health and fitness from the past

Exercises For Weight Loss, Health And Youth From The Past

“Start Growing Young Again” and turn back the clock so that at sixty you’ll look and feel like thirty” were the title and subtitle of the exercises for weight loss, health, youth and fitness in the article from the past. It was written almost 90 years ago and published in January 1925 in the Physical Culture magazine.  And unlike today, it was a relatively novel idea.

The story is that of Katie Middleton who in 1890 at the age of 21 was frail, sickly and constantly under her doctor’s care. But the doctor was baffled and was not able to cure her. At that time her brother was studying medicine and through his books she set out to find what the cause of her “sickness” was and how she could heal herself.

She concentrated on her diet and began to apply common sense to her eating habits and her lifestyle. Interestingly, her father raised “fine” horses and she turned her attention to the care these animals received. She said:

I studied his (her father’s) methods of feeding them (the horses). I saw the care that was given them, special foods for certain horses, devices whereby horses that ate too fast were forced to eat their food more slowly. Everything was done for those horses that would increase their health, their beauty, strength and growth.

It made me think. The infinite care that was given to those dumb (Katie’s words) animals was denied to those that were dearer to him – his family. And yet every luxury was bestowed upon us. We had the best to be procured in those days. That I found, was the reason we did not “feel our oats” as the horses did.

We ate too much, the food was too rich, we did not exercise. If we wanted to go a short distance, we rode. The horses walked.

In the face of much disapproval of her family and friends she made radical changes in her lifestyle. She gave up all rich foods and ate only simple dishes that included mainly fruits and vegetables. She also gave up red meat. She only ate fish, chicken and a small amount of boiled bacon (she reasoned that boiled bacon was a lubricant that could be eaten instead of olive oil). To lose weight, she also figured she need to exercise. Katie “learned to  walk” and stopped depending on the horses for a ride.

When you choose to exercise for weight loss, you are not only going to lose weight and inches, your overall health will improve.

As Katie said in her interview, she found that the secret of health and youth lies in “the knowledge that the arms and legs must be loosened from the torso“. This was the foundation on which she built her series of exercises. She did her exercise routine every morning and every night.

She cured herself and at almost 60 years (she was 56 at the time) she was full of life and was thought to look “35 years young”!

These days, we are more knowledgeable and conscious of the fact that exercise, good health and vitality go hand in hand. Yet most of us do not find the time to eat healthy and exercise daily.

So today ladies (and guys too), I will share with you Katie’s secrets so that you too (no matter what age you are) can start growing young again, become healthy, lose weight and stay fit.

Below I’ll share the images and under each image I will describe Katie’s exercises.  Katie suggests that you do the exercises until you are tired. But if you are going to follow the routine, repeat each exercise 8-10 times and then repeat the routine. The exercise routine should last about 20-30 minutes.

Katie Middleton’s Exercises For Weight Loss, Good Health and Good Looks

 Image 1. Fitness For Health And Youth

Top Right: A superb stretching exercise

  • Stand erect, heals together, and bend over from waist and touch hands to floor in front of feet
  • While in this position raise left leg back and upward at the same time lifting the weight of the body by rising on the ball of the right foot
  • Now lower left leg and lower right foot to floor, then kick right foot back and upward while raising on left foot
  • Alternate and repeat until tired.

Middle: An abdominal move of merit

  • Lie on back, feet extended, legs held quite rigid, hands at sides
  • Raise legs and hips upward and backward and over the head in an effort to touch tips of toes to the floor
  • Return to front keeping legs firmly together and toes pointed
  • Do not permit heels to touch the floor but come within an inch of doing so
  • Touch toes to the floor again
  • Repeat until abdominal muscles are tired.

Bottom Left: Another stretching exercise

  • Stand erect, fee apart
  • Lunge far side-ward with the right foot
  • Bend forward from waist
  • Place hands on the floor as far in front of the extended right foot as possible, looking straight ahead
  • Turn head to the left, then to the right
  • Return to standing position
  • Repeat exercise bu lunging left foot side-ward and follow through the same rocess
  • Alternate and repeat until tired


Image 2.

Exercise for health, fitness and youth

Top Left: Waist exercise

  • Stand erect, heels together, hand at sides
  • While raising the right arm sideward and upward to the limit, bend from the waist to the left and strive to reach as far below the left knee as possible
  • Return right hand to the side and assume erect position
  • Raise left hand and extend right hand below the knee
  • Alternate and repeat until muscles at waist feel tired

Middle: Stretching muscles of the torso

  • Stand erect, heels together, arms at the side
  • Raise outstretched arms high over head and backward from the waist
  • Bend forward and downward from waist and touch the backs of the hands to flow as shown
  • Return to erect position
  • Repeat move until muscles at small of back feel tired

Bottom Right: An exercise for posture and for developing arms and legs

  • Stand erect, heels together
  • Lock hands at back and pull vigorously downward
  • At the same time rise on balls of your feet
  • Lower feet to the floor and relax muscles of the arms
  • Repeat until calf muscles feel tired


Image 3.

Fitness for health and youth
Top Right: Getting more stretch

  • Stand erect, feet some distance apart, arms at sides
  • Raise arms high above head and assume position shown
  • Stretch upward to the limit
  • Bend far to the left at waist, then bend to the right.
  • Alternate and repeat until tired

Middle: Stomach and back exercises

  • Sit on the floor, feet and legs wide apart with upper body erect
  • Bend forward and grasp toes as shown
  • Return to erect position
  • Repeat at least 20 times
  • To vary this move extend both hands far in front and between legs

Bottom Left: Legs and hips

  • Stand erect, heels together, arms at sides
  • From this position lunge right foot far forward
  • Bend forward from waist and place hands on the floor as shown
  • Kick right leg to rear and at the same time bring left foot forward
  • Alternate this kicking motion until perspiring freely

Katie has done her exercises every day in the morning and at night for many years. She truly believed that the weight loss exercises and a proper diet are the reasons why she looked as young at nearly 60 years as she did. Her message to her contemporaries was:

If she (the woman) is well they (the exercises) will help her to stay well and help her to retain her youthful appearance. If she is sick or beginning to show the signs of age nothing she could do to regain her health or to renew her you would be as beneficial as to take these exercises and combine them with a proper diet.

Without any make-up or injections that are so norm today, this woman looks remarkably well at her age considering that she was born in 1869 (As I mentioned, she would be 56 years old at the time she performed this exercises for weight loss routine. Women of that time were not well educated on the subjects of healthy diet, healthy weight loss and fitness. We are!

As well, unlike in the past we have available fresh fruits and vegetables all year round. Despite the fact that the women of today are extremely busy and pressed for time, we owe it to ourselves to take care of our bodies, to keep fit in order to stay healthy and young looking. May this article from the past be an inspiration to you.


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