Fatigue accumulates with astonishing rapidity. The United States Army has discovered by repeated tests that even young men toughened by years of Army training can march better, and hold up longer, if they throw down their packs and rest ten minutes out of every hour. So the Army forces them to do just that.
Your heart pumps enough blood through your body every day to fill a railway tank car. It exerts enough energy every twenty-four hours to shovel twenty tons of coal onto a platform three feet high. It does this incredible amount of work for seventy, eighty, or more years. How can it stand it? Dr. Walter B. Cannon, formerly of the Harvard Medical Scholl, explained it. He said: “Most people have the idea that the heart is working all the time. As a matter of fact, there is a definite rest period after each contraction. When beating at a moderate rate of seventy pulses per minute, the heart is actually working only nine hours out of the twenty-four. In the aggregate its rest periods total a full fifteen hours per day.”
In his excellent book, Why Be Tired, Daniel W. Josselyn observed: “Rest is not a matter of doing absolutely nothing. Rest is repair.” There is so much repair power in a short period of rest that even a five-minute nap will help to forestall fatigue.
So do what the Army does—take frequent rest. Do what your heart does—rest before you get tired, and you will add one hour a day to your waking life.
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