Get up, make up your bed, go walking


John 5:8 Jesus saith unto him, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk.”

There was a man near the pool of Bethesda who had an “infirmity.” We do not know what the infirmity was; but, we do know that it made him slow with walking because before he could get to the water for healing, others would arrive before him and he would miss his chance of healing.

Notice that when Jesus healed him, he did not say, “You are well now, hang out and watch TV.”

Instead, he told the man to go walking: “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

Translation: “Get up, make your bed, go walking. “

Christ walked.

Thoreau walked.

Emerson walked.

Beethoven walked.

Moses walked.

Steve Reeves walked.

Gandhi walked (averaged 11 miles per day).

Four out of five of those people hospitalized or dead from COVID have been obese. Walking fights obesity (but it takes much more walking than you’ve probably been told).

Are prophets and artists walkers because they are prophets; or, are they prophets and artists because they are walkers?

Rise, make your bed, go walking.


Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries or by omitting the benefits that are your duty.

Walk 3 miles

Eat 5 fruits or vegetables



Charles Runels, MD

More on walking<–
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Your Inner Circle

The “inner circle” principle is used by the healthy, though sometimes unconsciously. I’ll show you first an extreme example then a practical application.

First, an extreme example…

When Christ prepared to walk into a house to raise the dead, he “permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John” [Mark 5:37]. Then, before he took care of the problem and commanded, “Little girl, I say, get up” [Mark 5:41], before he did anything dramatic, he sent everyone out of the house except the 3 in the inner circle and the parents of the child. He didn’t call for T.V. cameras; he didn’t try to convince anyone of anything. He just ejected from the house the people who “ridiculed Him” [Mark 5:40] and then did his job. Not even the other 9 disciples were allowed in the room.

Practical Application (Importance of Your Inner Circle)…

So, is there really a practical application concerning health in this Bible story? Possibly, your most important and difficult goals, resolutions, aspirations, and tasks for the day should be kept private (not televised or broadcasted). Sharing the most important somehow dilutes resolve and dampens results of my patients. Consider a practical example:

You’re at your mother’s house and you start to explain to your cousin details of how you plan to drop 50 pounds and increase your energy with your new exercise plan. What are the chances that cousin Sue (who’s watching TV and eating a 700-calorie snack) is interested or apt to offer encouragement? If your next party is like most, you’ll hear no comment if you drink a couple of sodas and eat a large slice of desert; you’re more likely to face “ridicule” if you eat a bowl of oranges and skip the desert. That much you know and probably need no reminder. Here’s the part that possibly needs pointing out: the less explaining you do the more likely you are to continue with your resolve.

Explaining and making all actions transparent opens the door that leads to your inner circle of value and resolve. Allowing anyone into this circle weakens your results (even Christ found it necessary to rope off an inner circle). Repeatedly, I see my patients discouraged in the effort to improve their health by the ridicule (implied or direct) of friends and family. Explanation of plans usually brings a reply listing all the reasons for failure. But, change does seem to demand Resolve.

Ben Franklin listed in his 13-point summary of the virtues “Resolution.” A better word might be Promise. Steven Covey said the best way to care for relationships is to make and keep promises. Franklin would have said, “make and keep resolutions.” I’ve found the healthiest seem to make and keep promises to self but are reluctant to reveal those promises.

For accomplishment of promises, Inner Circles seem to strengthen the resolve of the healthy who share powerful goals with healthy people; so, a healthy inner circle can be a powerful motivator and facilitator.

The unhealthy either have an inner circle of mostly people who practice unhealthy habits or else have no inner circle, only resolutions diluted by the ridicule of the crowd.

__ Mark Chapters 4 – 5

__ Walk 3 miles: actual miles walked _____

__ Eat 5 fruits or vegetables _____

__ Virtue: Resolution/Courage – resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

Peace & Health,

Charles Runels
Cellular Medicine Association

More about these 365 Health Strategies<–

Tune Your Group…Tune Your Health

Reading about construction of temples in Exodus reminds me of another powerful health strategy: plugging into the right group.

