Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/237

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OPEN AIR AND HEALTH.

called (meat, eggs, beer), else he might take an "inward cold," or even a fever.

But a person may contract a genuine (external) cold by unwise precaution against draughts—by neglecting the skin-ventilation. Under this head of unwise precaution we must class the habit of wrapping up the body when it is in a state of perspiration. On the contrary, coat and waistcoat must then be opened so that the shirt may dry quickly, and the underclothing, including the stockings, must be changed. But what does he do who on reaching the top of a mountain, with a wet shirt, buttons up his coat about him, puts on his overcoat, and over all his plaid? He applies a wet poultice at the wrong time.

Prof. Tyndall, in his "Glaciers of the Alps," tells us that, on being overheated during his rambles in the Alps, he at once took a bath, or poured water over his body. "Probatum est" say I, from personal' experience.

"Yes," some one will say, "you are inured to that sort of thing." To be sure I am! But what hinders you from being inured also? Just go out on the ice during this glorious winter weather, put on a pair of skates: you will return bright and fresh; you will throw open the windows, and be indignant at yourself for ever having shut yourself up in such a steaming atmosphere. The next day take a simple bath—not a Russian or a Turkish bath at all—and you will rid yourself of still another part of your phlegm.

3. Muscle-Ventilation.—Muscular fibre respires too, i. e., gives off carbonic acid and takes up oxygen. To this end it must diligently contract and then relax; in short, it must work, or, if the reader prefers the expression, it must practise gymnastics. Whether one takes his exercise at home or abroad, makes no difference. They whose lungs are affected would do well to climb hill-sides, for in such exercise the apices of the lungs are most called into play; in climbing the hands may rest on the hips. