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The Evolution of Medical Views on Exercise

Joel Shew

Shew, Joel, MD (ed.), Handbook of Hydropathy: Or, A Popular Account of the Treatment and Prevention of Diseases, by Means of Water, New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1844. 

Shew, Joel, MD, Consumption: Prevention and Cure by the Water Treatment, New York: Fowler and Wells, 1854.

Shew, Joel, MD, The Water-Cure Manual: A Popular Work, New York: Fowler and Wells, 1850.

Definition Objective
Exercise in the open air is a remedy for the prevention of consumption in its earliest stages.

Shew, Consumption, v.

According to Priessnitz, exercise promotes the cure of disease by its invigorating the general health.

Shew, The Water-Cure Manual, 115.

Drinking, along with exercise, promotes perspiration, actas in a highly beneficial manner upon the renal secretions & organs.  Violent running as a cause of inflammation of the lungs & chest.  Exercise, in the case of intermitting fever, can help equalize the temperature of the whole body.  Exercise in the open air as part of the treatment for jaundice and dyspepsia, indigestion & constipation.

Shew, Hydropathy, 35, 47, 57, 73.
Frequency Type / Mode 

Climbing hills, riding on horseback, long journeys on foot, For those that are weak — good deal of frictions, rubbings, kneading he flesh, bathing.

Shew, The Water-Cure Manual, 115.
Duration Time of Day  Intensity
For Priessnitz’s patients: 8-10 hrs daily of exercise

Shew, The Water-Cure Manual, 115.

Take several hours of exercise as part of the treatment for intermitting fevers

Shew, Hydropathy, 58. 


Exercise after the half-bath, Exercise before & after the sitting bath.  Exercise after the foot-bath.  Active exercise should be taken after the douche.  After bath & friction, the patient with intermitting fever should exercise (to equalize the temperature of the whole body.

Shew, Hydropathy, 25, 27, 29, 33, 57.
Moderate exercise

Shew, The Water-Cure Manual, 115.
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