Go to a place with a band and dancing, there’s a good chance you’ll do some dancing. It’s natural to be caught up in the activity of the group. Why not use the power of the group to improve health?

Those who go to church are likely to pray. Stay home, you may say a prayer, but go to a temple and prayer will be more intense because of plugging into the group.

I believe someone with an aversion to exercise could change their healthy by simply going to the YMCA and spending an hour there every  day. Something about being around a large building full of people exercising just makes you want to move.

But, there are other less obvious ways to use the group to improve health. You can subscribe to a health inspiring magazine and read it. You may be alone while you read the magazine, but you’re still exposed to healthy group of people through the articles. Hiking magazines, Men’s Health, Runner’s World, and Prevention Magazine are good choices. There are many web sites, and e-zines like this one; but for a strong influence, a regular magazine with articles and pictures of people who improved their health seems to work better.

You can start a walking club that meets once a week on the weekend for a long walk (at least 2 or 3 times as long as what you normally walk). I’ve been part of such clubs when I was running marathons. I normally ran 5 to 10 miles during the week; but would meet a few people for a long slow 15 to 20 miles early on Saturday morning.  I don’t recommend a daily walking club because people usually walk at different speeds (you  don’t even want to walk the same speed every day)…so a daily club frustrates the faster walker and exhausts the slower walker.  Also, when one or the other can’t make the walk, each becomes the other’s excuse for not walking.  Best, is have a daily appointment with yourself and meet for a group walk once a week.

Let’s say you normally walk 2 or 3 miles a day. If you met a friend or 2 for an easy, slow 5 mile walk on a weekend day, then the extra mileage would make up for a missed day during the week. Also, and more important, knowing that you would be meeting someone on Saturday (who’s probably going to ask you about your walking and who also walks) will motivate you to stay on your program. Even meeting just once a week will encourage you to stay more consistent the other 6 days.

Some religions stress healthy living and weekly worship becomes good for both body and mind. The Seventh Day Adventist Church is the healthiest, most long-lived group in the nation.

WARNING:    Watch for groups that glorify the unhealthy. You may connect with the healthier members of a group, but if the group consumes much time and encourages unhealthy behavior, do you really have time for that group?

Which would be healthier, a chess club or a birdwatching club? Which would be healthier, a Mardi Gras society, or a class in outdoor photography? What groups could you consider dropping? What new groups could you consider joining?

__ Exodus Chapters 29 – 34

__ Walk 3 miles: actual miles walked _____

__ Eat 5 fruits or vegetables: actual eaten _____

__ Virtue: Order – Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.


Charles Runels, MD

More about these 365 Health Strategies<–


Week 1: Day 6

__Read Genesis 36 – 41_____

__Walk 3 miles: actual miles walked _____

__Eat 5 fruits or vegetables_____

__Virtue: Temperance: eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

If I had to name one thing that keeps most people from superior health, I might name this: not realizing the necessity of a fight and preparing for that fight.

Physical laws state that things go toward a state of more disorder. It’s the reason that rocks don’t roll up hills. It’s the reason your home becomes more disordered with use rather than becoming more neat after a party. It’s the reason we become less healthy without efforts toward better health. You work to stay in place and you work harder if you want to improve.

Part of the effort involved in breaking the inertia and moving toward better health requires breaking through conflict with other people. Usually unknowingly, the people who love you most will do the most to distract you from healthy activities you wish to accomplish and will lead you toward the things you wish not to do. If someone not close to you interrupts, you may have little difficulty saying, “no.” But, most people when faced with choosing between something that’s very important to them and something less important but urgent to someone they love will choose to care for the other person.

The children need you to help with homework and it’s time for a walk. Guests are coming and you must prepare food they will enjoy (but which may not be your best choice). You’ve been away at work and your family wants to see you; so you skip the walk to sit and visit a little longer.

