to love and serve their fellowman. They will quit fighting, warring, competing and hating. They will learn, instead, to give and to SERVE.
Every person has to continually work at building positive mental habits. As Jesus said, we are to take no anxious thought for the morrow, but put FAITH in God as our Creator and our Father. Do your best to overcome thoughts of hate, strife, and worry. Then, asking God for help, cultivate thoughts of love, faith and joy. For the One who made our minds and emotions inspired Solomon to write, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones" (Proverbs 17:22).
You now know the seven basic laws of radiant health. Here they are summarized: (1) Be sure you have a balanced diet of natural foods. Learn the value of drinking plenty of water, of fasting and of avoiding constipation. (2) Remember that cleanliness is vital to good health, and that suitable clothing is also necessary. (3) Derive the maximum benefit from sunshine and fresh air. (4) Plan a program of regular, sufficient exercise. And stick to it! (5) Let your body recuperate from work and play through proper sleep and rest. (6) Take care of the healthy body you are building. Don't wreck your other efforts through carelessness. Avoid bodily injury. (7) Quit worrying, arguing, bickering. Maintain a tranquil mind — a positive attitude.
Remember these basic health laws. Study them in detail, and, most of all, practice them!
You must put them to work and LIVE by these laws! It will take some effort, but the reward of a strong, graceful, vigorously healthful body will more than repay your efforts.
Of course, if you have already broken these laws most of your life, you will not attain as great benefits as if you had started early. And in all honesty, we must realize one factor that we have nothing to do with — our heredity, and the fact that some of us have inherited certain weaknesses which may never be fully overcome.
But nearly any physical condition can be greatly improved if the right steps are taken.
So put your shoulder to the wheel!
The renewed zest, enthusiasm and sense of well-being will more than repay your efforts in making the laws of radiant health a veritable way of life.
It is God's will. You are commanded: "Glorify God in your body" (I Corinthians 6:20).