There is a secret in "How to Double your Energy," and I believe that I have discovered it. In my opinion, it may be accomplished by applying the principle suggested by Shakespeare over three hundred years ago. " 'Tis the mind that makes the body rich." This is a profound and scientific statement. It reveals a most valuable idea, and my purpose in this chapter is to develop this idea fully, and to share its complete significance with you.
People are interested in having more energy, but they are absolutely callous, indifferent and adverse to the old system of calisthenics. They remember too well the tortures of setting-up exercises, weight lifting exercises, daily dozens, dumbbell exercises and a lot of other weary and uninteresting procedures. Thinking of it, to say nothing of attempting it, makes most people cringe with dread and writhe with a tired and weary feeling. My sympathies are with them.
Shakespeare gave me a clue to a new system of calisthenics. I felt that you would like to know the secret of how to make the body rich in health, vitality, strength, vigor, endurance and energy, and eliminate all the old antiquated methods of exercise that have been in vogue since the first cave man pounded his chest and shouted: "Look who I am!" Therefore, using myself as an example, and my own body as a guinea pig, I have evolved a system of calisthenics based upon the science and practice of free bodily exercise without apparatus to promote strength, gracefulness and energy. This system uses your head as well as your muscles. It involves no tricks or magic, and requires no hours of drilling or other wearisome exercises. It eliminates body torture, stiff muscles and tired feelings. You can successfully put this system into practice in the home, in the office, on the street, in the automobile of any other place you might happen to be.
It only takes a little thought and a couple of minutes each day. But the results are phenomenal. It has always been my contention that no one has a right to offer, to suggest, to propose or to advance any theory on how to do something, especially if it influences others to try it, either directly or indirectly, unless the person advancing that theory has used it, and finds through actual practice that it will do all that is claimed for it. My song is: "Practice what you preach," otherwise theories are not worth the paper on which they are written. This system to double your energy may appear to you to be a theory. It is a theory, but one that I have learned from actual experience. Every suggestion advanced has been practiced and demonstrated by me. I have lived each and every one of them. I know their value. What they are doing for me they can do for you. Learn and apply. Study and use. Fathom the secrets of your marvelously constructed body, and care for it scientifically. These secrets will teach you to live with zest and joy. They will double your energy.
The body is the house in which we live. It is the temple of the spirit. It is the source of all energy. It is the organ of activity. However, the body itself does not create energy. This is the function of the vital organs within the body. Energy is created through the process of these organs making and distributing blood. Blood is life. In the blood lies your strength and energy. As a self-propelling, self-sustaining and self-acting organ, the body lives and thrives on blood. Blood is the source of energy.
God created everything and God is good. The infinite variety of things expressed in nature proves that we are surrounded with an Infinite Intelligence and Power that establishes law and order in the universe and supplies us with all the essential material elements necessary for our well-being. As individuals we enjoy the right to draw on these elements and God has endowed us with a mind to make a wise use of them to meet our personal needs.
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." Happy are they that make the "right-use-ness" of the elements, for they will be filled with pure blood and dynamic energy.
The four best-known material elements used by the body to make blood are Air, Food, Water, and Sunshine. The wisdom used to assemble these four life-making elements determines the quality of blood that makes the body rich.
Nature provides man with all the elements necessary to make steel. Man applies mind in making the proper use of these elements. In doing so he is able to make the finest and toughest steel.
Let us discuss and analyze the four elements that make pure blood.
When you were born the first thing you did was to breathe in air. Nature had provided you with lungs with which to do this.
