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If Women Paid As Much Attention To Exercise As Do Men There Would Not Be So Many Wrinkles - Woman Beautiful 

If Women Paid As Much Attention To Exercise As Do Men There Would Not Be So Many Wrinkles - Woman Beautiful 





“Better to hunt in fields for health unbought
Then fee the doctor for a nauseous draught
The wise for cure on exercise depend;
God never made His work for man to mend.”
Dryden.
It would have done your heart good to see her.
She came into the room with the briskness of a March flurry of snow. Her cheeks were poppy-red, her eyes sparkled with the mere joy of living. And she chuckled happily as she tucked back the curly scolding locks that were flying about, all helter-skelter, like feathers unloosed or fluffy chicks blowing away from the mother wing.
“Isn’t it jolly?” she chirped, as she threw her muff on the floor and made a dive for Peter Jackson. Peter Jackson is a cat, as black as the ace of spades and as pugilistic a feline as ever walked a fence.
“Isn’t what jolly?” I queried. “The weather or your sprightly self? Do you know, you’d make a splendid poster now for some new-fangled cork-soled walking shoe? Or perhaps a bearskin ulster for Klondike wear. I’m sure a feather boa concern would pay a fortune for your picture. I would I were an artist man, with a little brush and a little pencil and a little palette with nice little paint puddles on it——”
“What-in-the-world? Here I start in to dilate upon the joys of exercise and off you go, just like a musical top with your buzz-buzz-buzz, and your incomprehensible talk about little painters and little palettes and little paint puddles. I’m sure it’s not a bit nice of you.”
Peter Jackson was shoved to the floor.
“But walking is jolly!” she piped, “and I’ve just had the very gloriousest tramp and I feel as fine as a—what is it they say? Oh, as fine as a violin—I—I mean fiddle. I walked miles and miles—perhaps not quite so far—and the wind was blowing a blue streak right in my face. Ugh! first it made me shiver and creep up into my collar. But bimeby I got nice and warmy, and my cheeks tingled. I felt as if I could walk from here to the place where the sun goes down. Do you know, I never before realized how much fun it was to take a good tramp. I’ve half a mind to reform from my rôle of lazy-bones and walk every day, whether it snows, blows, cyclones, or turns warm, and fells us all with sunstrokes and heat prostrations.”
“Health is the vital principle of bliss, and exercise of health,” said I, quoting Thomson.
“Oh, well,” and my pretty, rosy-cheeked guest arose. “I must be going. You know how it is when one gets to preaching physical culture and spouting poetry. Ta-ta!” and away she went, like the fleeting memory of last night’s dream.

