Burkhart

Burkhart

How did they stay alive? I wonder. Most never saw a doctor! If they did it was an extremely critical and rare event. I further shake my head in wonderment at the frightening limitations of medical doctors of the past, especially from the mid twentieth century back.

It baffles my mind in dismay – how did any of them live very long at all! Although many did die from things that seem so non-threatening today, so many in spite of the odds survived to a ripe-old-age.

The out-of-doors is now becoming recognized as the conspicuous secret from the past; powerfully therapeutic, curbing obesity, mental health issues, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, relief of anxiety and depression, along with lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Being outside is not a cure all, but it appears to approximate it when considering the enormous benefits it affords us emotionally, physically and mentally.

Prior to the massive urbanization of the human race (19th-20th centuries), people were compelled to be outside hunting, fishing and tilling the soil to stay alive; a lifestyle that came with fresh air, and the prerequisite of physical exertion.

As a somewhat average American citizen, I have received professional medical care periodically for the last half century; although my first thirty years were quite medically bleak.

The required rough and ready lifestyle in the rustic farm life of the 1930’s and 40’s, is an obvious contribution to my geriatric vigor today. AC free sweltering heat, bone chilling cold, physical exertion in daily chores, fresh air by the hour, no packaged or fast foods - all in summary program a tough anatomy of enduring strength. Although statistically there is the likelihood of dropping dead at any time at my age, I still have had a long and healthy run. Conclusively modern amenities and creature comforts take their toll, posing as arch enemies of America’s health today.

Outside exercise is now being prescribed by medical doctors for physical, mental and emotional healing and stamina; emulating the long abandoned, forgotten, outdated and bucolic way of life for countless generations past. Medical doctors are prescribing the free “medication” – “GET OUT-OF-DOORS!”

Such prescriptions direct: a “woodsy walk”, a “walk in the park” a “forest stroll” or a “venture in green space”. Today in 47 states, “Walk with the Doc” is now happening – medical doctors leading community walks.

However, there is still an even greater ingredient for good health and longevity - tranquility of the spirit and mind that is the exclusive gift of those who choose to walk in love with their Maker. Though for countless centuries preached from the rooftops, it is so often left there, becoming “the conspicuous secret” of the past.

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