It is estimated by science that the average person only uses about fifty per cent of his lung capacity. The other fifty per cent lies idle. Nature is not extravagant in her gifts, and usually portions things out as they should be used. The blood needs oxygen, and one way to obtain it is through air. The function of the lungs is to supply this need, but with fifty per cent capacity idle, there is a possibility that the blood may be suffering for the want of oxygen. Therefore, the first suggestion is to make complete use of your lungs. Train yourself to breathe deeply and fully. It is following out a natural law. Make it a habit to consciously breathe deeply and fully once every hour during the day. In doing this you exercise and expand the lungs, help to purify the blood and enlarge the diaphragm. Conscious deep breathing also aids relaxation. Always remember that the forces in the air are vital and living. They help grow and sustain every form of life. The blood needs it and the body will suffocate without it. This air is free. Breathe it. It will help to reenergize the entire body.
The second element you cried for upon your arrival in the world was food. The body must have food in order for the blood to have nutrition.
What is food? Food is the different things we eat. It is a product of the earth, air, water and sun. These elements make and supply the food with vitamins. "Vitamin" comes from the Latin word "vita," which means "life." Vitamins are life-giving forces found in the natural state of foods. They are essential for proper nutrition.
How does this life-giving force get into the body? Through the blood stream. This is accomplished by a manufacturing and distributing process carried on by the internal organs. Food is taken into the mouth, chewed, swallowed, then digested by the stomach and made ready for the little intestines. The small intestines, through the process of osmosis, pick out the particles of food which contain vitamins. These particles are turned over to the vital organs, including the liver, heart, lungs, kidneys and others; and each one of these working in harmony with the others converts these particles into blood, and distributes this blood over the body to supply the cells with nutrition. Thus you have life, heat and energy.
There is only one conscious act on your part in the whole process of converting food into blood. That act is mastication, which is to chew, crush and grind the food with the teeth until it becomes a pulp. The fact that this is a conscious act makes it one of the most important acts connected with food. It is another proof: " 'Tis the mind that makes the body rich."
To prove the great value of mastication, put a piece of stale unbuttered bread into your mouth and chew it long enough to crush it to a creamy liquid. The indeterminate taste at the beginning now tastes almost sweet as sugar. Thorough mastication of this piece of bread gives the saliva digestive power by stimulating the constant outpouring of the enzymes which help to turn starch into sugar. When this pulpy mass reaches the stomach, it is partly digested and the stomach can do a much better job. This applies to everything you eat. By thorough mastication the stomach can digest every particle of food. The conscious preparation of it through mastication means less work, and less wear and tear on all the other internal organs that manufacture the blood. It frees you from indigestion and other distressed feelings, and supplies you with richer blood; and this means better health and more energy. Some day man will discover that most ailments of the internal organs are traceable directly to faulty mastication.
As an insurance broker, I had an occasion to approach a man to buy life insurance. He stated that he was uninsurable owing to high blood pressure. He was a strong, vigorous type of individual, and I felt that I had a clue to his condition. I invited him to lunch. He ordered a very substantial meal and in almost less time than it takes to tell it, the entire meal had disappeared. I asked him if he made it a habit to eat his meals quickly and to bolt his food. He replied that he had never even thought of it. I suggested for his own health, happiness, and peace of mind that he practice the principles advocated in this chapter and two months later the high blood pressure had subsided. Search for the cause of the ailment, and you will discover the remedy.
Natural laws are man's best teacher, and the ob-serving of these laws reveals the truth. In connection with the importance of mastication I want to call your attention to the cow. Did it ever occur to you that a cow must eat sufficient food to maintain her own large body, and at the same time give several gallons of milk each day, furnishing us with all our valuable dairy products? The cow has a secret. She chews her cud. The herbaceous food is swallowed un-chewed, and passes into the rumen, whence it is regurgitated in masses. Then it is thoroughly masticated and mixed with saliva while the animal is at rest. Thus, without mastication, there would possibly be no milk, no butter or cheese.
That suit which you have on is also a product of thorough mastication. The sheep is also a ruminant animal that chews its cud. This is why it is possible to have wool for woolen clothes. Sheep are maintained to grow wool just as long as they graze and chew their cud. When their teeth wear out, they are sold for mutton. That's the reason the people in England get tough mutton chops. The sheep in Australia have worn their teeth out grazing and chewing their cud while producing wool. Hence they are sold to England for mutton.
