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Week 17: Day 115
Health Strategy: Shield Energy
April 25, 2005


People frequently complain to me that they feel tired. Good research shows that one of the most common complaints heard by the physician is that of fatigue. The factors involved in achieving and maintaining good energy represent such a variety that it seems few are able to accomplish the task and keep a consistently high energy level. More complicated and demanding than tuning a racing vehicle, keeping a well-tuned, energized body challenges most of my patients. Here's a basic plan that works for me and for some of my patients:

First, with the expert attention of a knowledgeable doctor who will listen to all complaints and symptoms, make sure there is no disease. In my practice of medicine, the most commonly overlooked diseases include low testosterone, low T3 (one of the thyroid hormones), and low growth hormone. Sometimes, "normal" levels may not be normal for that person; so adjustment within the normal range (from low-normal to high-normal) may be helpful. Other problems I've found include diabetes (average time from onset to diagnosis in US is fourteen years), ovarian cancer, lupus, arthritis, chronic sinusitis, and various digestion problems.

Secondly, to prevent fatigue, there must be adequate sleep. I have lived life chronically fatigued from lack of sleep (sleeping on the average only 2 out of every 3 nights). Many must live in this way because of demands from work or family. But, there cannot be optimum energy unless the need for sleep is respected. Recent research indicates that 7 hours per night is optimum for most adults. Most of my patients seem to do best with 7 hours per night and about 15 to 20 minutes of quiet rest supine at some time after noon. This rest may result in no sleep, a short nap, or immediate and restful sleep during the entire 20 minutes (depending upon activity level and the day's emotional demands). But, even with no sleep, the short time supine seems to help those who are blessed with a situation that allows the practice. Many very productive people (Winston Churchill & Thomas Edison to name two) have achieved high productivity with a daily rest time.

Third. There must be time for exercise. Most require an hour of walking per day. Before you say you don't have time, remember that Thomas Jefferson recommended two hours per day. You may answer that he was a genius. Well, he was. But, perhaps the daily exercise contributed to that genius. Present government recommendations (from the most recent research) indicates that most need 60 to 90 minutes of walking per day to achieve and maintain normal weight. Normal weight is almost a requirement for optimal energy.

Fourth. There must be a daily plan for shielding energy losses. This goes back to integrity and courage. Integrity to avoid the energy lost through the emotional drain of wrong choices. Courage to make the right choices and to remove distracting influences. The tools for this shielding of energy have been outlined by many great thinkers. Benjamin Franklin's daily self examination for the practice of the virtues is one such tool. Tomorrow, we'll discuss other tools that have been used by great thinkers in the effort to shield energy from emotional drains. Food choices also determine energy levels; how food can be used for energy will be discussed in future strategies.

__ Read I Kings Chapters 7-9

__ Walk 3 miles: actual miles walked _____

__ Eat 5 fruits or vegetables: actual number eaten ____

__ Virtue: Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

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