3.6.16

Notable Quotes #5: On Cycling, from the People's Common Sense Medical Advisor c. 1918




If one were asked what athletic exercise deserves to be brought back into popularity in America today, the answer would of necessity be cycling. The bicycle's hygienic value as a means to healthy exercise cannot be overestimated. In this, as in everything else, immoderation is to be condemned, particularly where persons have not had sufficient training to take long "spins,' or attempt racing. Beginners should ride only 10 or 12 minutes at a time -- resting then to permit the circulation to become equalized. In all cyclists, at all ages, in veteran riders as well as those not practiced in the art, there is, in the beginning of each attempt, a quickened circulation; the pulse is full and bounding, and rarely falls under a hundred pulsations per minute. So long as the exercise is continued, an increase of cardiac motion is observable, and a vigorous circulation is kept up. This accounts for the astounding journeys a fully trained cyclist can accomplish, and also for his endurance without sleep. In spite of the quickened motion of the heart, rarely have riders been known to grow giddy or show symptoms of cardiac embarrassment. A good rider may climb a flight of stairs without breathlessness and palpitation. Bicycle riding as a means for acquiring strength and vigor, improving the circulation and developing the respiratory organs, is excellent. Fast riding, or "scorching," among those not used to physical exertion, and leaning over the handlebars so as to ride in a stooping position, are to be heartily condemned. The latter prevents the lungs from getting their full expansion, and cultivates a tendency to round shoulders. Men or women suffering from diseases of the sexual organs should not ride.

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