The exercise is taken by causing the body to describe a complete circle in the manner indicated in the cut. Little muscular effort is required if the motion be rapid, because the momentum is sufficient to carry the body around; but if the rotation be slow, more exertion is required. This movement is specially adapted to the breathing powers of weak persons, yet the most vigorous can readily get from it all the exercise their chest and lungs require.
By means of these exercises the chest is gently but effectively expanded in every direction and the elasticity of its walls promoted, the air cells are expanded, and the lungs are rendered more permeable to the respired air, and the strength of the respiratory muscles is developed.
[Illustration: Fig. 3.]
Fig. 3 illustrates an exercise for the chest that is taken without any apparatus other than an ordinary doorway. The exerciser should stand in the position indicated in the engraving, and then step forward with each foot alternately as far as possible without stretching the chest too severely. The longer the step the more vigorous the exercise will be.
[Illustration: Fig. 4.]
Fig. 4 shows an exercise taken between two chairs; the position indicated in the cut having been assumed, the chest is then slowly lowered and raised three to six times. This exercise is adapted to strong persons only.
When the nutrition of the body is promoted by effective respiration, and waste matters are promptly removed, the chances that tubercle will be developed in persons who are predisposed thereto are reduced to a minimum.
Better materials are furnished by the nutritive processes to renew the tissues, so that the occurrence of those degenerations that result in various fatal affections, peculiar to the decline of life, are rendered much less probable or are prevented altogether, and the chances that death shall take place by old age is increased. The system possesses much greater resisting power against the influence of malaria and the poisons that give rise to typhoid fever, scarlatina, diphtheria, measles, etc.
When the motions of a woman’s respiratory organs are normal and are properly communicated to the pelvic organs, she enjoys the greatest possible immunity attainable against the development of any diseases peculiar to the sex.
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[Footnote 1: Read by Wm. C. Conant before the Polytechnic Association of the American Institute, New York, May 10, 1883.]