This section is from the book "Health Without Medicine. A Treatise On The Laws Of The Human System", by Larkin B. Coles. Also available from Amazon: Philosophy Of Health.
All amusements for recreation should of course be innocent and free from a tendency to any kind of dissipation. The periods daily allotted to exercise and relaxation may be more or less occupied in amusements; but generally there should be, aside from this, some time occasionally spent exclusively in simple recreations. There should be occasional hunting parties, fishing parties, temperance picnics, sleighrides, and other pleasure parties and excursions. Occasional plays and games which have no evil tendency, may be made profitable to health. Some may think that such recommendations are giving too great license; but if they are properly chosen and managed, there can be no harm from them, but great good: they are recommended not for the sake of the mere amusement they are adapted to give, but purely for the purpose of recreating and preserving a healthy state of body and mind; which cannot always be done without these aids. Those persons especially who are devoted to constant mental labor, must have resort to some kind of mental relaxation, or their constitutions will suffer loss: the mind cannot bear to be kept constantly on the stretch of exertion; it will soon lose its elasticity and power, and the body give way.