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Story of Hulda Crooks

Congressman Jerry Lewis and Hulda Crooks



Born in 1896 in Saskatchewan, Canada, Hulda Crooks grew up as one of eighteen children in a large farm family. While eating heartily of the abundant meat, potatoes, milk, butter, biscuits, and rich desserts, she reached a weight of 160 pounds at the age of sixteen. Her brother teased her by saying that by the time she was twenty, she would be as wide as she was tall!


As a boarding school student, Crooks worked extended hours on her feet in the kitchen and spent additional long hours sitting in the classroom. Since neither of these activities provided adequate exercise, her health was failing by the time she completed two years of college. She was always tired and eventually developed pneumonia. This took her out of school for a year and required twenty-five years for Hulda to recuperate.


After her husband died in his early sixties, Hulda was depressed. She began walking as a way of treating her depression. Crooks did not begin to exercise in earnest until she was seventy. She decided not to waste her retirement in an easy chair. “It took me two years to get into a routine of walking and jogging,” she said. Enjoying the invigorating effect of walking, she set her sights on Mt. Whitney. Hulda made twenty-three successful ascents of this highest peak in the lower forty-eight states, towering 14,496 feet inthe Sierra Nevada of California. She took up backpacking at age seventy-five to make a descent to the floor of the Grand Canyon and hiked 212 miles of the John Muir Trail from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney. Taking a treadmill stress test at age ninety, she demonstrated a fitness level and aerobic capacity of the average sixty-year-old woman.


“Grandma Whitney,” as fellow hikers affectionately called her, held eight world records for women over age eighty, including senior Olympic marathon and foot-racing events. She climbed eighty-six Southern California peaks, each one over five thousand feet. When Crooks spoke about the advantages of good diet, proper exercise, and a positive mental attitude, she spoke from the heart, from her own experience. She walked up to a hundred miles a month to stay in shape. “Physical activity always made me feel good,” she reported. “Human beings are allowed just one body per customer.”


In 1991, the US Congress voted to name the peak just south of Mt. Whitney, “Crooks Peak.” Hulda Crooks died at age 101, full of days and happy with life. Her last thirty-plus years were better than her first seventy.


Regardless of the physical shape you are in right now—and in spite of your age—it’s never too late to improve your health. Exercise is one of the keys to a longer and healthier life, and the key to successful synergy with other wellness factors such as water, nutrition, sunlight, rest, and fresh air.


Benefits of Daily Exercise



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Benefits of daily exercise



You probably know that daily exercise is good for you. But are you aware of the far-reaching benefits? Here are a few ways that exercise improves the way your body functions.


Exercise enhances immune system function



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Exercise enhances immune system function.

Artist’s Conception

Natural Killer Cells attacking a cancer cell

Locked in mortal combat


The bloodstream of the human body contains millions of specialized white blood cells called natural killer (NK) cells. They sort of “hang out” in the spleen and lungs and hang on to the sides of the arteries, waiting for some action.



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Artist’s Conception: NK Cells penetrate the membrane of the infected cell injecting it with perforin, killing it, and then move on.

Other kinds of blood cells then close in, clean up the released viruses and consume the pieces of the shattered cell.



The bloodstream of the human body contains millions of specialized white blood cells called natural killer cells. They “hang out” in the spleen and lungs and hang on to the sides of the arteries, waiting for some action.


Like the National Guard, natural killer cells protect the body from unwanted intruders. If they meet an enemy soldier, they are licensed to kill. They penetrate the membrane of the infected cell, injecting it with perforin, killing it, and then moving on. Other blood cells then close in, clean up the released viruses, and consume the remaining pieces of the shattered cell.



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Moderate exercise appropriate to fitness level will increases NK cell activity by 50%.




Natural killercell activity also increases with hope, optimism, and laughter, which make them more virile, more active in destroying the enemy. When you take a shower and hot spray hits your chest, natural killer cells are mobilized. Natural killer cells “demarginate” from the sides of the blood vessels and get into the mainstream blood flow, where they bump up against “enemy soldiers.” Deep breathing, which is more likely during exercise, also reintroduces marginated natural killer cells into circulation, increasing surveillance against cancer cells, bacteria, and viruses. But beware, it is possible to depress natural killer cell activity with excessive exercise.