Most birds and fowls swallow their food without chewing it. Nature was kind to them, and gave them gizzards. The gizzard chews and masticates the food for the birds and the fowls. Nature was also kind to you. She gave you a mouth and a set of teeth with which to chew and masticate your food.
The value of mastication was demonstrated when you were a baby. Only once in your life did you double your body weight in one year. That was between the time that you were born and your first birthday. That, too, has a secret. All your food was liquid and did not require mastication.
A furnace will burn better and furnish more heat one-half full of coal than it will choked full. Overloading the furnace smothers the flame, and a large portion of your heat is lost. The same principle applies to the stomach. When it is overloaded with food, much of the value is lost because the stomach is using up energy in digesting it. This induces sluggishness and tiredness. Thorough mastication prevents this because the more thoroughly food is digested, the less is needed. It is not what you eat, it is what you digest. When the cells of the body are properly nourished it is not inclined toward obesity, nor does it suffer from underweight.
The cellular mass in the marrow of the bones secretes red blood cells, and this mass is fed by the food you digest. Thorough mastication of your food helps to feed this cellular mass, and this enriches the blood. This releases more vibrant energy to more cells, and makes the body glow with health and vitality.
Take plenty of time to eat your meals, practice mastication, and remember that the time saved bolting food is lost a hundred ways in health, energy, enjoyment, efficiency and peace of mind.
The third element to make the body rich is water. Three-fourths of the earth's surface is water. More than three-fourths of your body is water. This reveals another clue: furnish the body with plenty of water. The body demands water at all times. The atmosphere around us is continually absorbing water from the body. It must be replenished, or otherwise the body suffers for the lack of it. Water is very essential to furnish the body with sufficient moisture to keep the pores of the skin open. This helps the body to get rid of toxins and other waste matter. The only way to have plenty of moisture in the body is to keep it well supplied with water.
Give a wilted flower or a half-dead plant a drink of water, and observe how quickly and completely it revives. The water seems to stimulate all the other life-sustaining elements. This holds true for the human body.
The kidneys are the organs that help to make and purify the blood. They need water. Water is a cleansing agent used by the kidneys. It helps to dissolve all the poisons and impurities out of the blood. When the blood is pure it flows more easily and nourishes and restores the cells more quickly. Blood is the life-giving force of the body. A free flow of it revitalizes, rehabilitates and rebuilds every fiber, every cell and every muscle of the body. When the cells tingle with pure red blood, your body functions with vibrant health and glowing energy.
You take an external bath every morning. Why not try an internal bath? Drink two tumblers of water when you first get out of bed. It will possibly make you feel a little squeamish at first. If it does--that's a good reason why you should drink it. The squeamish feeling is a warning of toxins and the water is helping to get rid of them.
Don't wilt up, and don't dry up. Keep your skin young and glowing with health. Water helps. Train yourself to drink two tumblers of water on rising, and drink at least one tumbler every two hours all through the day. It is nature's tonic. Drink it.
The fourth element helping to make the body rich is sunshine. Did it ever occur to you that all the food you eat is either grown in the summertime or in the tropics? The rays of the sun are the answer. In the summertime, the rays of the sun are intensified be-cause they strike the earth more directly. The intensification of the sun's rays accelerates the vibratory forces of the air, and these are capable of growing all kinds of foods and vegetation. This happens in the temperate zone during the summer months, but in the tropics or territory bordering on the tropics, it happens all through the year. In the tropics it is possible to grow food at any time. Spices are grown only in the tropics. They require the more intensified rays of the sun, which the temperate zone cannot provide. Everything has a cause and by observation and thought we can find it.
All vegetation thrives in the sunshine, and so do we. The body needs it. A short sun bath, not to the point of burning the skin, taken two or three times each week in the summertime, is very beneficial to the body. The rays of the sun are vita-rays, which heat and charge the cells with vitamins. These vitamins are loaded with energy and the body absorbs this energy from the sun just as a blotter absorbs ink. These vita-rays taken in the summer will increase your resistance against those bad colds in the winter. Train yourself to take a sun bath occasionally, and by all means get into the sunshine as much as possible. It is a gift from God, and is here to help you get more energy. Make use of it.
