Sailing. This, to many persons, is among the most pleasurable and exciting of the passive exercises. But the excitement arising from the motions of a boat, sometimes, in case of timid persons, degenerates into fear, which is injurious. Young gentlemen who manage the boat upon sailing excursions, should never put on too much sail in a brisk wind, and torment the ladies by exciting their fears, as their own amusement may be in this way purchased at the cost of others' health,a result far enough from their thoughts or intentions, but not the less real.
Swinging. The sick may sometimes indulge in this exercise, when capable of enduring no other. To swing gently has a soothing effect, and often allays nervous irritability in a way which nothing else can. It is like the lullaby motion of the cradle. It calm and soothes.
Nervous children and grown persons in feeble health are some. times, by roguish boys, swung too high, and very much excited and alarmed. This is wrong. It may do great injury. Very few boys would do it if they knew the evil consequences. Boys and girls are generally kindhearted; and though they may like to hector others, they will seldom knowingly injure them for their own amusement.
CarriageRiding. The advantages to be derived from this species of exercise are probably rated too high. For feeble persons, just recovering from illness, who cannot endure walking or riding on horseback, it is valuable, particularly if taken ir. an open carriage. But for those who have more strength, it is less desirable than many other exercises. True, it is generally an agreeable mode of locomotion, and for this reason, it is more serviceable than the small amount of exercise afforded by it would lead one to suppose.
Carriages are luxuries, and like all other luxuries, they are apt to bring on debility, and perhaps shorten life. A man is apt to order his carriage to the door at the time when increasing wealth enables him to retire from the active pursuits of life, the very moment when he is most in need of some exertion to take the place of that to which be has been accustomed. Yet so it is, luxury comes to enfeeble, at the time when we need something to harden us.
Could rich men be persuaded to let their luxuries consist, in part, in doing good, and, like Howard, find pleasure in traveling on foot to visit those who are sick and in prison, they would be surprised to see how their happiness would be increased.
Close carriages are generally used by the wealthy. They at best contain but little air, which is breathed over and over, and becomes unfit for respiration. The windows of such carriages should always be open, except in rainy weather, when the latticed windows only should be used.
Riding in Sleighs furnishes an agreeable excitement, and may be indulged in to some extent with advantage. Yet it can be had only in cold weather, and persons who partake of its pleasures should be careful to wear clothing enough to protect themselves against the frost. This is the more necessary, as very little motion is communicated to their bodies by the sleigh.
Horseback Riding. This form of exercise may fairly rank next to walking; in some states of the system it is preferable. It justly holds a high rank as an exercise for consumptive persons. Many a man, and woman too, has been benefited by it when suffering from lung disease. For those who have hernia, or falling of the bowel it is not proper, as the most serious consequences may result from it,; use.
The Horse should be Owned. A feeble man who rides on horseback, should, if possible, own his horse; for, becoming attached to him, as he generally does, he will be able to ride farther than upon an animal in which he feels less interest. A horse is a noble creature, and a man who love3 him will sometimes acquire a passion, almost, for being upon his back, and witnessing his splendid performances.
Pleasurable Exercises most Beneficial. Finally, those exercises are most beneficial, and can be longest endured, in which we feel the greatest interest. Place before even a feeble man some desirable object, and he will endure a great deal to reach it; or engage the mind of a very tired person in something which greatly interests it, and consiclerably more exertion will be easily borne. This is well illustrated by the story told by Miss Edgeworth of a certain father, who had taken a long walk with his little son, and found the boy apparently unable to walk further, some time before reaching home. 1, Here," said the shrewdminded father, 11 ride on my goldheaded cane." Immediately the little fellow was astride the cane, which carried him as safely home as the freshest horse.
Mental Cooperation is of the highest importance in all exercise. Men who are paid by the job, work with far more spirit than those who are paid by the day. One would dig in the earth with very little spirit, if he bad no motive for doing it; but if expected with every shovelful of earth to bring up golddust, he would not only work with a will, but would endure a great deal more labor. From these considerations we may infer that those farmers and manufacturers who pay their men the highest wages, make the most money on their work.
The best time for taking exercise is that in which it does us most good. For most persons the morning hours may be considered most favorable. But there are many who cannot take exercise in the early morning, without suffering from it through the whole clay. Some are able to walk miles in the afternoon, who would be made sick by similar exertions immediately after rising.
Persons often injure friends who have this peculiarity of constitution by urging them out in the morning. They do it from good motives, but are, nevertheless, blameworthy for attempting to advise in matters which they do not understand.
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