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Benefits of daily exercise

·    Better Digestion

·    Enhances Absorption of Minerals

·    Lowers Inflammation




Exercise improves digestion

Poor digestion may signal future deterioration of health. Bloating, acid reflux, excessive gas, or burping may indicate trouble is brewing. Taking antacids is not a long-term solution, only a temporary fix. Determining the cause of the digestive imbalance is important.



The first two steps in improving digestion—and therefore, in improving whole-body health—are to drink at least six to eight, eight-ounce glasses of water daily and to take short eight-to-ten minute walks after meals. This will improve the transport of nutrients from the digestive system to the rest of the body and will decrease the congestion of blood in the abdominal organs, making you feel lighter and more alert. Daily vigorous exercise is also a great remedy for constipation, because stool transit time is shortened and the colon’s ability to expel waste products is boosted. For this reason, daily exercise can be an effective preventer against colon cancer.


Exercise enhances absorption of minerals

Exercise enhances the absorption of many nutrients, minerals in particular. Optimal intake of calcium and magnesium is important for body balance and is possible by eating plant foods like grains, legumes, nuts, and greens, and a rainbow of colors among vegetables and fruits. Eating at least 80 percent of our diet primarily of whole, unprocessed plant foods may provide wonderful improvements in health. This improved balance of chromium and other essential nutrients in the blood and cells helps the muscles to normalize blood sugars in people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. With adequate intake and absorption of magnesium, the likelihood that someone exercising will suffer from muscle cramping, headaches, coronary spasm, and spikes in blood pressure is decreased.


Exercise reduces inflammation

Daily exercise has been shown to help reduce inflammation, plaque buildup, and risk of plaque rupture. Ruptured plaque forms a blood clot that may travel to the heart and cause a heart attack. Or it may be carried to the brain and block a blood vessel, causing a stroke and paralysis. A test to measure inflammation in the body is called high sensitivity C-reactive protein [CRP-hs]. This test is available at many doctors’ offices. It has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to be used alongside a cholesterol profile in establishing cardiovascular disease risk. CRP-hs has been shown repeatedly to be twice as effective in predicting cardiovascular disease as compared to the predictive value of a measure of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. On average, daily exercise programs have been shown to reduce CRP-hs by 30 percent, which reduces inflammation and plaque build-up in the walls of your arteries. Go for it!



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Moderate Exercise Helps Control Blood Sugar

Helps Prevent & Reverse Diabetes


Exercise helps prevent and reverse diabetes


Many progressive doctors are integrating lifestyle therapies into their practice for treating and even completely reversing diabetes. Work with a health professional in treating diabetes. When sufficient attention is given to effective strategies for blood sugar control, dramatic changes begin to occur. The key is finding the right strategies for any given person.


Five-point strategy to control blood sugar

Generally, this means:

  1.  Enjoy a variety of vegetables and plant-based proteins
  2.  Limit refined foods and starches
  3.  Exercise effectively
  4.  Avoid animal and dairy products
  5.  Evaluate for food sensitivities.

These interventions have been shown to significantly reduce blood sugars.


Exercise is medicine. A research physician said that exercise is almost like insulin and it must be taken daily. Exercise is a daily must that helps to control blood sugar and promotes vibrant health!


A Harvard study demonstrates that at least 90 percent of new diabetic cases could be prevented with two simple steps: losing excess body weight and exercising daily.[1]


Beverly, age seventy, suffered from type 1 diabetes. She started walking in her house for ten minutes after every meal and noticed that her blood sugar was lowered thirty points. Studies have shown that for every minute of exercise, blood sugar can be lowered one to three points. Thirty minutes of exercise could potentially lower blood sugar ninety points. A large multi-university study found even moderate exercise for a ten-pound weight loss over two years will decrease the risk of moving from pre-diabetes to diabetes by 60 percent.


Exercise significantly improves the ability of each muscle to remove excess sugar from the blood quickly and completely. An increase in waist size and weight increases the need for insulin. Extra insulin may cause increases in blood pressure, inflammatory problems, elevated cholesterol, liver problems, hypoglycemia, prostate problems for men, and menstrual problems for women. Elevation in insulin production may be a significant contributor to heart disease, stroke, blindness, many cancers, and leg amputations.



