In my quest to stay in shape on the road I’ve been culling thru various exercise systems that don’t require much, if any, gear to use. Imagine my surprise when I came across a 100+ year-old total health system cock full of great advice and some solid exercises.
Featuring the buff and handsome statue of Apoxyomenos on its bright yellow cover J.P Muller’s “My System – 15 Minutes’ Exercise a Day for Health’s Sake” was first released in 1904. And while some of its advice is a bit dated (I doubt many readers need to be warned of the dangers of corsets), on the whole it’s shockingly up to date in its recommendations: 8 Hours of sleep a night, avoiding stress and over eating, regular exercise and clean living. Here is just a sampling of some of the gems contained therein:
“He who does not take care of his body, neglects it, and thereby sins against Nature; she knows no forgiveness of sins, but revenges herself with mathematical certainty.”
“There are more people who slowly eat themselves to death than there are who die of hunger. So do not always eat as much as you thing you can stuff into you, especially at night…”
“As a rule one may assume that the more elegant the cut of the shoe, the uglier and more deformed the foot itself will be, whether that of a lady or a gentleman.”
The exercises themselves are nothing revolutionary (thought they may have been at the time), but do seem to give just about every muscle in the body some healthy stressing. I plan to incorporate several of them into my normal martial-arts work out. If you’re interested in seeing what Mr. Muller has to offer go download the entire book for free in various formats (its copyright has long since expired).