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The Evolution of Medical Views on Exercise

John C. Gunn

Gunn, John MD, Gunn’s Domestic Medicine, Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1986.

Definition Objective

Exercise, with temperance and rest, are sure guarantees of sound health and vigor if one has a good constitution and provides the only means of amending and preserving a weak and deficient one.  The objects of exercise — increase and regulate the secretions and excretions by the skin, kidneys, &c., give power to the muscles, impart tone and strength to the nerves, reduce the superfluities of flesh & fat, reduce the quantity of blood, making it thinner and lighter.  Other benefits — good appetite, good and easy digestion, tranquility and serenity of mind and feelings, pleasant & refreshing sleep, increase of strength and wind in breathing, &c.

Gunn, 108, 112.

Frequency Type / Mode 

Exercise on horseback for women and exercise on foot for men.  Also, walking with 5-6 pound weights useful for persons of weak breasts, particularly females.

Gunn, 110, 112.

Duration Time of Day  Intensity
In the morning, walk 1-2 miles, in the evening devote an hour to exercise in the open air.

Morning and evening

Gunn, p. 112.


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