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The Evolution of Medical Views on Exercise

James Thacher (1754-1844)

Thacher, James M.D., American Modern Practice; Or, A Simple Method of Prevention and Cure of Diseases, Boston, Erza Read, 1817.

Definition Objective

Strengthens the solid parts and promotes the circulation of the fluids, increases perspiration & prevents many diseases which cannot be cured and removes others where medicine proves ineffectual. Assists in the actions of the heart, the motion of the lungs and all the vital functions, digestion is rendered perfect exhilarates the spirits, invigorates the nerves, imparts new energy to the mental faculties, adds bulk, firmness & strength to the moving fibre & bestows on the countenance the animated bloom of health.

Thacher, 77, 210, 212.

Frequency Type / Mode 

For Friction — 2x day - daily exercise.

Thacher, 80, 146.

For youth, middle-aged, & to the corpulent —  Walking, running, leaping, riding, swimming, fencing

For infants, aged, delicate & weak — riding in a carriage, sailing, swinging
Dancing, hoeing, digging, raking, chopping, skipping the rope, reading or speaking aloud, singing, friction

Thacher, 78-79.
Duration Time of Day  Intensity

For friction — 20 minutes each session

Thacher, 80.

3-4 hrs. after eating.

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