By Dr. Bob McCauley
There is no substitute for vigorous exercise and it is essential we do it daily if Great Health is our goal. As with everything concerning health, consistency is obligatory if you expect to succeed. In the absence of strength and numbers, wars have been won by nothing more than an army’s determination, purpose and persistence.
It is important that we exercise to the point of perspiring and deep-breathing for at least fifteen minutes each day in order to work our cardiovascular system. Sustained diaphoretic breathing invigorates and strains every bodily organ to some degree. Cardiovascular exercise causes oxygen-rich blood to race through our arteries, cleansing everything it comes in contact with. Regular exercise speeds up brain activity and decision-making.[i]
Once you get in shape, you can begin to push your limits further until your muscles are strained close to capacity without over-taxing them. If determined, the average person can reach this level of training and exertion in 90 days or less. Always remember that you are training to your capacity, to the level you are capable of reaching, not anyone else. I run six-minute miles at my age because I have trained for years at this level and running comes naturally to me. If your goal is to walk a mile within 30 days because you have an extreme health condition, then train to that level.
When you can workout to your personal limits and don’t have sore muscles the next day, then you have reached your goal. Having sore muscles the day following strenuous exercise is caused mainly by the release of lactic acid from muscle tissue during exercise.[ii] If you don’t exercise at all the day following strenuous exercise, lactic acid settles even deeper into the muscle tissue and worsens it further. The only solution to this problem is to workout hard the day after strenuous exercise in order to flush lactic acid from the muscle tissue.
There are over 650 muscles in the body and I make it my goal to exercise each one of them everyday, which can be accomplished in as little as 10 minutes, although I recommend at least 30 – 60 minutes if you expect to effectively work each muscle. I exercise 1 – 2 hours each day between all the various regimens I engage in, which include running, light weight lifting, isometrics, martial arts, push-ups, sit-ups and various other exercises.
Rather than give you specific ideas about what kind of exercises you should do, I want only to emphasize that Great Health is not possible without vigorous exercise each day. Exercise builds the immune system in ways that nutrients cannot, which is why it is such an important component of Great Health.
It is possible to remain somewhat healthy, meaning disease free, and not exercise, but without regular exercise you will never possess robust health nor will you be able to rid your body of any disease that may be afflicting it. Muscle tissue that is atrophied from lack of use becomes acidic and therefore is more likely to house disease, even for those who live mostly on raw foods. Exercise is that important.
The time of day you exercise is not of any real consequence other than you should not exercise immediately following a meal. I like to exercise in the early afternoon. My best performances while running have always been when I have not eaten anything that day because I am not expending energy to digest. The heaviness of foods alone is reason enough not to exercise after eating, which is especially true of cooked foods. Because they are detoxified, the body of a raw foodist operates most efficiently when their stomach is empty. The body of a cooked foodist is trying to detoxify when his/her stomach is empty; this can make it difficult to exercise due to the discomfort that sometimes accompanies detoxification, such as headaches, fatigue or diarrhea.
When we tear down muscle tissue we then need to rebuild it. We can make it even stronger and more efficient than it was with powerful raw whole foods such as Spirulina and Chlorella because they include bodybuilding nucleic acids (RNA/DNA) and amino acids (protein), which form the foundation of every cell in the body. Without these in our diet, building new muscle tissue is substantially more difficult.
Swimming is the best overall exercise for the human body followed by running. We can accomplish more physically in the shortest period of time with cardiovascular exercises such as these than we can with any other kind of workout. Coupled with upper body and abdomen drills, the entire body is exercised when we use cardio-builders such as running and swimming as the foundation of our daily workout regimen. However, if your cardiovascular system is strained by walking because that is all you can manage, then that is the place you need to start. Building up to a power-walk and then a jog should be your next goal.
Stretching our muscles and conditioning our tendons and ligaments each day is also of great importance to our health. Stretching helps remove blockages and free up accumulated acid waste throughout the body, especially from the joints and around the organs, even between the cells themselves. Dead cells and other intercellular debris that disrupt critical communication between cells is cleared away by stretching; this is especially effective when it is coupled with daily vigorous exercise. In the body of the raw foodist, acid waste is quickly removed and daily exercise enhances that process. Energy flows more freely through the body when its tissue is flexible, alkaline and clear of extraneous debris. I spend 20 – 30 minutes each day stretching. Upon waking, it is one of the first things I do because it invigorates the body and mind.
Simply stated, the more we move our body, the better our health will be. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, it is imperative that we stretch and get some kind of exercise every day of our lives.
[i] Annual Meeting Of The Society Of Psychophysiological Research in Montreal, Canada October 18, 2001.
[ii] Lactic acid is a substance that forms in the muscles as a result of the incomplete breakdown of glucose.