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The Evolution of Medical Views on Exercise

Joseph-Clement Tissot (1747-1826)

Tissot, Joseph-Clement, Medicinal and Surgical Gymnastics or Essay on the usefulness of Movement, or different Exercises of the body, and of rest, in the treatment of Diseases, Paris, Bastian, 1780.

Definition Objective
All the actions which give to the machine a certain motion capable of putting it in play; can be either work or amusement.

Tissot, 13.

Facilitates the expulsion of superfluous good humors or matters, motion produces damage that rest must repair, lends to the fibers strength and suppleness, grind, attenuate and thin the liquids withing (blood) vessels achieving the transmutation of the chyle into blood, lymph & animal fluid, conservation & restoration of health, fibers enlarge & acquire new strength to push the fluids, to prevent or dissipate swellings, perspiration becomes more abundant & is transformed into sweat, secretions are made more freely & rid the blood of an infinity of foreign elements, permits us to enjoy a constant change of air.

Tissot, 12-15.
Frequency Type / Mode 

Active exercises — (motion produced entirely by the person who exercises) billiards, bowls, skittles quoits, shuttlecock, tennis, ball games, mallets, hunting, swimming, fencing, dancing, jumping, walking, running, rubbing, exercises which place in action only the upper extremities, & the different vocal exercises
Moderate exercises — (results from forces which act on the person exercising)  moderate-agitation which would result from rocking a cradle, litter, sedan chair, boat & a slowly drawn carriage
Forceful-agitation produced by the sled, the cart, a coach & sailing
Mixed exercises — (motion is alternately received & performed by the persons who are exercising & by the aids participating in their exercise)
swinging, equitation, seesaw, swing, carriage, moderate horseback riding

Tissot,  9-10, 21-42.

Duration Time of Day  Intensity
Dependent on strength of patient and the therapeutic indications.

Young and Old men should exercise for a shorter duration than Norm.

Tissot, 20.

If in the morning — the organs of the first digestion will acquire more strength, discharge of excrements is facilitated and the circulation becomes better in the viscera, quantity of urine increases as does the quality (greater abundance of the sedimentary part), all secretions increase, perspiration increases
If on a full stomach — one is less disposed & less agile, motion disturbs digestion, speeds up the distribution of humors before they can be elaborated & have acquired the qualities necessary for nutrition.
If late at night — improves the digestion occurring the second part & the superfluity is easier to evacuate, free flow of humors.

Before meals

Tissot, 17-18, 45.

Moderate & properly used, with duration remaining a constant, intensity will vary (as determined by perspiration) for the various modes of exercises prescribed.
Young and old men should exercise less vigorously than Norm.

Tissot, 19, 43, 46.

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