[Illustration: Arch work]
I have referred to Nature’s order, “You must earn your bread by the sweat of your brow.” Almost every one, in these modern days of civilization, is earning his bread in some other way; well, he must make up for this by some kind of exercise or else Nature will surely take her toll. When men were earning their bread by the sweat of their brows they were not always sure of getting a surplus of it, and that was not a half-bad thing. In fact, it was far better for the race than present conditions under which so many men have given up physical work altogether. But instead of cutting down on their food they double up on it.
The usual temporary panacea for these ills of the flesh is to get some so-called “specific” in the form of a medicine and gobble it religiously. Thousands of men and women, who are unwilling to take five or ten minutes’ exercise two or three times a day, will swallow something out of a bottle on a spoon before each meal, with a splendid satisfaction and confidence. Perhaps temporarily it produces improved results. At any rate, it gives a sense of mental satisfaction, and that something stands off the trouble for a while. There is still another method which has some show of reason in it, although, after all, it does not compare with the wiser, saner course. A man or woman is persuaded that if he or she will only give up some particularly attractive self-indulgence the result will be increased health and vigor. For instance, there is a common belief that tea or coffee is the cause of many ills. Perhaps this is true, but the giving up of tea or coffee will never cure the ills that come from lack of exercise, loss of fresh air, over-eating, and over-indulgence. The mere fact that a person is giving up something that he likes does not make him immune to the penalties which he incurs day after day by other offenses against the laws of Nature.
Rear-Admiral Carey T. Grayson, personal physician and health director to President Wilson, says:
“You may make the statement, in so many words, that physical exercise has been the means of making a normal, physically perfect man of the President. And when a man is in a normal condition he is in perfect health and physical trim. That was the initial intention in this case, just to make the President physically fit, and to keep him so.”
Richard M. Winans says:
“The Admiral told me that when he first took charge of the President, Mr. Wilson was not a little averse to taking any sort of exercise. However, Doctor Grayson early succeeded in impressing upon Mr. Wilson that good health was an absolutely important factor in dealing with the grilling duties which would face him during the coming four years, and that his physical well-being was vital not only to himself, but to the welfare of the entire country.”