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ŸCuts Risk of

Heart Attacks 50%

Ÿ Increases HDL “Good” Cholesterol

· Lowers Triglyceride Blood Fat





Exercise cuts risk of heart attacks

Thirty minutes of brisk walking a day, five days a week, cuts the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 50 percent. Walking is the best exercise. Each time you exercise, blood levels of HDL cholesterol—healthy or good cholesterol—increase temporarily. HDL acts like a vacuum cleaner or garbage truck that removes the bad type of cholesterol from artery walls, thus decreasing the plaque that gums up the circulatory system. Daily exercise keeps good cholesterol at healthier levels.


Exercise also lowers blood fat called triglycerides. Triglycerides increase when your intake of fats is greater than the amount of fat that the body is burning. Daily exercise buffers the typical surges of blood fats that spike after high-fat meals and stressful situations. It promotes endurance and strengthens muscles and a sense of well-being.


Daily exercise helps normalize blood pressure. It has a daily effect plus a cumulative effect over time on preventing heart disease and stroke. Moderate exercise is beneficial even if your blood pressure is high. Keep moving.


The story of Gary Long

At age fifty-one, Gary Long weighed 380 pounds and suffered from diabetes, congestive heart failure, enlarged heart, and high blood pressure. He states, “I was a dying man.” Gary decided enough was enough. He determined to walk across the United States. Before long he was able to walk twelve to fourteen miles a day carrying a fifty-pound pack. As his journey progressed he felt increasingly strong. He lost ten pounds a month. His motto is, “Keep on walking, one foot in front of the other.” Two years after he began walking,Gary weighed in at 239 pounds. He had lost 141 pounds and had a blood pressure of 120/75.[2] He was determined to make a lifestyle change, and it made a significant difference in his health.



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Gives Excellent Prevention & Treatment for Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis



Prevention and treatment for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis

Daily exercise is effective for creating strong bones. Weight-bearing exercises put increased pressure on bones and create an electric effect. This static charge attracts calcium into the bone electromagnetically. Without the “strain” of exercise on the bones, an increase in calcium intake is less beneficial. Brisk walking is an excellent weight-bearing exercise. Sunlight significantly improves vitamin D levels, and vitamin D helps the body effectively use and store calcium in the bones.[3]



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Exercise increases energy level



Exercise increases energy level

Karen was working in a high-octane administrative position, andshe was burning the candle at both ends, as the saying goes. With the worries of her job, getting a good night’s sleep was becoming difficult. Normal energy levels were turning to fatigue. Her happy, bubbly ways were transforming into moodiness and depression. Previously sharp thinking was now becoming fuzzy confusion.


What should she do? she wondered. Maybe a massage would help, but no appointments were available. That’s when she saw the sign for aerobics. Class started thirty minutes after she left work. But then she had second thoughts.I can’t do it. My body can’t handle it. Upon hearing the encouraging words of the instructor, “Do what you’re able to do,” Karen paid the fee.


Hot and sweaty, now really fatigued, Karen made her way home after the first class. To her amazement, with supper over, her energy was kicking in. I can’t believe it, she thought.With each session she felt so invigorated that going to the aerobics class became high priority five days a week. It totally changed her life and sharpened not only her intellect but also her coping skills in her administrative responsibilities. Exercised and toned muscles reduced her moodiness and stress. Her coworkers asked where all her energy came from and noticed the difference in her attitude. This made her smile with delight.



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Promotes Weight Loss



Exercise promotes weight loss

Combined with changes in diet, exercise can help individuals lose weight and keep it at a healthy level. Plan on forty-five to sixty minutes for a minimum of five days per week to lose weight effectively. Progressively increase exercise intensity. Get used to a new activity before you increase time and intensity. Within a week or two, increase the intensity of the workout by simply picking up the pace. Set a goal to walk a mile in twenty minutes at a brisk pace.


To lose weight, lower blood sugar and blood pressure, and lower cancer risk, work up to walking three miles a day. If possible, brisk walking is best. Some choose to jog.


Exercise lowers depression and improves mood

Hundreds of medical studies show how exercise dramatically reduces depression and anxiety. Even just one session of exercise can greatly improve mood. Eighty young men and women took mood tests. After only one sixty-minute session of aerobics, they reported significant reductions in anger, fatigue, and tension, as well as increase in vigor.[4]


One mother depressed over her life’s situation was asked what helped her the most in her recovery. Her answer: “Walking two miles a day—rain, snow, sunshine, or darkness. My frustrations vanished and I could cope better with the difficult issues of life.”


