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The Evolution of Medical Views on Exercise

John Sinclair

Sinclair, Sir John, The Code of Health and Longevity; or a General View of the Rules and Principles Calculated for the Preservation of Health, and the Attainment of Long Life, London, Sherwood, Gilbert & Piper, 1833.

Definition Objective

Increases considerably the powers of the body, assist the digestive organs, increase in size and strength, also has effect upon the mental faculties, exercise prevents and cures disease.

Sinclair, 195-6, 222-9.
Frequency Type / Mode 
At least once a day

Sinclair, 233.
Youthful exercises — hopping, running, throwing, lifting and carrying weights, balancing, climbing, skipping, sliding, skating, swinging, dancing.
Manly exercises — tennis, cricket, golf, shinty, swimming, rowing, angling, hunting, agriculture
Gymnastic exercises — leaping, foot racing, hurling, wrestling, boxing, cudgelling, fencing, archery, and modern military exercises
Healthful exercises — (external) — walking, riding, carriage exercise, sailing, boating, bowling, quoits or (domestic) — billiards, shuttle-cock, dumb-bells, pensile-beds, declaiming

Sinclair, 196-217.
Duration Time of Day  Intensity
According to Cheyne — for the studious, 3 hrs. for riding, 2 for walking with these times split before and after dinner.
At least one hour but for those who can, 2-3 hrs. should be spent on horseback & for those who can not ride, the equivalent should be spent walking.

Sinclair, 232-4, 238.
When weather is not too hot, proper period for active exercises is in the open air between breakfast and dinner.  One does not want to exercise after a heavy meal.

Before a meal.

Sinclair, 232, 234.
Exercise should be continued until we feel an agreeable lassitude, and a sensible degree of perspiration.

Moderate exercise in proportion to the constitution and time of life.

Exercise should proceed to the borders of fatigue, but should never pass them.

Sinclair, 233.
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