Vitality Supreme (Bernarr Macfadden, 1915)

On January 5, 2013 by Physical Culturist

…Vitality first of all means endurance and the ability to live long. It naturally indicates functional and organic vigor. You cannot be vital unless the organs of the body are possessed of at least normal degree of strength and are performing their functions harmoniously and satisfactorily.

…It really takes more power to run a defective machine than it does to operate one in which all parts are working in harmony, and the same can be said of the body and its parts or organs. Therefore, if you have vitality enough to continue to live even though diseased, rest assured that you have enough to acquire health if you conform to Nature’s enactments. And this kind of health usually brings a physical and mental exaltation that is truly beyond description.

…Vitality means normal functioning. When the organs of the body are all performing their duties satisfactorily, you can practically be sure of a plentiful supply of vitality. So it can truly be said that proper functioning is the secret of power.

…The body is really a combination of all these various parts and functions, and without strength and activity in all of them, simultaneous and harmonious, not one of these interdependent parts could do its work, and the body as a whole would be thrown into a state of disease. Strength of the internal organs is infinitely more important than mere muscular strength, if one could properly make a comparison.

…It is true that internal strength is more important than external muscular strength, but the fact is that they go together. As a general thing, by building muscular strength one is able at the same time to develop internal strength. The influence of exercise in purifying the blood and in promoting activity in all the internal organs really strengthens the “department of the interior” at the same time that it develops the muscles concerned. Muscular stagnation means organic stagnation, to a very large degree. To be thoroughly alive and to enjoy the possession of unlimited vitality it is necessary to be both muscularly and functionally active. The requirements of Nature, or what are more commonly termed the “laws of Nature,” in reference to all these bodily functions must be strictly observed, for it is only under such conditions that life and health can be maintained at their best.

…The body may be regarded as a machine. Why not make it a strong machine, and as perfect as possible? Its efficiency means everything. If you had an engine, a motorcycle, a sewing machine or a printing press that was a very poor machine, you would like to exchange it for a better one, would you not? You would even spend large sums of money to secure a better machine to take the place of the poor one. But if your body is imperfect, inefficient, weak, rusty and clogged up with grit, dirt and all the waste products due to the “wear” in the bodily structures, you seem nevertheless entirely satisfied. You go on from day to day and from year to year without thinking of the possibility of getting a better physical equipment. But why not consider the body in the same light as any other machine that is of value to you. Your body is the thing that keeps you alive. If it is a poor instrument, then it is more important that you should get a better one than that you should buy a new engine or new printing-press or new sewing-machine. The only difference is, that it is within your power to get a better body machine by building up the one that you have. You can repair it, you can add to its vitality, you can strengthen the functional system, you can make it more perfect and efficient. You can make it a high-power machine that will be of real value in any undertaking that you may wish to carry out. You can make it strong instead of weak, and you can thus enjoy that superabundant vitality without which life is hardly worth the living.

Excerpts from the book, Vitality Supreme (1915), by Bernarr Macfadden
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