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The Evolution of Medical Views on Exercise

William Buchan

Buchan, William M.D., Domestic Medicine, Boston, Joseph Bumstead, 1813.

Definition Objective

For children —   Exercise will make up for several defects in nursing & is absolutely necessary to the health, growth and the strength of children.

Without the action and pressure of exercising muscles, fluids remain inactive, obstructions must happen, the humours will be vitiated, which cannot fail to occasion disease.

Without exercise, the circulation of the blood cannot be properly carried on nor the different secretions duly performed, the fluids cannot be properly prepared, nor the solids rendered strong or firm.   Exercise affects the action of the heart, the motion of the lungs, and all the vital functions.

Cure for glandular obstructions.

Strengthens the nerves.

Buchan, 43, 45, 85.

Frequency Type / Mode 

For children — when light, carry in nurse’s arms  hunting, shooting, playing at cricket, hand-ball, golf, horseback riding, walking, working in a garden, playing at some active diversions, dumb bell, dancing, fencing, running, digging, rubbing furniture.

Buchan, 43, 67, 87.

Duration Time of Day  Intensity

2-3 hrs./day on horseback or the equivalent walking, but exercise should never be continued too long because overfatigue prevents the benefit of exercise.

Buchan, 87.

Mornings, while the stomach is empty & the spirit refreshed with sleep.

Buchan, 66.

For the studious — not too violent, nor ever carried to the degree of excessive fatigue.

Buchan, 67.

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