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Three More Great Health Investment Tips

Here are three great health investment tips that don't involve diet and nutrition.  These are lifestyle changes that can yield big dividends.

Physical Activity
Energy Market Account

In order to get a higher yield on their savings, many people take money from a regular savings account and put it into a money market account or certificate of deposit that allows them to earn interest at a higher rate. Staying physically active does the same thing for your health.

I was fortunate to be able to work with Dr. C. Samuel West in the early 1980s and learn about cutting-edge research on the lymphatic system. I learned that the lymphatic system was part of the immune system and helped to remove toxins and cellular debris from tissues. Stagnation of lymphatic fluid is part of the underlying tissue imbalance that causes degenerative disease.

Since the lymphatic system has no pump, it requires deep breathing and muscle movement to function properly. The more sedentary we become, the more sluggish our lymphatic system becomes and the sicker we get. Hence, some form of physical activity is vital to our health.

Both my mother and my father were physically active people. I’ve already mentioned that my dad walked an average of two miles per day. While my mom didn’t engage in as much exercise as my father, she was always physically active, washing clothes by hand, baking bread, bottling fruit, doing family history research, etc.

Dr. West often told us about how people who were ready to die in concentration camps would simply curl up in a corner, stop moving and be dead the next morning. He also talked about native Americans who when they felt their time had come, would go off into the wilderness, sit completely still, breathe shallowly and allow themselves to die. Listening to him I came up with one of my primary laws of health, “To move is to live, to sit still is to die.”

Dr. West didn’t believe in rigorous, push-yourself-to-the-limit exercise. Instead, he encouraged using a mini-trampoline and just gently bouncing, a process he called lymphasizing. He was full of stories about how people had healed from chronic and degenerative diseases by improving their diet and lymphasizing.

While I have come to realize that there is value in resistance exercise (lifting weights) and stretching exercises (such as yoga), I still believe that one of the best forms of exercise, especially for older people, is just gently bouncing on a mini-trampoline. My parents got a mini-trampoline and used it daily.

Of course, walking, swimming or any other form of general physical activity is going to provide the same benefits. It will keep you moving, which keeps your lymphatic system working.

Community Service
Municipal Bond

When I worked with Dr. West, he would often talk about how quickly most people die after they retire. He attributed this to them becoming sedentary, but I think it’s deeper than that.  In traditional cultures, elders were valued and respected for their life experience and wisdom. Health isn’t just about nourishing one's self or otherwise caring for one’s body. Health also involves our mental and emotional state.

We all need to feel valuable, to have something worthwhile to focus our mental and emotional energy on. So, to stay feeling young and healthy we can’t retire from life and do nothing of value. We have to continue to find ways in which we can serve and help family and community.

One way of doing this is to find ways to spend time with young children, either your own grandchildren or other people’s children. Traditionally, elders have devoted time and energy to training young people. In native societies elders were grandparents to the tribe and spent much of their time teaching children the ways of life. This created continuity and allowed children to develop greater maturity by learning from the wisdom of their elders. My own parents spent a lot of time baby-sitting their grandchildren. I think this helps to keep you young.

Another approach is to find ways to volunteer in the community. Both of my parents were very active in church and involved in community service.  Again, I think feeling that you have something valuable to contribute to others helps you enjoy a longer and healthier life. So, invest some time and energy into family and community.

Life-Long Learner
Self-Investment Fun

At a Nature's Sunshine Leader’s Conference and again at their National Convention, a Dr. Daniel Amen spoke about his work with brain scanning and keeping the brain healthy. Of course, he spoke about the importance of good nutrition, physical activity and protecting one's self from chemical and physical injury. But, he also stressed the importance of staying mentally active. He recommended that you continually stimulate your brain by trying to learn something new.

I was pleased to hear this because I’ve been a firm believer in the principle of being a life-long learner since my youth. I made an interesting decision when I was in my teens. I decided that I wasn’t going to let school destroy my love of learning. I think it’s tragic that most children enter school with a love of learning—and then hate learning by the time they graduate from high school or college.

During the depression, my father had to leave public school in the 8th grade and never completed high school. Yet, my father was one of the most intelligent men I have ever known. I learned more about how to write well from my father than I did from all the classes I took in school because my father was so well-read.

He particularly loved poetry and read poetry books constantly. My sister once tested him by taking a book of famous poems and reading the first couple of lines to my dad. Nine times out of ten he could tell her the author and the title of the poem after the first line or two.

Both my mother and my father were always interested in learning something new—and so am I. Putting time and effort into the Life-Long Learner Investment Fund will pay big returns in more than one way. Not only will it help you retain your mental marbles as you grow older, it will increase your earning power and improve the quality of your life.

I sincerely hope you’ll make these investments in your own health and well-being. Like my parents, we all want to live long, healthy and productive lives.  Investing in the right form of health care is the secret to achieving this goal.