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The Evolution of Medical Views on Exercise

Catharine Beecher

Beecher, Catharine, Physiology and Calisthenics.   For Schools and Families, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1856.

Beecher, Catharine E., Calistenic Exercises, For Schools, Families, and Health Establishments, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1856.

Definition Objective

Exercise increases the size and strength of bones.  Exercise will allow the muscles of the body to attain their full size & strength.

Exercise promotes health & perfect development of body.   Also treats headaches, dyspepsia, nervous diseases, lung & liver complaints, local diseases & weakness & a great variety of deformities.

Beecher, Physiology, 79, 81.

Gymnastics gives fullness & strength to the muscles, increasing their force, flexibility & dexterity of movement, opens the chest, increasing size & action of the lungs, removes excess fat, increases the circulation of the blood in the skin, influences the organs of digestion.

Beecher, Calisthenics, iiv-iv.

Frequency Type / Mode 


Beecher, Physiology, 123.

Duration Time of Day  Intensity

Exercise should be avoided immediately following a full meal.

Beecher, Physiology, 98.


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