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The Evolution of Medical Views on Exercise 


Francis Fuller (1670-1706)

Fuller, Francis, Medicina Gymnastica: or a Treatise Concerning the Power of Exercise, London: Robert Knaplock, 2nd edition, 1705.

Definition Objective

All that motion or agitation of the body, of what kind soever, whether voluntary or involuntary, and all methods whatsoever, which without the use of internals, may (or without which internals alone may not always) suffice to enable Nature to expel the enemy which oppresses her.

Fuller, 4-5.

Equal Distribution of a greater degree of heat throughout the whole body, build muscular and nervous strength, augment the natural heat of the body, enriching the fluids, increasing the velocity of the circulation, allowing the minutest particle to be brought oftener to the test of the strainers, so that both the venous fluid and the spirits will after an eminent manner be exalted and rectified in the making, preservation of health, raises the spirits, refreshes the mind and strengthens and relieves the whole man, enables the nerves to dilate themselves sufficiently to take a greater quantity of animal spirits & consequently fits them for more vigorous actions, gives the solid and nervous parts a grateful sensation, a gentle agitation of the spirits being able to remove some pain situated in those parts.

Fuller, a4, the page before b, b4, 1, 33-34, 42.

Frequency Type / Mode 


Fuller, 25, 189.

Riding, Diving , Running, Walking, Stooping, Chafing of the Skin.

Fuller, 162, 210.

Duration Time of Day  Intensity


Moderate, Vigorous (exercise continues ‘till through the greatness of the perspiration they grow tired)

Fuller, 33.

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