Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I joined Weight Watchers last year. I'm now three pounds away from my "goal" and becoming a life member of WW. I've beaten menopause, feel great and have new clothes! :) It is not just watching what I eat but the physical activities I do to made my weight loss a success. I found a few articles about exercising in the mid-19th century....now I need to make an exercise outfit.

Garden Walks for Exercise.
    A friend writes us that, in his large grounds, he has laid out a series of walks so arranged that by going over one track a certain number of times, the extent is a mile. Against a wall he has affixed an iron strap pierced with holes, by the side of which is a pin suspended by a small chain, so that the pedestrian, by moving the pin from one hole to another every time he passes it, knows exactly the extent of his walk.
    This is all very well, when one can't do better. We have known persons exercising by the clock in their rooms, or pacing back and forth over a few rods of pavement, and amid the same scenes, by the hour. But it strikes us that when one wishes a smart walk, he had better launch forth from his garden, and perambulate the public street, so that he may see new faces and new scenes. Or, there is work to be done, put on the garden outfit, and with hoe and water-pot or other implement, he will soon get pleasant healthful exercise. This is the writer's experience.  American Agriculturist 1863

    Females much confined within-doors, often suffer ill-health form the want of exercise. Nature demands it, and health cannot exist without it. The skipping rope, dumb-bells, battledore and shuttlecock, &c., are all aids to the required end. Frequently, however, these exercises are regarded as childish; it is over-looked that some women, as well as girls, nature demands the fulfilment of the same laws, and there is no time when systematic exercise is more needful to the healthy development of the future woman, than between the ages of fifteen and twenty-one. Ladies who are not above superintending their own household affairs--who look upon the rubbing of a mahogany table, and the sweeping of a carpet, as necessary but pleasant helps to the preservation of sound health, are less in need of artificial aids to exercise than those whose most energetic labor or confined to the performance of a set of quadrilles upon the piano, or an occasional promenade in the walks of fashionable life.  Arthur's Illustrated Home Magazine 1858

    Is an essential feature of the practice for classes. The piano is just the thing for parlor gymnastics. Vocal accompaniments are very beneficial. They clear the voice, expand the chest, and strengthen the lungs. The series are adapted to tunes of marked even measure.
    Are furnished by Madam Demorest, of New York:
    "Nothing could be invented more suitable than the Garibaldi waist, the short skirt, and trowsers. The material should be very warm. A flannel lining should be added, which will not only be found necessary in order to impart comfort to a dress which is worn so loose, but preserve from sudden chills when the exercises cease. This is particularly requisite with the waist and drawers, unless knit drawers are worn under the latter.
    "The dress should be loose enough, the waist long enough under the arm, and the sleeves long enough, also, to allow of the arms being stretched out to their utmost limit. The sleeves must be closed at the wrist. The pants should be drawn in at the ankle by an elastic band.
    "It is very important to the good effect that nothing should be left flying, and that no mixtures of colors should be used. Contrasts are, of course, very effective, when the combination is in good taste, but they should always be flat, and seem to form, as far as possible, an integral portion of the dress.
    "Buttoned boots are the best, as elastic gives too much, and laces break. They should be of cloth, foxed with kid, and neatly fitted to the foot.  A manual of free qymnastic and jumb-bell exercises: for the school-room and the parlor, 1864

Happy 2013!

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