General Regime For Daily Practice
( Originally Published 1904 )
I now give a brief synopsis of the advice tendered you in this book, putting it in the form of a daily regime.
Select from the exercises suggested, those particular movements that are apparently of special value in your individual case in remedying the defective organs or your body, or building functional or muscular strength wherever it is most needed.
If you simply desire to accelerate the circulation throughout the entire muscular and functional system and build general vital power, the breathing exercises and those illustrated in Chapter VII. can be recommended.
If you are weak and are just beginning the exercises, rest when the slightest feeling of fatigue is noticed. If you are fairly strong, each exercise can be continued until the muscles are somewhat tired. The exercises should be taken in a room with the windows wide open and with as little clothing on as possible.
Cultivate the fresh air habit. Leave the windows of your sleeping room wide open at all times. The colder the air, the harder you will have to work to induce a feeling of warmth on the external surface of the body.
If you are working hard at manual labor, the exercises which demand the use of the same muscles as are employed hi your work should be omitted.
Follow the morning exercises with a dry friction bath. This can be taken as illustrated with a dry rough towel, which should be rubbed back and forth over every part until the skin is pink from the in-creased amount of blood brought to the surface by the friction. If desired, soft bristle brushes can be used instead of the towel, to equal advantage.
After this take a cold sponge Bath. Have the water as cool as you can bear it and still be able to recuperate with a feeling of warmth.
Two or three evenings during the week, a hot bath should be taken before retiring, and in every instance the exercises should precede it.
Unless working very hard at manual labor, two meals a day should be sufficient, though many working men are able to thrive better on two meals each day than on three. If you do take three meals a day, be careful not to eat more than you can comfortably digest. I do not by any means wish to convey the impression that you cannot improve by eating three meals a day. I advise the two-meal plan to guard against the liability of overeating. Select the diet that, according to your ideas, is best suited to your individual needs.
Acquire the habit of drinking one or two glasses of water before or after exercise, before retiring and on arising in the morning. Although I advise that you drink freely of water, I do not by any means recommend that you imbibe vast quantities. You can overload your stomach with water to disadvantage.
Ordinarily you should drink from three to six pints of water each twenty-four hours, though if you perspire freely, the quantity required greatly increases.
Masticate every morsel of your food until it is practically a liquid. Avoid all liquids during meal times, unless especially thirsty, if so, satisfy yourself, but remember not to use liquids to assist you in swallowing food that you have failed to thoroughly masticate. If accustomed to a drink while eating, and it seems difficult to break yourself of the habit, you can use cocoa or a cup of hot milk after finishing the meal, drinking it very slowly.
The exercises can be taken in the evening before re-tiring, if preferred, instead of in the morning, though ordinarily it is advisable to take a few movements on arising. They will thoroughly awaken and prepare you for the day's work.