Advancing health through science, education and medicine

The Evolution of Medical Views on Exercise

Shadrach Ricketson (1768-1839)

Ricketson, Shadrach, Means of Preserving Health, and Preventing Diseases, New York, Collins, Perkins, and Co., 1806.

Definition Objective

Promotes the circulation of the blood, assists digestion, encourages perspiration.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica — Exercise increases the circulation of the blood, attenuates & divides the fluids, promotes regular perspiration, secretion of all the humors, accelerates the animal spirits, facilitating their distribution into all the fibers of the body, strengthens the parts, creates an appetite, and helps digestion.

Ricketson, 152, 157. 

Frequency Type / Mode 

Active — Walking, running, leaping, swimming, and riding on horseback.

Passive — Sailing, swinging, friction, riding in carriages.

Ricketson, 152. 

Duration Time of Day  Intensity

Not on a full or empty stomach

According to Willich — Muscular motion is most agreeable and healthy in the forenoon, on an empty stomach or when the stomach is not too much distended.

Ricketson, 154, 162. 

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