If women paid as much attention to exercise as do men there would not be so many wrinkles and stooped shoulders among the feminine sex, and old age wouldn’t rap on the door ahead of time. The girl who goes in for outdoor sport, who isn’t afraid of walking a block or two, who loves the cold air and who revels in wheeling and swimming and skating, is the one who won’t be an old woman in appearance while she is still young in years. Keep the muscles firm and healthy by exercise. This will not only improve your carriage and add to your general development, but will aid the digestive organs in their work and keep you animated and cheery. Who of us does not know the inspiration of a walk in the open air after a few days spent in the close atmosphere of the house? Fresh air is the elixir of life. We can’t have too much of it, and—oh, my girls—think of the exceeding cheapness of it! It can be got for the asking, which is more than one can say for the various beauty pomades and lotions that beckon us toward poverty.
Walking and skating are the best exercises during the winter, but all kinds of exercises are acceptable, providing they are gone about in the proper manner. It is easy enough to see why thorough and regular exercise is absolutely necessary to health.
We all know—at least, we all should know—that the general size of the human body depends on muscular development. The same bony frame which makes a slim-jim girl that tips the scales at seventy-five pounds can be padded with good solid flesh until it boasts of a triple chin, fingers like wee roly-poly puddings, and a full 200 pounds in weight. The framework of the body counts little toward size.
The muscles are like the various bits of machinery which go to make up a steam engine. In performing their work they produce heat and motion. The fuel which supplies this force is taken into the body as food, prepared for use in the intestinal tract, and from there carried by the blood to be stored up in the muscles and various tissues as latent force. Through the circulation of the blood the whole body is heated by muscular exercise. It stands to reason that continual exercise of a certain kind will develop certain muscles. For instance, there’s the arm of the blacksmith or the firmly developed legs of the danseuse. The same muscle that grows when used within certain limits will waste away when deprived of proper exercise.
In physical culture the object is the symmetrical development of all the muscles, not one at the expense of the other. So, for that reason, don’t pin your faith to dumb-bells and Indian clubs and neglect more necessary exercise. If you do you will in time find yourself possessed of big Sandow arms that will make the rest of you look as spindle-like as a last year’s golden-rod stalk.
Walking is as good a form of exercise as anything yet discovered. But walking as most girls and women walk won’t do you one bit of good. You might just as well spend your time trying to count 700 backward or while away the hours talking 1880 fashions with the woman next door, for all the health or happiness or physical development that you will get out of it.
Corsets and bands and belts must be done away with. You must have full, free use of your lungs. Then, don’t wear heavy petti-coats that will retard the free movements of your legs and make your hips ache with their tiresome weight. Dress warmly but as lightly as possible.
Above everything else don’t stick your fingertips into a muff and waddle along like a little duck in sealskin and purple velvet trimmings. Your arms must swing easily at your sides. Thus equipped walking should not be a task, but a great, big, lovely joy, no matter if the frost does nip your nice little nose and make your cheeks feel as if they had been starched, dried, ironed and hung on the line to air.
English women who come to America can tell us a thing or two about long walks. Only the other day a pretty Englishwoman with a complexion like apple blossoms casually divulged the information that a walk of ten or fifteen miles was an old, old story to her. So, when I say that three miles a day—the three miles ought really to be covered inside an hour—is not a bit too much to give one’s muscles the necessary exercise, I hope you won’t lean back in your chair and gracefully expire. Some of you will gasp, no doubt, for a walk of five blocks to a suburban station is usually looked upon as a heroic martyrdom to circumstances and environments.
Alas, for woman’s fickleness! And alas, for her playful habit of going to extremes! Suppose, for instance, that Polly Jones says she is going to take a nice long walk every day of her life; that she knows the bountiful blessings and benefits of a brisk tramp, and that she will take that tramp in spite of obstacles as big as the Auditorium or as immense as her longing for a cherry-colored silk petticoat.
The first day—and, mind you, she has not walked a mile for weeks, the lazy girl—she covers five miles in an hour and ten minutes.
And when she comes home she’s such a wreck that the whole family is up in arms in a jiffy, and whisk out the tomahawks ready for war. That’s the end of Polly Jones’ pedestrian exercises.
And Daisy Brown. She does quite the same thing, only not so violently. The first day she walks four miles, the next two, and then comes a trip around the corner to get arnica and liniments for her poor, aching bones. Thus also terminates Daisy’s stern resolution to take daily constitutionals.
But the wise woman. Daisy’s and Polly’s methods are not hers. Far from it! When she begins to walk for health and beauty she dons loose, comfortable clothes, and with swinging arms and head well back, strides along briskly and easily. Her first day’s walk is scarcely a mile. The second tramp is longer; and gradually the distance is increased until the three miles are covered in about fifty minutes.
The wise woman does not take her exercise in the afternoon, but in the morning, an hour or so after breakfast, when the day is young and everything seems bright and hopeful and cheery. Then it is that the babies are out in their go-carts and carriages, and the “chillens” are trooping to school. It’s heaps pleasanter than an afternoon walk when one has more of the worries and events of the day on one’s mind.
It is the regularity of exercise—and living, in fact—that brings the best results. A stated time for baths, meals, rests and walks is the proper plan for those fortunate ones who are not rushed into a condition of decrepit antiquity trying to do fourteen different tasks in thirteen small, limited minutes. Some of us, the very busy ones, cannot have the necessary rests during the day, but baths and exercise can usually be arranged and carried out. They should be, for they are of more vital import than most of us realize.
Running is splendid exercise, but we city folk have few opportunities for exhilarating fun of that sort. A woman sprinting for a cable car might quite as well be a trained bear in a pink mosquito netting petticoat for the sensation and giggles she creates. With a bonnet perched over one ear or dangling dizzily from an escaping empire knot she is neither a dignified nor an inspiring picture.
So it’s quite as well all around to run in one’s own room. In fact, the best way to run is to run in one small spot and not go ahead. That sounds befuddled, but it is easily explained. Get into loose clothes, throw open the window, place your hands on your hips and go through the movements of running. It is best to be in stocking feet or light slippers, else that odious woman in the flat below may knock on the steam pipe as a signal for peace and quiet.
After fifteen minutes of mock running take an invigorating, tepid sponge bath with just a dash of benzoin in the water. After that comes vigorous friction with a rough towel. Then take a nap if you can spare the time. Of course one must guard against exposure to cold after one is heated by the exertion of exercise.
Dancing would be one of the best of exercises were it not for the close, ill-ventilated rooms, the tight clothes, the exposed shoulders and the nervous strain which is always on hand at large social affairs.
As for skating, there is nothing better. It makes a woman feel like a new man. I say that quite consciously, as, in my opinion, to feel like a new woman—that poor, long-ridiculed creature—would be more humiliating than joyful. Don’t you think so?
Horseback riding is questionable exercise. The side saddle is apt to increase the tendency to curvature of the spine, while tight corsets prevent the good that would come to the heart and lungs and digestive organs. Swimming is good, particularly for nervous, high-strung persons. And the wheel? Well, that best of all exercises—for it is the best when indulged in by the wise woman, not the crooked-back, scorching, silly—is a story in itself.

Excerpt From – Woman Beautiful By Helen Follett Stevans (Mme. Qui Vive). 

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