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June 2014 A Publication of Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships Vol 05 - Issue 03


Other Benefits of Exercise

By Raquel Akens

IN our last article we saw how exercise, one of the eight laws of health, improves the cognitive powers of the brain. In this article we will be discussing more benefits of exercising. Of course, there are many untold benefits of exercise and it is not the purpose of this article to list all of them, but just enough for us to see the wisdom of God in his instruction for us to exercise and to be encouraged to follow his counsels.

In connection with our last article, exercise not only improves the functions of the mind but also its mood. A study from 2005 showed that walking briskly for at least 35 minutes every day, five times a week greatly improved depression symptoms.1 This same study found the same results for walking briskly for one hour three times a week, while only exercising for 15 minutes a day didn’t have the same results in fighting depression. A study in 1999, demonstrated that exercise can be just as effective as antidepressants. This study had one group of depressed men and women in a aerobic exercise program, another group was prescribed the antidepressant Zoloft and a third group did both. After 16 weeks of following the program the results were that 60 to 70 percent from all the groups were no longer diagnosed with depression.2 The study also found that the effects of exercise were longer lasting than the antidepressants themselves, and six months later a follow up on the patients showed that those patients who kept physically active even after the study ended were less likely to fall back into depression.

The fact that physical activity strengthens the body is undeniable to probably most of us. Here are some ways that a strong muscular system protects the body: “Improvements in muscle strength protect against damage to joints, ligaments, and the muscles themselves by stabilizing the joints and by minimizing the damaging effects of sudden movements and unexpected strain.”3 Exercise not only strengthens our muscles but the tissues of our organs as well and therefore our organs themselves. The heart, the body’s pump, is made stronger by working harder to supply the needed, extra circulation of the blood required during exercise. Exercise also strengthens the lungs by requiring them to work harder, taking in more oxygen to purify the blood that is circulating throughout the body cleansing it from toxins.

Exercise also increases bone density. There have been many studies showing that exercise can prevent osteoporosis, or bone loss that is so common in older adults, especially women. According to a study, the rate of bone loss due to inactivity like bed rest or immobility is rapid and can be as high as 5% mass per month on average.4 This same study observed two main factors in the maintenance of bone, the first is that, “the effect appears to be specific to the bones that are load bearing during the particular physical activity, and the second factor was that gravity and the impact of weight bearing appear to be important.”5 “Walking appears to be an ideal form of physical activity for the purpose of maintaining bone mass. This provides a gravity-dependent stimulus to the bones of the back and lower limbs, and these bones are most at risk for osteoporotic fracture.”(Ibid)

According to the American Diabetes Association 25.8 million Americans had diabetes in the year 2013.6 The diagnosis of Diabetes has been rising through the past decades, and if the current trends continue by the year 2050 one third of Americans will have Diabetes.7 In battling this disease exercise can play a key role in overcoming it. A clinical trial done in 2001 found that exercise decreases the risk of diabetic complications, by reducing glycosylated hemoglobin in the blood.8 (Glycosylated hemoglobin is hemoglobin in the red blood cells that has glucose attached to it.) A quote from another study clearly links exercise and diabetes. “Low fitness is significantly associated with diabetes incidence and explained in large part by the relationship between fitness and BMI [Body Mass Index].”9

Cancer is another epidemic plaguing not only western civilization, but the whole world. Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Interestingly, a study found that exercise will help prevent women from getting breast cancer. This study was done in 2005 (Bernstein et al. 2005), and it showed “that the lifetime risk of breast cancer was reduced with increasing physical activity levels, when these levels were averaged over a woman’s lifetime (from age 10 to the reference age).10

Good health is impossible to have while breaking one of the laws of health. If you have not already, commit yourself to spending at least 30 minutes a day working outside in the garden or going for a brisk walk. Don’t just read about the benefits of exercise, experience them yourself. If you feel too tired, that is one more reason to go out and exercise. It has been proven that exercise actually creates energy in the body! Your quality of life will improve by the integration of exercise in your daily routine.11

1 Health Harvard Publications. Harvard Medical School. Web. May 09 2014.


2Blumenthal, J. A., Babyak, M.A., Moore, K. A., Craighead, W. E., Herman, S., Khatri, P., Waugh, R., Napolitano, M. A., Forman, L. M., Appelbaum, M., Doraiswamy, P. M., & Krishnan, K. R. (1999). Effects of exercise training on older patients with major depression. Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 159 pp. 2349-2356.

3Rod K. Dishman, Gregory W. Heath, I-Min Lee. “Physical Activity Epidemiology.” Second Edition 2013. Page 457.

4Victor S. Schneider and Janet McDonald. (1984) University of Texas Health Science Center. “Skeletal Calcium Homeostasis and Countermeasures to Prevent Disuse Osteoporosis.” Web June 11 2014. <http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02406149#close>

5Rod K. Dishman, Gregory W. Heath, I-Min Lee. “Physical Activity Epidemiology.” Second Edition 2013. Page 458.

6American Diabetes Association. Fast Facts. Data and Statistics about Diabetes. Web June 11 2014.



8Boulé NG, Haddad E, Kenny GP, Wells GA, Sigal RJ. Effects of Exercise on Glycemic Control and Body Mass in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Meta-analysis of Controlled Clinical Trials. JAMA. 2001; 286(10):1218-1227.doi:10.1001/jama.286.10.1218. Web. May 20 2014. <http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=194184>

9Carnethon MR, Sternfeld B, Schreiner P J, et al. Association of 20-year changes in cardiovascular fitness with incident type 2 diabetes: the coronary artery risk development in young adults (CARDIA) fitness study. Diabetes Care. 2009;32:1284–1288

10Rod K. Dishman, Gregory W. Heath, I-Min Lee. “Physical Activity Epidemiology.” Second Edition 2013. Page 446.

11Martin, C.K., Church, T. S., Thompson, A. M., Earnest, C. P., & Blair, S. N. (2009). Exercise dose and quality of life: A randomized controlled trial. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169, 269-278 Web. May 09 2014.


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Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships is an association of Sabbath-keeping groups, which through web & tele-conferencing provides means for study, fellowship, and jointly organized missionary projects.

Website: www.seventhdayhomechurchfellowships.org

Email: admin@seventhdayhomechurchfellowships.org

Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships:

P.O. Box 262, Laconia, NH 03246, U.S.A.

Phone: 530 708-2381

Chief Editor: David Sims

Assistant Editor: Thomas Akens

Proof-reader: Alice Fredrick

Layout: Thomas Akens