The body is a plastic, claylike assemblage of protoplasm made up of cells. These cells are kept alive and revitalized and re-energized by the blood. The principles just enumerated have shown us how to make the best possible use of the four essential elements necessary to make pure red blood. Now that we have the blood, what is the next step? The heart is the organ that pumps the blood to all parts of the body. The arteries carry the blood from the heart, and it is returned by way of the veins. This is nature's wonderful system of distributing the blood. However, " 'Tis the mind that makes the body rich," and there is a conscious act that will assist the heart in the distribution of blood. That conscious act by you enables each cell of the body to be thoroughly nourished with pure red blood at all times.
What is this conscious act? Again, we take a lesson from nature. It is estimated by science that most animals live five to seven times their maturity age. According to the American Mortality Tables, the average age of man is 61.2 years. This is less than three times his maturity age. If man lived five to seven times his maturity age, he would live to be one hundred to one hundred and forty years old.
What do the animals do that most people fail to do? What is the answer? The animals must have a secret. By observing them and using my body as a guinea pig, I adopt and practice their secret.
That secret is Stretching.
The animal follows his natural instinct. How often have you observed the cat arching its back, the horse swaying its back, the lion extending its body, and the dog spreading its paws? These body actions of animals are revealing something. They are setting an example. They are telling us to stretch our body. Stretching is the only form of exercise that animals adhere to strictly. Therefore, it must be the natural and reasonable exercise.
Stretching is nothing more than conscious tension. It is tensing the muscles of the body by an act of thought. In my own experience, I have practiced all kinds of exercises but I have come to the conclusion that stretching is the best and most natural of all. It is easy to do. No equipment of any kind is necessary. You can stretch consciously for about ten to twenty seconds, and if you make it a practice to do this you will increase your energy and pep. Make it a habit to stretch your arm muscles, leg muscles, back muscles, stomach muscles, hand muscles, neck muscles, shoulder muscles, and try to stretch every muscle in your body from head to toe. In doing this, also exercise your common sense.
What does stretching or conscious tension do for the body? To stretch the muscles is to stretch the cells. To stretch the cells is to cause them to expand and break up, and this gives the pure blood a chance to flood and feed them. This helps to drive out all toxins, acids, poisons or other impurities. When the cells are crying for blood the body feels tired and by stretching at intervals you furnish the cells with nutrition and this substitutes energy for tiredness. You will have more capacity to do things. In brief, it is giving the body a blood bath.
If the cells of the body are not fed with blood, they dry up. This is very evident in people when they grow old. The cells in their face begin to dry up for the luck of blood, and as the blood recedes, it is like the moving out of the tides and what we see are wrinkles, dried-up skins and withered faces. This never happens when the cells of the face are properly nourished with blood through conscious tension.
Science will discover one of these days that most malignant diseases are only an accumulation of toxins and poisons starting a picnic on the most vulnerable group of cells. Stretching the muscles permits the blood to flood, and to feed and cleanse the cells, and there is no opportunity for the vultures of impurities to start their picnic.
To illustrate the value of stretching, drop a sponge in a pail of water. Watch the sponge absorb the water. Take the sponge in your hand--squeeze it out real tight. Now drop it in again, the same thing hap pens. This illustrates how the cells react to blood when you stretch the muscles.
There is no particular way to stretch. Each individual can work this out to suit his own disposition, time and convenience. The main thing is to do it. This is the way I do it. I take a deep gulp of air right in my mouth, all my lungs can hold. I tense the body, stretch all parts, raise the diaphragm, and press down. This throws blood to my head, face, shoulders, back, legs, abdomen and neck. Then I exhale through the nose. This takes fifteen seconds and does it make you relax! Try it. Do this when you first get out of bed in the morning and at least once every two or three hours during the day. The great value of it needs no proof. Do it, and it proves itself. If the bones crack, then you know you are stretching. Squeeze your hand real tight and watch how white it gets. The blood is squeezed out of it. Now relax and watch the blood flow back. That is what stretching does for your whole body.
