Advancing health through science, education and medicine

The Evolution of Medical Views on Exercise

Dio Lewis

Lewis, Dio, Weak Lungs, and How to Make them Strong, Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1871.

Lewis, Dio, The New Gymnastics for Men, Women and Children, New York: Clarke Brothers, 1883.

Definition Objective

Use of exercise for the cure/treatment of consumption.

Advantages of new system: uses every muscle, ensures all-sided development, exercises changed from one set of muscles to another, thus avoiding weariness & undue disturbance of circulation, ensures a completeness & grace, subordinated to personal or individual wants, purpose of all muscle training is to perfect intermarriage b/t nerve & muscle; this system compels the most complete interaction b/t soul & body, uses apparatus that can’t strain & stiffen the muscles, social life-both sexes & all ages, both sexes unite in all exercises and music.

Lewis, New Gymnastics, 7-9.

Frequency Type / Mode 

In education, alternate study & physical exercise in periods no longer than half an hour throughout the day.

Lewis, Weak Lungs, 233.

Riding horseback, hunting, fishing, & Mountain air, walking, gardening, the ball games.

Lewis, Weak Lungs, 246.

Duration Time of Day  Intensity


Need for individual prescription of exercise; need to consider which muscles are defective & what exercises are required to bring them into order.

Moderation in exercise

Lewis, Weak Lungs, 249 and New Gymnastics, 235.

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