This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Family Doctor" book
Walking is excellent; unsurpassed in benefit to the system if one can afford time to get enough of it; a pleasant country, moderate weather, and good company being almost essential to its advantages. Beginners must not walk too fast or too far. Stop at the end of the first hour, and sit down for five minutes. Rest ten minutes at the end of the second, and every successive hour, if you go on long; and never, while unaccustomed to pedestrianism, go more than three miles in one hour.
Riding on horseback is an admirable exercise; but it leaves neglected a number of useful muscles, which are brought into action in walking. Farmers in some places ride on horseback almost always, if they have to go a mile or more; and, in consequence, they become poor walkers. They often almost wear out in an hour's stroll over hard pavements in town. Bicycling much resembles riding in effect.
Rowing is a capital exercise. More muscles are used in it than in walking or riding on horseback; hands, arms, back, legs, and feet are all strenghened by it.
Skating is as wholesome in itself as any exercise can be. Always in a cold, bracing atmosphere (except roller skating, of course, which may be anywhere), even in a " rink," with freedom and variety of movement of the body and limbs, yet without violence, it is excellent for both sexes.
Swimming, as an exercise, apart from the good obtained from bathing, is less favorable. The pressure of the water, and its temperature if cool or cold, force the blood more or less from the surface of the body to the head. Swimming rapidly is, also a violent exercise. But every boy and girl should learn to swim as early in life as possible, so as to lessen the danger when " overboard " unexpectedly anywhere.
Out-of door games, as lawn tennis, croquet, cricket, base-ball, are all, in moderation, not only enjoyable, but wholesome in their effect upon the bodily condition. Exhilaration of mind makes all exercise more beneficial. It is astonishing what an amount of work people will do under the name of play. A Chinese mandarin, on seeing a number of English gentlemen engaged actively in a game of base-ball or cricket said, " In my country we always pay people for taking so much trouble to amuse us." No treadmill, however, would ever build up muscle like the cricket ground.