Advancing health through science, education and medicine

The Evolution of Medical Views on Exercise


Porter, The Catechism of Health, Philadelphia, Literary Rooms, 1831.

Definition Objective

Active exercise is that species of bodily activity produced b the natural actions of the limbs.

Passive exercise is that motion which is excited in the body by external means.

Porter, 49.

Regular bodily exercise creates a healthy appetite, invigorates the powers of digestion, and of the system generally, causes sound and refreshing sleep, a freshness of complexion, cheerfulness of the spirits, wards off disease, & tends to preserve the vigour of both mind and body to an advanced age.  Regular brisk exercise during the winter season preserves the warmth of the body, and renders it less susceptible to the influence of cold, and less dependent for its comfort on artificial heat.

Porter, 50.

Frequency Type / Mode 


Porter, 49.

Walking, running, and leaping, riding on horseback, gardening & certain agricultural employments, riding in a carriage, dancing, swimming,

Porter, 51, 54-56.

Duration Time of Day  Intensity

Early in the morning, and towards the close of the day.

Porter, 50.

Exercise should not done to the degree to produce a feeling of lassitude or fatigue but a slight degree of weariness is desirable.

Porter, 50-1.

© Copyright American College of Sports Medicine

Featured Publication

 Interested in a career in exercise science? This book shows how research is conducted, provides an overview of research as a career pursuit, and…

» Read More