Another beneficial exercise I enjoy is walking. The average city block is about one hundred and fifty yards. This is about twelve blocks to a mile, and when I walk twelve blocks, which takes about fifteen or twenty minutes, I find that I have exercised my legs seventeen hundred and sixty times, because there are seventeen hundred and sixty yards in a mile, and each step covers about one yard. By all means train yourself to walk. It invigorates the body, stimulates the flow of blood, and provokes many brilliant ideas. Try it.
Before concluding this chapter, I want to call attention to the Rhythm of the body. All things in the universe, including the sun, stars, planets, moon and earth, move in rhythm. If this were not so, it would be impossible to have harmony, and the universe would instantly go to pieces. Harmony establishes balance, and balance establishes harmony. Natural laws are inexorable. They never deviate, and work with precision. Your watch is now ticking away to keep up with the sun. The astronomer sets his watch by the sun, but the sun never sets by the astronomer's watch.
The heart beats in rhythm and the blood flows in rhythm. Man did not make the heart beat. He discovered by experience that the heart beats on an average of seventy-two times per minute. Man did not make blood pressure, he only discovered it by experience. The whole body responds to rhythm. Rhythm can be produced by balance.
How can you establish balance in your body? By body posture. It is very easy. This is how you do it. Draw your feet together. Draw the abdominal muscles in just as far as you can possibly get them--just a little more, please. Now exhale all the air (carbon dioxide) you possibly can from your lungs--a little more through your nose. Relax. Do it again. Hold this position for five seconds. What are you finding out? This conscious act raises the diaphragm, extends the muscles of the abdomen, thrusts the chest out, places the neck and the shoulders in the right position, makes the lungs hungry for a deep breath of air, strengthens your spine, straightens your back, gives the solar plexus a workout, establishes rhythm and balance, and develops body posture. By practicing this a few times each day, which takes only five seconds, you are going to draw in the waistline, and throw out the lifeline. This act also gives the internal organs more space, and they function without being crowded. Body posture qualifies you to walk correctly, thus taking the weight off the stomach and putting it on the hips, where it should be. It also aids in the equal distribution of blood and all parts of the body share it alike. It tones up the whole body and bids farewell to old man constipation with his whole gang of enemies.
Look at Cock Robin. Apparently never sick a day in his life. There he stands, like a general, at perfect attention. The moral is: "Look, learn and live."
A survey of a hundred leading men will show one attribute common to all of them. That is Energy.
Energy makes the difference between a box car and a locomotive. As an illustration, here side by side are two locomotives. The finest that were ever built. Both have the same workmanship, the same equipment, and same potential horse power. Put steam in one of the locomotives, and it will pull a string of box cars across the continent. The other one stays put. It is nothing more than a box car. Steam-energy makes the difference.
Disobey a natural law and you pay a penalty. Obey it and you receive a blessing. All the principles suggested in this chapter are based on natural laws.
" 'Tis the mind that makes the body rich." Therefore, think health and visualize and idealize with positive thoughts the kind of body you want, and re-member the legend of the Prince who was born a hunchback. Every day the Prince stood before a perfect statue. He visualized and idealized what he saw. In time he straightened up and acquired a perfect body like the statue.
The principles and suggestions advanced in this chapter will not make you a Samson nor a Sandow with bulging muscles protruding from every limb, but by adopting and practicing them daily you will have a strong body, full of health and overflowing with dynamic energy. You will have the vim, vigor and vitality to do your job efficiently and to maintain a sustained effort. Practice these principles every day, and do it religiously. They will double your energy. They will give you the power to act, and turn your ability into cash.