Hardening: principles and practice
Health should be taken care of in advance, often deliberately leading an active lifestyle. In case of your inertness, you will have to pay ARVI, acute respiratory infections and other undesirable diseases.
Many people believe that, having closed in a room, they may feel safe and will not be able to catch a cold. But just the opposite, this is the surest way to become a victim of colds. By nursing your body, reducing its resistance, you will paralyze its natural forces in a reliable way, lower your immunity. Untrained muscles will become soft and flabby, nerve cells inert, arteries relaxed, atrophied, their direct function will stop. In order not to get sick and avoid diseases, special efforts should be made, hardening should be carried out, strengthening vital forces every day, and not only during the epidemics.
“Life,” as the philosopher Seneca said, “is constantly at war”
What is hardening?
Hardening is the strengthening of the body’s natural resistance and an increase in its strength, designed to overcome the disease. This is the mechanism of the body, which is responsible for the thermal regulation of the body. The internal temperature of a person must be uniform, it is regulated by the arteries, contracting and relaxing, supplying the skin with blood, ensuring heat exchange and the work of the nerve centers in the spinal cord. Heat metabolism depends on the subcutaneous blood circulation and the activity of the sweat glands: it is very important that these functions always accurately respond to fluctuations in atmospheric pressure. This is a feature of the skin vessels, which can be trained, making the hardening.
Principles of hardening:
The first and main principle: to accustom the body to any weather conditions. It does not matter – it’s cold or warm, moisture or dryness. Hardening should be done gradually, reasonably, carefully, starting with small doses and gradually reaching the maximum. In no case does this mean that you now have to jump out and run tramp in the snow or walk on a frosty windy day without a cap. Everything should be controlled, reasonably, the system should be. This is especially true of young children, whose reflex mechanisms are undeveloped and not trained. There are many people who flatter themselves that they are doing everything that is necessary for health: being dressed from head to toe, they go for a walk in the park. This they call “taking air baths.” In fact, except for the face, they have nothing more aired. There is a story about a healthy savage, and his answer to the question of an astounded traveler, who could not understand how he could withstand the effects of cold weather, being almost naked. He said: “You don’t have clothes on your face?” “No”. “My whole body is that face.”
The second principle. Hardening is a gradual process with an increase in load over time, quietly, slowly.The law of gradual increase in load is one of the basic laws of nature. “Everything that is in abundance,” said Hippocrates, “away from nature.” Experiments with the dog showed that if the animals were immersed in cold water for 10 minutes for several days in a row, they would gain strength and easily withstand cold. Cold baths should always be taken in a warm room, the best time is early in the morning, after the next morning gymnastics. They should not be taken within an hour after a full meal. Particular attention should be paid to the legs, because for a long time, especially in winter, they are without free air access, blood circulation is hampered, the vessels become weak and sluggish. You can make foot baths before bedtime, lowering the degree every 2-3 days.
Cold hardening is an important stage. The impact of cold within the physiological limits causes a normal reaction, a feeling of joyful excitement. But if the cold stimulus is excessive, the person may experience an unpleasant shock. Individual differences should always be considered. Your feelings should not be ignored; especially children often have a great fear of cold water. Such “hardening” will bring only harm.
Hardening should not be carried out during illness. If a person falls ill, all of his natural resources, energy, must be thrown into freeing himself from the disease. Only once you have fully recovered and having given time to the body to strengthen your strength, can you start hardening.