The people we love may not even realize that they’re keeping us from something important to our health. But, they do.

Here’s the analogy to remember: if you’re in an airplane, the steward(ess) briefs you on safety measures. If you’re sitting next to a small child and the cabin loses pressure, whose oxygen mask should you put on first–yours or the child’s?

The answer: you put on yours first! I’ve heard that advice every time I fly. Of course the reason is that if you’re passed out then you can’t take care of the child. You cannot care for those you love if you’re not alive and functioning well.

Most of us love family and friends enough to die for them. But to die or become less healthy and be unable to care for others because of homework that can’t wait or because dinner must be served at 5:30 instead of 6:30 after walking, to do these less important things to care for others while you forego practices that keep you healthy seems less wise than putting the child’s mask on before yours when in the airplane that’s lost pressure.

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Usually, those who love you will encourage your efforts after you say something like the following: “I must go for this walk (or not eat this cake or drink this drink, etc.) because I cannot be there for you the way I want to be unless I’m healthy and happy. I need to do this to take care of myself so that I can then be a good father (or mother, friend, spouse).” Even children can understand this concept.

Usually, there’s no unpleasant fight. But there is inertia and there will be conflict and occasional difficulties satisfying others if you stick to your resolutions. Prepare for conflict and stand firm with love.

So, prepare for a fight. The internal fight will be to stand resolved in your health practices to care for the goose (you) who lays the golden egg (service and love) for your family and friends. The external fight will be the occasional resistance by those you love when they forget that they must occasionally wait for the egg while you care for the goose.

Peace & health,

Charles Runels, MD


Record. Week 1. Day 4.

Week 1 Day 4

Mistake Three: Not keeping records

Most of the business gurus seem to stress setting measurable goals. Without a measurable goal, how do you know if you’re on track at the end of the day?

The same principle applies to health. For example: if you resolve to eat less and exercise more, exactly how do you know if you’ve accomplished that goal at the end of the day? Beneath that simple goal, you find complicated questions: How much less do you need to eat? How much more do you need to exercise? What exercise should you do? If you miss a day of exercise or if you eat an extra piece of pizza, how do you compensate tomorrow to reach overall goals such as losing 20 pounds or breaking free of your hypertension medication?

Losing 20 pounds will be accomplished by behaving in a particular way for many days; so, the 20-pound goal will be accomplished more successfully in the people who set measurable daily goals. If we win or lose our lives in day-tight compartments, then it’s in the accomplishment of the daily goal that we achieve long term dreams.

Solution: Keep a simple daily record

The better the performance, the more likely you will find detailed records. Successful people in every area of life keep good records. The super coaches and athletes keep good records. Very healthy people often keep records. James Loehr tells (in his book, Stress for Success) how he coached Olympic and professional athletes to superior performance by asking them to keep records. He tells how to use similar records to improve your performance with work and with your health. I highly recommend his book to understand the power for records.

Is it artificial to keep records about your health?
Yes, I suppose so.
But, being trapped in a box (called house and office) instead of working outside is artificial.
Driving a box (called a car) instead of walking is artificial.
Having monstrous amounts of food available without doing any physical work is artificial.
It may take something artificial to counteract our modern environment.

Keeping a record of your accomplishment of daily goals which lead to long range goals does more than keep you honest with yourself. It also keeps you focused on what’s important. Just defining what you will track with your record can work magic.

It’s better to track healthful activities done and not unhealthy activities. By tracking the good things you do, the record will be more fun and you’ll be more likely to repeat the good activity. This goes back to using the good to replace the bad.

Also, a good record system to improve your health should take no more than five to ten minutes per day. For example: don’t record every calorie eaten–that’s not something you can do for the rest of your life. Instead record simple activities you can quickly track and which make a dramatic change in your life.

We’ll talk more tomorrow about how to make a health goal. So far we’ve mentioned these characteristics: day-tight goals, strive for something positive (not stopping something harmful), take baby steps, make it a measurable activity, and keep a daily record.