Exercise and the brain



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Physical activity promotes the formation of new brain cells and multiplies the number of connections called synapses between the brain cells.




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Exercise and the Brain

  • The obese are twice as likely to suffer from dementia.

Constant stress and negative emotions elevate the level of the hormone cortisol, and erode the connections between brain neurons.


Here are fourteen points that can change your life! The points followed by an asterisk (*) are quoted or adapted from the book by Harvard professor John J. Ratey, MD, titled Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.[5]We recommend this book as “must” reading.

1. “Sluggishness and idleness are killing our brains—physically shriveling them.”*

2. “Obese people have two times the risk of developing dementia.”* So keep moving!

3. “Running to lower our blood pressure and strengthen our heart also keeps the capillaries in the brain from collapsing or corroding and causing a stroke.”*

4. “Exercise increases levels of serotonin, norepinephrine (pronounced nawr-ep-uh-nef-rin), and dopamine—important neurotransmitters that traffic in thoughts and emotions.”*

5. Physical activity promotes the formation of new brain cells and multiplies the number of connections called synapses between the brain cells.[6]

6. Hyper-stress and negative emotions elevate the level of the hormone cortisol, causing neuro-pruning, which can eat away connections between the neurons. Exercise helps prevent this.

7. Anxiety and chronic depression shrink the frontal lobe, which is the center of will power and decision making. Exercise can help reverse this process.

8. Exercise can help prevent osteoporosis and stimulate the release of growth factor hormone that makes dendrites bloom.*

9. “In the U.S., 20 million women and two million men suffer from osteoporosis. . . . Women can double leg strength by a few months of weight training. Even people in their nineties can increase strength and prevent this disease.”*

10. “Physical exertion not only keeps the brain from rotting, but it also reverses the cell deterioration associated with aging.”*

11. Sixty-eight percent of adults over twenty years old in the US are either obese or overweight. Exercise helps reduce obesity.[7]

12. “The most consistent risk factor for developing cancer is lack of physical activity.”*

13. Exercise fosters neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Have you seen aged people who become very set in their ways? Exercise helps open new neurons (brain cells)even in older brains.

14. Exercise aids learning, sharpens thinking, contributes to clearer communion with God, lifts mood, and boosts memory.


Exercise to avoid degenerative and catastrophic disease

The World Health Organization states that in the Western Pacific, “up to 80% of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes and over a third of cancers could be prevented by eliminating shared risk factors, mainly tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol.”[8] One way to reduce your risk of degenerative and catastrophic disease is to exercise.




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ŸThe obese are twice s likely to suffer from dementia.

Ÿ  Constant stress and negative emotions elevate the level of the hormone cortisol, and erode the connections between brain neurons.





Sitting in front of the television is killing many people.


Australian researchers who tracked 8,800 people for an average of six years found that those who said they watched TV for more than four hours a day were 46% more likely to die of any cause and 80% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than people who reported spending less than two hours a day in front of the tube.[9]


“‘It is the incidental moving around, walking around, standing up and utilizing muscles, that doesn’t happen when we’re plunked on a couch in front of a television.’”[10] Even if we exercise thirty minutes a day, we must continue to keep moving during the day to avoid degenerative diseases.


Exercise for seniors



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Exercise for Seniors

  • Want to live to a 100? Keep moving!
  • Walking is the best exercise.
  • Breathe deeply in the fresh air.


If you want to live to be a hundred, keep moving! Without exercising sufficiently, muscles tighten up, steps are shortened, atrophy of muscles begins, balance worsens, and falls are more common. With moderate exercise, circulation improves. Your mind will be sharper. This may improve concentration, memory, and help prevent hearing loss.


Walking is the very best exercise for young and old, since it works every muscle group. Walking is especially good for seniors. A walking stick or a stylish cane may help protect against dogs and ensure balance. Day by day, increasing the distance to keep muscles strong and active will prolong life and improve your health. While walking, practice deep breathing and enjoy the fresh air and health-producing sunshine.


In many communities, fitness centers and church programs provide senior activities—aqua aerobics, swimming, group walks, or senior aerobics. You can also find exercise DVDs and use them in your home at convenient times.


