Herbert W. Armstrong

Is bodily health important? Next to the salvation of one's soul, sound, vigorous bodily health surely is the most necessary and the most valuable treasure a man can achieve in this world.

The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It should be kept clean, sound and healthy. Unless one is really fit physically he is not in position to render efficient service to the Lord's work.

Unless the body is fit and vigorously healthy, the mind is slowed down, energy lags, vitality is sluggish, and accomplishment is greatly handicapped. No one can be happy, except in health. No one can really enjoy living except in health. Good health is a treasure more precious than the word's most colossal fortune.

Very, very few are really vigorously healthy. You may not be actually sick or in pain -- you may have no specific disease or disorder -- and yet fall far short of that state of real bodily power and vigor and energy which is everyone's right.

Following are ten simple common-sense rules which, if followed will increase the bodily and mental vigor of any person by 100 percent. If you have thought you were enjoying perfect health, try these ten simple rules for a brief 30-day test. The result will amaze you. You will feel like a new person.

Vigorous, energetic health costs very little, if any in money. You simply pay the cost in added effort. The results are worth many times the effort.

If you will adopt these rules and stick rigidly to them, you can guarantee yourself at least ten years longer life -- accidents barred.

Especially the rule pertaining to daily rub-downs, will prove a guarantee for longer life. The physical trainer who was in charge of the physical condition of ex-President Taft conducted a nationwide investigation to learn the secret of long life. He interviewed and extensively questioned every person he could reach who had attained the age of 100 years. He sought the secret of living to be a hundred, if there was any one secret. The result of this research amazed him. Some attributed their long life to the fact they never had smoked, but others had been smokers. Some to the fact they were vegetarians, but others attained 100 while eating meat. Practically every one gave different reasons to which they, themselves, attributed their long life. But the physical trainer was surprised to find that there was only one thing which all in common had practiced, and to which virtually none of them gave any credit -- every single one of them had habitually taken daily rubdowns. The importance of the regular daily rubdown cannot be over emphasized. This does two things of paramount importance. First it invigorates the cells, and second it stimulates blood circulation.

If you can have the strength of will and the determination to put these rules into daily practice, and keep them up, you not only feel better, but will have a keener mind, clearer vision, and greater capacity both mentally and physically.


1. Sleep -- Be sure of good ventilation -- PLENTY OF FRESH AIR in the bedroom all night, winter and summer. I know people who still follow the old injurious fallacy of shutting up all the windows and doors tight at night. They are afraid they will take cold if they let in fresh air. They could not be farther from the truth, as any doctor or physician will testify. Those who sleep with windows wide open seldom have colds. Fresh air is FREE -- and nothing is more vital to health, but avoid drafts striking you.

Sleep on the side and never flat on the back, which overheats the spine and often leads to serious conditions. If possible sleep alone.

2. Arise -- Get right out of bed the instant you awaken. Do not lie in bed, or turn over for a second sleep, no matter how tired or dragged down you feel. A second sleep dulls the mind.

3. Bath and rubdown -- Take a regular morning shower bath if possible, making it short and snappy, ending with a vigorous rubdown. If no shower is available, take a tub bath at least two or three times a week. End with cold water, especially in cold weather. This closes the pores and prevents chilling and taking cold.

If no shower is available, take a vigorous rubdown in the bedroom daily or twice daily, using a turkish or bath towel or massage brush. Begin at wrists and feet massaging vigorously toward the heart. If the room is cold, just apply a little more energy -- the vigorous rubbing will keep you warm.

4. Head rub and shampoo -- Before leaving the bedroom, massage and rub the scalp vigorously with tips of fingers, suitable stiff bristle brush, or electric vibrator. This stimulates new circulation thru the scalp, makes the brain more active, and is the best guarantee there is against baldness. Shampoo the hair at least every two or three weeks. Be sure to use neutral, mild soap (imported castile is best) and rinse thoroughly.

5. Water -- Immediately after breakfast, drink one or two full glasses of water. Start in with whatever you can drink, increasing it till you are able to take one or two full glasses. Soon you will crave it. Drink twice as much water through the day as you have been accustomed to doing, if you are an average individual. This morning glass of water is very important.

6. Breakfast -- Avoid too heavy a breakfast. If you eat pancakes, eat but few. Do not eat too many eggs, and never more than two or three times a week. Eggs are good food, but too many produce a sluggish liver. Avoid soggy, heavy foods. Eat some fruit if possible -- especially grapefruit, oranges, etc.

7. Food -- In the main, simply eat what you find agrees with you -- but be sure to get a reasonable amount of fruits, and leafy vegetables (lettuce, raw cabbage, spinach, etc.) and milk, every day. Avoid meals loaded with meat, potatoes, beans, corn, etc., unless balanced with leafy vegetables and fruits.

For health's sake eat very little or none of the meats called "unclean" and forbidden under the Old Testament Mosaic law. Above all, eat slowly, and CHEW THOROUGHLY before swallowing. Avoid overeating. Most people eat twice what they should.