Read Genesis: Chapters 22-28 __
Walk 3 miles: Actual miles walked_____
Eat 5 fruits or vegetables_____
Virtue: Temperance-eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation_____

Best regards,

Charles Runels, MD
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Week 1. Day 3. Baby Steps

Baby Steps

After choosing a new healthful habit to replace a harmful one, people sometimes make another mistake in the quest for better health–attempting too much too quickly. For example, trying to go from hardly ever exercising to walking several miles a day can be too much of a shock emotionally and physically. It’s analogous to trying to start a car moving by starting out in fifth gear. There’s too much strain on the engine if you start in fifth gear; so the engine sputters, the car moves a few inches. Then the engine dies. If you start the car in first gear, the car starts slowly but there’s no strain on the engine. Then after the car begins to move, you shift into second gear, and then third until finally the car’s moving at 65 miles per hour and the engine never strained. The same inertia, which kills the car engine in the physical world, kills the emotional stamina of most people in the emotional world.

By keeping the goal much smaller than that which you’re capable, it becomes easy to start. After starting, then the momentum makes it easy to shift into second gear and then third–doing a little more than planned.

Here’s the goal I’ve had since I was 19 years old: to walk one mile per day and to do 50 push ups. Even though since I was 19 I’ve done marathons, triathlons, and generally lead a very active life, the underlying goal that got me started many days was to go 1 mile per day and do 50 push ups. Most days, after starting, I would feel like doing more. But, when things seemed impossibly busy, or if I felt fatigue, or emotional upheaval, or whatever might stop me from exercise, the goal was always to walk 1 mile per day and do 50 push ups (about 20 minutes of walking at the usual pace of someone walking through a shopping mall).

The 10-Minute Rule

Another first-gear goal that keeps me going is to just go to the YMCA 6 days per week, and do anything for 10 minutes. Occasionally (maybe once every two months), I’ll go to the YMCA and start exercising; then, after 10 minutes, I still don’t want to be there. When that happens, I give myself permission to shower and leave. Most of the time, if I arrive not really wanting to be there, after 10 minutes, I feel refreshed and in tune with the spirit of the place and start a vigorous workout. But the goal, when I go to the YMCA, is always to just exercise for 10 minutes.

While I was walking recently, two women approached from behind. Both were about 40 pounds over weight and about a foot shorter than I but were walking faster. I said hello and thought as they passed that they may not continue to walk every day because their goal was to go too fast and too hard and would result in discomfort. Most people won’t keep doing activities that cause discomfort. Their goal, in my opinion involved walking at a speed that was driving in 5th gear when their obese body wanted to be in 1st gear.

Forget, “No pain, no gain.”
Remember,Pain will cause you to refrain.”
Consistency wins the prize of good health. The proverbial “baby steps” are easy so you come back the next day and the next.

I hope to offer you one baby step per day with these daily lessons.

Week 1: Day 3

_____Read Genesis: Chapters 15-21

_____Walk 3 miles: Actual miles walked

_____Eat 5 fruits or vegetables

_____Virtue: Temperance-eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

Peace & health,

Charles Runels, MD
About these 365 Health Strategies<–

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Jan 2. Crowd Out Harmful with Health-full

Crowd Out Harmful With Health-full

Around January 1, I see people try to begin or end a habit as part of a New Year’s resolution. Correctly thinking that habits greatly change their health, they use the first of the year as starting point for beginning new habits. I’ve noticed six things that successful habit changers do that the stuck do not do. You might consider these six things as you go about constructing resolutions for the year.

Neither the physical world nor the emotional and spiritual world tolerates a vacuum. Abruptly ending a habit forms a vacuum. Then the person eventually refills the vacuum–usually either by returning to the old habit or by adopting a new habit as destructive as the one abruptly ended.

For example: someone may abruptly stop smoking and then adopt more food to replace the cigarettes. Sometimes this leads to unwanted weight gain. Or the person may tolerate the vacuum left by the absence of smoking for a time, but eventually the vacuum becomes unbearable and they return to smoking.