At Creation, God designed us to be physically active. Avoid being sedentary.


Interval training

Interval training mixes high-intensity bursts of exercise with moderate-intensity recovery periods. For instance, you might run/jog from one telephone pole to the next, but then walk from there to the next telephone pole. On a treadmill you could walk slowly, then faster, slowly again, and then still faster. Interval training is considered an excellent way to get fit and to lose fat. For more information, see If you are just starting to experiment with this idea, read the Website’s article, “Interval Training for Beginners.”


Exercise can increase family togetherness



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Exercise Can Increase Family Togetherness

·    Improves Relationships

·    Promotes Fitness—Physical & Social


Exercise improves relationships and promotes fitness—physical health and social relations. Fewer family irritations surface after exercising together. Endorphins multiply and improve everyone’s attitude.


One family asked their children what memories they had of peak fun experiences. The memories of the adult sons flashed back to enjoyable times growing up when weekends and vacations were crammed full of fun physical activities. “We canoed the fastest rivers within 200 miles of home and got dumped in the white foam more than once. We climbed Mt. Elbert—third highest mountain in the lower forty-eight US states. We walked in the woods even when mosquitoes ate us up. We climbed up in hollow trees to scare our parents when they came down the path, and did handstands on the tops of mountains. Camping in the wilderness, gymnastics classes, and badminton games at home with three birdies going at once. I guess Mom and Dad had to get us out of the house. I know we were so full of energy that we were driving them crazy.”


Vary your exercise program

Exercise benefits the health much more if you enjoy it rather than just grudgingly perform it as a duty. When is the best time of day for exercise? Any time! Do it first thing when you get up, after breakfast, the noon meal, or in the evening. The most important thing is—just do it!


What kind of exercise? Walking is the best exercise. But gardening, mountain climbing, wall or rock climbing, tennis, basketball, exercise machines, weight lifting, swimming or bicycle riding each have benefits. And yes, be sure to stretch before and after vigorous exercise. Plan to do a variety of exercises during the week, including strength-building exercises. Consistency is important. Increase the intensity as you progress. Make an appointment to exercise with a friend or spouse to help keep you on target and accountable. You are less likely to skip exercising if you have an appointment with someone.


Hearer or doer?

In the famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus appealed to the people listening to be doers and not just hearers.He told the story of two houses.




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The Story of Two Houses

Two men each wanted to build a house.

The first man was in a hurry. He laid his bricks on flat sand.

The second man built his house on the rock.



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A big storm came…

The house on the sand fell down—crash!

The house on the rock was strong and safe.


[11] Two men each wanted to build a house. One was wise, and one was foolish. Because he was in a hurry, the first laid his bricks on flat sand. The second man built on a rock. When a big storm came, the house on the sand fell. But the house on the rock was strong and safe. The man who built his house on the rock represents those who hear and do in the right way.


We’d like to echo that reminder here. Exercise is perhaps the WIN! factor most difficult to incorporate into daily life. Have you made New Year’s resolutions to get into shape? Are you one of those who quit after the first day? You know the benefitsbut may find it difficult to put your plans into practice consistently.


Taking action and being intentional with exercise can help you be proactive in other parts of your life too. As Jesus said, you can be one who “hears these sayings of Mine and does them.”[12] It is your choice whether you will be “foolish” or “wise.” It takes time to be healthy. It takes time to exercise. Exercise is a “must priority” for all ages. Plan for it. This means that we need to simplify life. We need to say “No” to things that we really want to do and “Yes” to the very best and most important things of life.


Bruce Herrod on Mt. Everest

May 1996 proved to be one of the deadliest in the climbing history of the world’s highest peak. By mid-month, nine climbers from four expeditions had perished. The greatest problem was disobeying the rule of survival that requires climbers to be on their way down from the summit by 1:00 p.m. and certainly no later than 2:00 p.m. Bruce Herrod had been at the highest camp acclimatizing and heard the frantic radio calls of the doomed descenders who, after a late ascent, were caught in a terrible blizzard. He knew the rules and the deadly danger. Yet fifteen days later he launched off late to climb the unforgiving mountain. He had to step right over the frozen bodies of two famous guides. The day was far spent, but he trudged on and arrived at the summit at 5:00 p.m. That night, another frozen cadaver lay on Everest’s steeps, because Bruce Herrod knew the rules but he didn’t do the rules.[13]


Do you desire to be a hearer and doer of a healthy lifestyle by daily exercising, eating well, drinking sufficient water, having hope and optimism, and trusting in God? Is that the kind of life that you are choosing today? By doing you will most likely LIVE—live healthier, happier, holier, and most likely longer.



