Counsels on Health


Exercise as a Restorer

[Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 100, 101 (1890).]

The idea that those who have overtaxed their mental and physical powers, or who have been broken down in body or mind, must suspend activity in order to regain health is a great error. In a few cases, entire rest for a time may be necessary, but such instances are rare. In most cases the change would be too great to be beneficial. CH 199.1

Those who have broken down by intense mental labor should have rest from wearing thought; yet to teach them that it is wrong, or even dangerous, for them to exercise their mental powers at all, leads them to view their condition as worse than it really is. They are nervous and finally become a burden to themselves as well as to those who care for them. In this state of mind their recovery is doubtful indeed. CH 199.2

Those who have overtaxed their physical powers should not be advised to forgo labor entirely. To shut them away from all exercise would in many cases prevent their restoration to health. The will goes with the labor of the hands; and when the will power is dormant, the imagination becomes abnormal, so that it is impossible for the sufferer to resist disease. Inactivity is the greatest curse that could come upon one in such a condition. CH 199.3

Nature's fine and wonderful mechanism needs to be constantly exercised in order to be in a condition to accomplish the object for which it was designed. The do-nothing system is a dangerous one in any case. Physical exercise in the direction of useful labor has a happy influence upon the mind, strengthens the muscles, improves the circulation, and gives the invalid the satisfaction of knowing how much he can endure, and that he is not wholly useless in this busy world; whereas, if this is restricted, his attention is turned to himself and he is in constant danger of exaggerating his difficulties. If invalids would engage in some well-directed physical exercise, using their strength but not abusing it, they would find it an effective agent in their recovery. CH 199.4