A CHAPTER on MOVEMENT & EXERCISE published in 1931, 87 years ago.
The Wonders of the Human Body by Margaret A. Shuttleworth, University of London Press, Ltd. New and Revised Edition, 1931
Here’s an ‘easy to read’ extract from ‘Chapter VI’ of the second level 1931 college edition entitled ‘Movement and Exercise’.
Exercise of all kinds, in moderation of course, has a beneficial effect on the whole body by assisting all its natural functions and making it better able to resist disease. Not only are the muscles made stronger, harder, and brought more under the control of the nervous system, but the circulation of the blood is stimulated by the contracting muscles pressing on the blood vessels and so forcing the blood onwards. Muscles contain about half the total amount of blood in the whole body. During exercise the lungs have to work harder in order to supply the necessary amount of oxygen to the working muscles, and in this way they are made more efficient. Again, as a result of exercise, the skin becomes more active, more perspiration-a waste product-is poured out, and the blood is purified more effectively. The digestive organs, too, are beneficially affected, for the appetite is stimulated, and a good appetite means that the digestion is carried on more easily. The liver, a large organ which is very apt to become sluggish, is enabled to carry out its various functions better as the result of an improvement in the circulation of blood through it. Thus the whole body is invigorated by exercise, and as the brain works better in a vigorous body, so exercise increases the ease with which mental work is done. No one can doubt the value of regular exercise in the fresh air, for we all recognise the healthy complexion, the fine physique, the elastic gait, the soundness in wind, and the absence of superfluous fat, which are the results of physical exercise. as contrasted with the dull complexion, the slow heavy gait, the listless manner, and flabby muscles of those who have not experienced the joys of regular exercise. What has been said about the value of exercise is true of all kinds of exercise, but games, especially team games, in which one side competes against another, play a most important part in the formation of character. They teach us good temper even under the most trying circumstances, the proper spirit in which to take defeat, self-control, and above all, self-sacrifice for the good of the side. Further, they create in us a love of justice and fair play, all qualities without which no one can hope to play aright, the most important game of all, the Great Game of Life. Exercise is therefore, absolutely essential for the mental, moral, and physical well-being of the human body.
An 87 year old tutorial from a chapter on ‘Movement and exercise’.