Thank You, Lord, for Your wonderful gift of life. You created me with the capacity to run and play, and through physical exercise You give me a daily opportunity for a multitude of blessings. Help me to not only want to exercise but to faithfully exercise daily. When I become depressed or anxious, help me to remember the simple remedies You provide through exercise in nature. Give me wisdom, Lord, to build my life on a rock-solid foundation, to be a doer and not just a hearer. Help me to develop good habits of consistency in all things beneficial to my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Please continue to help me properly care for the one body You have loaned me. Amen.


Exercise—the drug of choice! The guilt-free, good drug!




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Discuss the steps taken to simplify your life and prioritize exercise in your daily life.


  1. What have you learned about exercise benefits? What is the message in this chapter for you?
  2. If you are already exercising, what motivated you to start and what difference has it made in your life?



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3. Why is it important that retired people even at the age of 80, 90, or 100 keep exercising? Who are the senior citizens you know who keep fit and active.  Which senior who is important to you can you encourage? exerciiise?






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Personal and Family Reflections

  1. As a family, we can spend an evening planning how to improve our weekly family exercise program. We can think of ways to have a variety of types of exercise activities and how to make them fun for all.





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  1. As I evaluate my daily exercise program, does it give me a well-balanced workout?
  2. Which type of exercise can I do to strengthen my health?




Personal and family reflections

  1. What does this statement say to me? “When you play together, you stay together!”



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Personal Intentionality:

I will start an exercise program of 10, 20, or 30 minutes—5 days a week, so I can live longer, stay mobile, and improve my quality of life. Yes ___ No___ Time choice______



r         I will exercise r 10, r 20, or r 30 minutes, five to seven days a week. Time choice:_________________.

r         I will makeexercise as an appointment with myself each day.

r         I will keep a daily record of my exercise program.

r         I will join a gym exercise program and get a professional coach to help choose an appropriate exercise program for me.

r         I will find an appropriate DVD or television exercise program to enhance my weekly health routine. A variety of movement strengthens more muscles and improves circulation to all parts of the body.

r         I have 23 ½ hours a day to do what I would like. But the other thirtyminutes are set aside for my exercise.

Why have family exercise:

  • Children and teens are increasing in weight—becoming overweight, obese—and it is an epidemic.
  • Exercise cuts the risk of developing diabetes and cancer and reduces future health problems.
  • Children and teens have become too absorbed by electronics and have neglected physical fitness.
  • Family exercise helps decrease family stress and helps the atmosphere to be happier and less irritable and moody.
  • Movement aids learning. Studies show that children will do better at school and on their homework. For every hour of exercise, studies will be easier.
  • Exercise lowers high blood pressure of parents.


Plan a variety of fun family exercises

  • Jump rope is great for cardiovascular exercise. Start out jumping 15–20 seconds and then build up. Rest for 40–60 seconds. Repeat. Keep a personal record of jump time.
  • Purchase family exercise DVDs and use them with the family.
  • Play table tennis for family exercise. For young children, play without the net.
  • Have two to three badminton birdies going at one time over a net in the backyard.
  • Use a hulahoop for family fun. See who can keep it going the longest.
  • Climb the highest mountain points in your region that are family safe.
  • Buy Thera-Band® stretch bands and create your own stretching exercise routine.
  • Play basketball, soccer, racquetball, volleyball, tag, or ball games popular in your culture.
  • Join an exercise club: go to a gym and do aerobics; take swimming lessons or swim in the pool and do aqua aerobics.
  • Go camping. Enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
  • Go for a family walk after dinner and discuss positive events.
  • Have unannounced exercise breaks for family—running in place, arm exercises, push-ups, high kicks, leg lifts. Rotate the family members as wellness coaches.
  • Have a follow-the-leader bicycle ride in a park after a picnic supper.
  • Spend a weekend at a motel and enjoy the pool after doing vacation activities.
  • Have a wrestling match on the floor with Father and small children.
  • Plan a scavenger hunt (two family members planning); invite other families to join in the hunt.
  • Get a pedometer for each family member, and log in daily steps. Goal for adults: 10,000 steps. Goal for children: 6,000–12,000 steps. Goal for girls: 12,000 steps. Goal for boys: 15,000 steps.
  • Walk the beach when the water is too cold for swimming; throw Frisbees on the beach or in open space.
  • Take the dog for a walk.
  • Play miniature golf.
  • Walk the mall or market with no shopping.
  • Work in the garden as a full family. Weed pulling is great to relieve stress.
  • Develop skiing, swimming, tennis, canoeing or otherskills.
  • Put up a basketball hoop in the driveway. Shoot a few baskets in your homework break.
  • Develop a family aerobic routine for 10–12 minutes—have a break from school and homework.


