This week we cover the fourth pillar from Dr. Colbert’s book, The Seven Pillars of Health.

(This picture of the book cover is just a reminder of what book to buy in case you want a copy for yourself. It is well worth the investment. I only share small tidbits from the book, but there is a wealth of knowledge contained here.)


When you hear that word do you get excited or cringe?

On any given day it could go either way for me. It depends on how much time I have and what the exercise is. I prefer the outside hiking or walking kind. One of my most favorite forms of exercise is when my friend, Shannon, and I meet in one of our surrounding small towns and go hiking up and down the hills and back streets. We look at houses, paint colors, how the yards are landscaped, and what flowers are growing. Shannon usually sets a pretty fast pace, but we slow down to look at something special. We might go in a store or two at the end of our walk and window shop a little. We sometimes get a coffee near the end of our walk, or eat breakfast before, or lunch afterward.

Sometimes life gets very busy for both of us, and we go long periods between those walks. Then I have to find YouTube videos, or Dvd’s to work out with.

Dr. Colbert calls exercise, “stirring the waters”. He starts this section with the story of a man in his early thirties who had been on bedrest with an infection for years. The infection had been cured, but the man was having trouble regaining his health. Dr. Colbert guessed the man probably weighed around 450 pounds. This man asked Dr. Colbert his opinion of what the problem might be.

Dr. Colbert says, “Just by looking at him I could tell he had reached a place of lymphatic stasis—stagnation—so extreme that his legs had blown up to huge proportions. He was so full of toxins that his body was literally bulging with them….I told him it was most likely because he hadn’t stirred his waters with exercise.” (p.117)

Dr. Colbert also says, “We saw earlier that our bodies are approximately two-thirds water. Think of what happens when water sits for a long time in a cup, puddle, or pond. It eventually gets covered with slime and gunk, breeds disease, and becomes toxic…. When water moves, life thrives. Running water is usually fresh water. Rivers and waterfalls are beautiful and inviting—alive.” (p. 117) “Dead things are usually associated with stagnant bodies of water…. Exercise is the remedy to prevent death and stir the waters of life in our bodies.” (p. 118)

In Bible times people did heavy manual labor and walked everywhere. Dr. Colbert says, “Jesus did heavy manual labor as a carpenter. From the time He was five until the age of thirty, it’s very likely that He walked at least 18,000 miles just on the three annual pilgrimages from Galilee to Jerusalem! Adding up the total miles Jesus walked during His life would be at least 21,595 miles; the distance around the world at the equator is 24,901.55 miles.” (p. 118) If we want to be more like Jesus, we can follow His example for exercise.

Dr. Colbert lists the benefits of exercise:

  • Prevents cancer.
  • Prevents heart attacks and heart disease. (“Ironically, exercise rests your heart. The reason is that an inactive person’s heart works much harder than an active person’s heart.”p. 119)
  • Improves lymphatic flow.
  • Lowers stress.
  • Promotes weight loss and decreases appetite.
  • May help prevent diabetes and helps control blood sugar.
  • Helps get rid of waste products through perspiration.
  • Slows the aging process.
  • Builds strong bones.
  • Improves digestion and elimination.
  • Helps you sleep better.
  • Prevents colds and flus.
  • Reduces depression.
  • Improves memory.
  • Slows Alzheimer’s disease and may help prevent Parkinson’s disease.
  • Increases lung capacity.
  • Reduces pain.
  • Increases your energy levels.
  • (Buy the book and read pp. 119-126 to find out why exercise helps with these issues.)

On days 25-27 of the book, Dr. Colbert covers all kinds of exercises, their usefulness, and the calories that are burned from doing them.

Dr. Colbert recommends listening to your body. Rest when you need to. Set exercise goals and build them up slowly to what is right for you. Find fun ways to exercise, and build exercise into your schedule. (pp. 141-145)

What is your favorite form of exercise that you have found easy to stick with?