Judge Lawrence Huerta: Enriching Our Lives
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Enriquezca Su Vida
(Enriching Your Life)

A self-published book by Judge Lawrence Huerta
©1968.

translation by Anthony Nuño, 1999.

CHAPTER X:
"THE REWARDS OF EXERCISE"

"The fundamental desire of humanity is the pursuit of happiness. True happiness is impossible without good health and good health is impossible without exercise."

-- VIC TANNY

"Warm up your body through exercise, not by bending over a warm stove."

-- THOREAU

Regular physical activity and exercise are necessary for a health body. Human muscles were made for physical activity and unless these muscles are exercised, they will gradually fall in a state of uselessness and atrophy.

When I look around and observe the people around me, I ask myself if these people allowed their muscles to atrophy except for those back muscles used to get up and sit down in their favorite position. Sooner or later we should worry about this ailment.

Currently we are bombarded with countless ads about different ways to exercise. Most of these exercises include stretching and laying down. Many entrepreneurs have opened up health centers throughout the country where people's money is taken away in exchange for the use of exercise equipment. This is foolish because these people do have a pair of legs, a healthy heart and the occasional desire to communicate with nature. Physical exercise provides mental relaxation as well as it rejuvenates the spirit and this is the healthy attitude we should have towards exercise. A daily hour of exercise in a gymnasium trying to reduce the size of your belly is not mental relaxation for the businessman or the housewife. In order to achieve the highest benefit possible out of physical exercise we can first put aside mental activity and go out in the open (in winter and summer, fresh air is a healthy thing). We can practice this when we walk in the outdoors, ride a bicycle, ride a horse,or when we are flying a kite. After all these physical activities you might feel muscle aches in your legs but your mind will feel fresh and open and able to achieve great things. Many people have told me: "I can't find any free time to exercise, even though I know I need it." These people are unorganized even when they feel at the top of the world. We should be considerate with our bodies, we need its services. Walking is a good exercise available to all.

We need to use our intelligence both when we exercise and in choosing a healthy diet. One can develop habits which aid in regular exercise activities without overdoing it. For instance, would it be possible to park your car far from your destination? In this way, you can exercise as you walk towards your destination. Another exercise would be instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs to the second or third floor. Keep your thoughts geared towards this principle and you will find endless ways to exercise during the course of the day.

When I was a young man, I thought about becoming a first rate basketball player, I never became one but currently I am interested in all sports. And although my schedule does not allow me to commit to a sport activity (maybe my age also contributes to this), I can't find complete satisfaction by being only an spectator. Thus, I still enjoy throwing a few balls on the basketball court. I continue to make a daily effort to set time aside to exercise after work. This physical activity is not only invigorating but this way, I don't neglect my muscles.

Physical activity is something personal, but it is important to select what kind of activity is most joyful and best suited for each person. There are several methods of physical activity and recreation, many are group oriented. It is wise to choose a physical activity that you can carry out without depending on other people. Your main concern should be your body. You will assume responsibility for your body for the rest of your life, and no one else will be as concerned with its well being as you will be.

I recommend that under any circumstances one should make an effort to take long relaxing walks in the countryside. I believe that man can't find peace and live a plentiful life without searching for peace in the contemplation of nature. I am certainly not a poet, but I doubt that any artist had observed and experienced such an aesthetic feeling like the one I have experienced while observing a sunset, or a moonrise, the formation of the clouds or the magnificent view of the mountains as they disappear in the horizon.

How many times I have envied Thoreau and his quiet pond, but even in the desert landscape it is fun to observe the lizards run among the bushes. A walk in the countryside can bring you that mental and spiritual tranquility you have been searching for. While you take this peaceful walk you will have a chance to engage in meditation which is something we all need.

Take a moment and get away from the noise of the crowds and stay away from that one eye monster, the television. Discover the marvelous things God has created and that are waiting for you to bring you joy and pleasure. I assure you that even Ponce de Leon's fountain of youth will not rejuvenate you as much as a simple stroll in the country.

DO YOU PROVIDE YOUR BODY WITH SUFFICIENT PHYSICAL EXERCISE?

Do you include a walk or stroll in your daily schedule of activities, or other activities such as swimming, playing golf or any other sport?

SET OUT THE LEVELS OF GOOD HEALTH YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE.

How can you improve your habits to achieve the level of good health you want? Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish and implement them.

WHEN YOU COME IN DIRECT CONTACT WITH NATURE:

Do you find pleasure in simple things such as: the chirping of birds, or the rhythmical sounds of water running against the rocks?

CHAPTER XI