Exercise Resources:


Exercise is not only good for your body but also for your soul.


The road to integrated wellness is a personal journey, not a destination.


Breathing Exercise

In fresh air, breathe in deeply, hold breath 8–10 seconds, and slowly exhale completely. Do this eight to ten times, twice daily. Use caution if you tend to hyperventilate and feel faint. This breathing exercise is best done when you are in fresh air, outdoors.


To Live Long—Keep Moving During the Day!

While it is important to have thirtyminutes of exercise daily, it is also important to keep moving the rest of the day. Research indicates that if we don’t keep moving, it can contribute to health risks. If your work is sedentary, take brief breaks to move your body muscles.


Fill out the next page as “My Weekly Exercise Schedule.” Make copies of the chart to facilitate recordkeeping and personal accountability; or make your own personalized chart.


In planning your weekly exercise program, it’s better to start with less time and do something rather than do nothingat all. Start with exercise fifteenminutes in the morning and fifteenminutes in the evening. Choose a variety to make your exercise time refreshing. Start slowly, increase to a moderate level, and finally go to an intensive level. Avoid the weekend warrior mentality. Plan a balanced program. Schedule exercise each day as a high-priority appointment with yourself, and identify specific exercises you will do. Set your target exercise time. Work up to 30–60 minutes a day, 5–7 days a week. Identify whetherthe level is moderate or intensive. Then, “just do it!” Record your actual exercise time for each day. Finally, review your weekly record, and celebrate!





Celebrate your great achievement!—Really Celebrate!






My Weekly Exercise Schedule




Kind of Exercise

Target Time

Exercise Level

I Did It!Record

(Actual Time)






























































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The End




[1]. A. R. Folsom, L. H. Kushi and C. P. Hong, “Physical Activity and Incident Diabetes Mellitus in Postmenopausal Women,” American Journal of Public Health 90, no. 1 (January 2000): 134–138. Frank B. Hu, JoAnn E. Manson, Meir J. Stampfer, Graham Colditz, Simin Liu, Caren G. Solomon, and Walter C. Willett, “Diet, Lifestyle, and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Women,” New England Journal of Medicine 345, no. 11 (2001): 790–797.

[2]. See Gary Long’s story at,; additional reporting in Jamesina Goulbourne, “Controlling High Blood Pressure with regular exercise and high blood pressure monitoring,”

[3]. “Vitamin D and Healthy Bones,” Helen Hayes Hospital/New York State Department of Health, November 2003,

[4]. A. M. Lane and D. J. Lovejoy, “The Effects of Exercise on Mood Changes: The Moderating Effect of Depressed Mood,” Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 41, no. 4 (December 2001): 539–545.

[5]. John J. Ratey, MD, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (New York: Little, Brown, 2008): 226, 235, 220, and 227.

[6]. Neil Nedley, The Lost Art of Thinking (Ardmore, OK: Nedley Publishing, 2011), 231.

[7]. “Obesity and Overweight,” Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, November 17, 2011, Data is for 2007–08.

[8]. “Noncommunicable Diseases: A Region Free of Avoidable NCD Deaths and Disability,” World Health Organization, Emphasis supplied.

[9] . Ron Winslow, “Watching TV Linked to Higher Risk of Death,” Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2010,

[10]. Ibid.

[11]. See Matthew 7:24–27.

[12]. Matthew 7:24.

[13]. Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air (New York: Random House, 1997), 290–292.


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