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The Evolution of Medical Views on Exercise

William Blaikie

Blaikie, William, How to Get Strong and How to Stay So, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1883.

Blaikie, William, Sound Bodies for our Boys and Girls, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1884.

Definition Objective

Reasoning behind exercise is the need to correct physical defects for both your own health but also to correct the fate of future progeny.  Advantages of exercise for women — expands the lungs, invigorates the circulation, strengthens the digestion, gives all muscles & joints of body vigorous play, by this toning & strength, women will be free from the dangers of serious disease.  Vigorous muscular exercise enlarges the respiration, quickens the circulation, improves the digestion, the working in fact of all vital parts.  Benefits for men: makes better blood, gets the entire lungs into action, quickens the activity of the other vital organs, toning up the whole man, physical exercise rests the brain. In “Some Results of Brief Systematic Exercises” describes the changes in various anthropometric measurements resulting from exercise.

Blaikie, 20, 56, 65, 75, 133-4, 138-153.

Frequency Type / Mode 

Types of exercise for women: horses, walking, swimming, Alpine climbing, rowing, In “What Exercise to take daily” describes chapter title in these various terms: daily work for children, daily exercise for young men, for women, for the business men, for consumptives.

Blaikie, 64-5, 252-289.

Duration Time of Day  Intensity

Rich can easily spend 4-5 hrs/day on exercise; but for those that labor, 10-15 min. in the morning, 3-5 min. throughout the day, ½ hr. @ dinner, pref. walking.


For pupils: <30 min. of work indoors & 1hr out of doors.

Blaikie, 67-8, 73, 110.


Amount of exercise dependent on the present strength of women.

Blaikie, 65.

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