8. Elimination -- Nothing is more vital to health than habitual regularity of elimination. Constipation is nothing but the penalty of lack of regularity. Pills will not CURE constipation. Nothing but the re-establishment of regularity of habit will cure it. For those suffering from this, I would advise resorting to divine healing -- but be sure you deserve it by reestablishment of regular habits, preferably at a set time of day. Also regulate diet to aid this.

9. Breathing -- At least three times during the day -- preferably bed time, rising time and once during the day -- go outdoors, or open all the windows and doors in the house, stand erect, chest out and shoulders back, and BREATHE DEEPLY several times. Inhale slowly through the nose, till lungs are completely full. Exhale through the mouth, till the lungs are entirely emptied of air. Repeat several times. Try to learn the habit of breathing deeply, taking in more air and more completely emptying the lungs at every breath.

10. Exercise -- Few people past twenty- five get sufficient exercise, except those who are farmers, or get exercise through daily labor. Even in this case it is likely that only certain parts of the body are receiving sufficient exercise. Walking in the fresh air every day is good. For those who lead an in-door life, such sports as golf or tennis are splendid. Often bedroom exercises are advisable. Your body and muscles will not likely wear out, but can more easily rust out. Each individual must determine for himself what additional exercise, if any, he needs, as differing daily occupations naturally affect this.

It goes without saying that all forms of dissipation must be avoided if these 10 health rules are to prove successful. There are many forms of dissipation too: besides such things as drinking, smoking and keeping late hours.

Perhaps the most common form of dissipation in the average Christian home is coffee and tea drinking. People who would never think of smoking or chewing tobacco will drink several cups of coffee or tea daily, actually injuring their bodies through this dissipation more than thousands of smokers through tobacco. The heavy coffee drinker is sinning to a greater degree against his body than a light smoker. Scientific tests show that the normal individual in good vigorous health may drink one cup of coffee or one cup of tea, per day without noticeable physical affect. Some people cannot drink any without injury. But two cups or more, according to scientific tests, are sufficient to overcome the reserve of bodily "resistance" and produce noticeably injurious affects. The Bible lends advice here, too, when it tells us to be temperate in all things.

In addition to the 10 rules for DAILY observance I am appending three rules for annual or semi-annual observance which will prove a wise precaution for the person who desires full, perfect, vigorous health.

So if your eyes are laboring under a strain, or if an abscessed tooth is shooting poison into your system, or if a spine which is out of proper adjustment is causing undue pressure on certain nerves, or if something is organically wrong then obviously no amount of health rules will produce perfect health. The rules above are for KEEPING you fit. But it is wise to check up frequently.

1. Dental -- Go to a good reliable dentist every six months -- at most not less than once a year. Have teeth thoroughly cleaned, in addition to daily brushing, and have them examined thoroughly. If you have any dead teeth, have them x-rayed every 6 months. Often a dead tooth is abscessed and pumping poison into the system for years before it is discovered. Bad teeth will nullify every effort you make to build up health.

2. Physical Examination -- Every person should undergo an occasional physical examination by a competent physician -- at least once a year. Test heart, blood, etc. Test for organic weaknesses which might lead to serious consequences. Don't wait till you are sick -- check up on your condition and learn of anything wrong BEFORE it becomes dangerous.

3. Osteopath -- I advise going to a good drugless doctor for spinal examination, at

least once a year. They can check up on conditions, and treat them, which medical doctors would not discover. It is important to keep the spine in proper adjustment.

The rules outlined in this article may be absolutely relied upon to produce amazing results, if followed. Some people are too lazy to follow such rules and enjoy good health. Some are too indifferent. Some will follow some of the rules half-heartedly. Few will follow them vigorously and habitually -- but those few will be well repaid. These rules are based on mere common sense, and follow the law of nature.

But if EVERY member of the Church of God will begin now, and follow these ten simple rules energetically for one year, I am confident that the power, usefulness and accomplishments of the church would be multiplied tremendously, and would attract widespread attention.

The Bible promises that the incoming of the Holy Spirit fills us with POWER for service. But the body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. How much more power for accomplishments, then, may we receive, if the body is in a perfect, healthy condition?

This article has been concerned merely with KEEPING fit. When one is sick, or diseased, or crippled, then he has two alternatives -- the doctors and physicians, and the Great Physician, the Lord, who "healeth ALL thy diseases," Psalm 103:3. For those who have the faith, and the understanding of God's Word on the subject, we advise going direct to the Great Physician, by all means. Always go to the best physician within reach. And the best of all is the Lord Jesus Christ, who "Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sickness," (Matthew 8:17), if only "thou canst believe," Mark 9:23. For with Him, it is strictly "according to thy faith." If one lacks the faith, or the understanding of God's Word on this subject, then by all means, secure the best physician within reach, regardless of price. Many lives have been sacrificed which a more able physician, who probably charged more, could have saved. Ability is cheap at any price when health and life are at stake.

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