Rather than resolving to abruptly end a bad habit, some will carefully plan and implement a good habit that they think might crowd the bad habit out of their life.

For example: Some will start chewing gum and think that this habit might replace smoking. Usually, chewing gum is not powerful enough to replace smoking, but the replacement tool can operate powerfully. A better choice might be walking. I’ve had no patient that developed the habit of walking three or more miles a day (six or seven days a week) who continued to smoke; it’s simply difficult to do both (you either quit walking or quit smoking).

When doctors prescribe Welbutrin, they use the replacement tool. The patient usually takes the medication for one or two weeks before they even attempt to quit the cigarettes. Usually, the medication will make the cigarettes less desirable and the patient will just quit smoking (as long as she continues the new Welbutrin habit).

Using this strategy (pushing out the harmful with the helpful) to change your life demands that you carefully chose the new habit. The new habit should be less harmful than the old one and it must be powerful enough in its effect to push away the old habit. The new habit should also be something that you can actually do for the rest of your life (else when you stop the new habit, the old one comes home again).

Tomorrow, we can think about mistake #two. Today we consider what habits do we really want to give up. What habits do you think you could begin that might crowd out the bad habits? It’s a good time to carefully consider such strategies. Consider making a list of harmful and helpful behaviors that you would like to begin or start.

Hopefully, scanning through this daily reminder will be a small habit that could keep you moving in a healthy direction and help crowd out harmful behaviors by redirecting focus

_Read Genesis: Chapters 8-14

_Walk 3 miles: actual miles walked

_Eat 5 fruits or vegetables

_Virtue: Temperance–eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation

Peace & Health,

Charles Runels, MD
Cellular Medicine Association

More about these “365 Health Strategies”

Fall from a house, get up smiling.

“Whosoever of you will be chiefest shall be servant of all.”

While working the emergency room, I once cared for a woman who fell from her house while repairing the roof. She was very beautiful and kind and seemed in good spirits even though she’d just fallen from the roof. When I undressed her, I noticed she had a beautiful young appearing body, and I found no major injuries–she was 82 years old.

When I asked her how she remained young and happy and tough at 82, she gave the answer that I ALWAYS hear when I ask that question of people in their 80’s who appear younger and brighter than their peers.

She said, “I never smoked, I walk every day, & I visit people in the nursing home.”

Sure people live to be 100 and up routinely, but those whom I’ve met who not only live but remain healthy and vibrant past the age of 80 ALWAYS are still walking & are still practicing loving others through service.

Hope this helps.

Read Mark 10-11
Virtue: Industry-Lose no time. Be always employed at something useful
Eat 5 Fruits & Vegetables____________________-
Walk 3 miles______________

Peace & health,

Charles Runels, MD
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Shout at a Wall

“Be not disturbed.”
That’s what Ben Franklin determined to do.

But, he didn’t really decide to “do”.
He determined to “not do”–to “not be disturbed.”

The healthy people that I’ve studied focused on doing (not not doing).

Even in war.  Even in sickness.  Even in pain…tranquility by doing.


It’s about the PRACTICE of washing the mind and spirit daily, weekly, hourly, continuously.
As you do when you practice the 1,3,5 plan.

And, when there becomes a problem,
how about marching around it (as seen in today’s reading) day after day,
and then focusing all energy toward problem (in contrast to NOT thinking about it).

Reasons for worry will always be around.  One of the best tips given to me about worry:
When worried, think of something to do.

Perhaps too simple?

Walk around the wall between you and your promised land.
Walk around the wall, study it, and then shout for it to go.

Maybe it won’t crumble.
Maybe it will.

Joshua Chapters 1-7
Virtue:  Tranquility:  Be not disturbed at trifles, nor at accidents common or unavoidable.
Walk 3 miles______
Eat 5 fruits/vegetables_______

About these 365 Health Strategies

Peace & health,


Charles Runels, MD