On Exercise | Diet, and Health

Diet and Health by Lulu Hunt Peters

I discovered this old weight loss book called Diet and Health written by a Doctor Lulu Hunt Peters in 1918. A lot of dated advice. She eats a lot of carbs, bread, and such – but in those times I am sure bread was made of just the honest old grain of wheat and not the heavily genetically modified, over refined, enriched, and fortified with all kinds of chemical formulas. So that advice probably stands the test of time only if you grow your own wheat (read ancient wheat grain such as Einkorn) and make your own bread. However what she talks about exercise still holds true to this day. Read on for super fun exercise routine and lots of chuckles.

Enter Dr L.H.P, An Excerpt from her book Diet and Health

Note: Illustrations by Dr. L.H.Ps nephew Dawson Hunt Perkins

It is practically impossible to reduce weight through exercise alone unless one can do a tremendous amount of it. For the food that one eats is usually enough to cover the energy lost by the exercise.

I am not playing doctor. Any advice you read on this blog cannot be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are experiencing a health condition please reach out to a qualified healthcare professional. I repeat, do not use this blog as medical advice to treat yourself or others.

However, exercise is a very important feature of any reducing program; not because of the fat that is burned up in the exercise—and there is some burned—but for the reason that it is necessary to keep one in a healthy condition. The muscles, the internal organs, the bones, the brain, are all benefited—in fact, the entire system.

The exercises described hereinafter will help make you fat or thin, and they will keep you supple, graceful, and light on your feet, so that when I tell my husband that he must dance with you, Madam, he will not say, “Nothing stirring,” and when you, Professor, ask me to dance, I will not curse the day I was born.

If you have not been accustomed to exercise, I warn you to take up only one or two at a time and do each one a few times only. You will be atrociously sore, and you will realize that you have muscles of which you wotted not.

However, persist, if you are sure there are no organic reasons why you shouldn’t—such as a weak heart. (In case you are very much overweight, I think it advisable to wait until you have reduced somewhat.)

It is splendid if you can belong to a gymnasium or to a physical culture class, but ten to fifteen minutes’ systematic daily exercise practiced with vim, and each set followed by deep breathing, will do more good than a gymnasium spasmodically attended. Brisk walking with a long stride isn’t so bad; in fact, if taken with a very long stride it will twist ‘most every organ you have in your body.

There are hundreds of exercises you can take. If you will notice little rascal’s illustrations you will find many good ones. Those illustrating the beginning of this chapter are excellent.

If possible, it is best to take the exercises on arising in the morning, but if you have a household to care for you may not be able to do so. For those who have to do their own work, it may be well to do the work first. You can do it in half the time if you plan it carefully and speed up. (This advice is not for my thin friends; their speedometers register too high already.) It does not matter so much when the exercises are done as that they are done, and done every day for the rest of your life, with the possible exception of two or three days a month. Gallstones, permanent stiff joints, and other little things like that will have a hard time forming.

(The services of my noted artist I was able to obtain with great difficulty, as he was engaged in the more important work of making a swagger stick. I finally secured him by the promise of an ice cream cone and twenty-three cents to go with his two cents so that he could buy a Thrift Stamp. He is given due credit on the title page.)

My Exercises

These exercises executed with vim, vigor, and deep breathing between each set—will take ten to fifteen minutes. Re-read my warning

1. Feet together, arms outstretched, palms up, describe as large a circle as possible. Fine for round shoulders and fat backs. Do slowly and stretch fifteen times. Smile.

2. Arms outstretched, swing to right and to left as far as possible at least 15 times each.

Important! Keep Facial Expression Throughout as per Artist’s Idea


3. Bend sideways, to right and left, alternately, as far as possible at least 15 times each.

4. Revolve the body upon the hips from right to left at least 10 times, and left to right the same.

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5. Bend and touch the floor with your fingers, without bending your knees, at least 15 times.

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6. Knee-bending exercise, at least 15 times. This is hard at first.

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7. Hand on door or wall, swing each leg back and forth at least 15 times. To the side 15 times. Turn head, raise arm, and tense both.

8. Step on a chair with each foot at least 10 times. This is good for calf and thigh muscles. After a while, you won’t look as though you needed a derrick to get onto a streetcar.

9. Arms on sides of chair. Come down and touch abdomen. Fine for back and abdomen. Fifteen times.

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10. Brush hair vigorously at least 200 double strokes all over the head, N.S.E.W., using a brush in each hand.

(Military brushes are best. If you can’t purloin a set of your husband’s, two ordinary brushes will do.) Now shake out the loose dandruff. This is one of the best exercises and must not be omitted, for it accomplishes two purposes. It is a good arm and chest exercise, and it gives a healthy scalp absolutely free from the dammdruff.

***It Has Been Called to My Attention that Bone Back Brushes Should Not Be Used by Some; i.e., There Is Danger in Affinities***

NOW

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This for a few minutes, followed by this, the hot preferably at night.

No Jokes today because this entire post is hilarious. Adding a last bit of fun. The author concludes the book as follows.

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All the characters in my book are friends of mine. Perhaps you had better substitute were for are.
Dear Enemy Unimmortalized

All the characters in my book are friends of mine. Perhaps you had a better substitute were for are. There was one woman mentioned in my original manuscript and my husband said what have you put her in for Pattie? (a corruption of Pettie, an H.moon hangover) she is no friend of yours: she knocks you. And I said loftily like,

I want you to know Ijit (the corruption of Idiot, also an H.moon hangover) Although, I am above personalities she is prominent and besides she is fat especially in the feet and head and she doesn’t know it and he said that doesn’t make any difference you do not have to immortalize her and I said I would look up the authorities on the subject and he said he was authority enough and I said I would see what the other authorities said anyway and I did and I found one most eminent that said you should love your enemies but none that said you should immortalize them so I said I’d drop her and he said he should say so and so I did.

I would see what the other authorities said anyway and I did and I found one most eminent that said you should love your enemies but none that said you should immortalize them

Lulu Hunt Peters, A.B., M.D. in her book Diet and Calories

Hope you enjoyed the excerpt.

Try out the exercises from here for some literal fun and frolic. While we are at it, do not miss this post about what exactly is the minimum effective does for exercising? Have You Heard About 5-Minute Exercise?

Remind me to write about 200 brush strokes on hair and scalp another day. I personally think there is some wisdom in that advice, and exercises look great too. I might actually try them tomorrow!

Jerry Seinfeld Experiment: Don’t break the chain. Post #29.

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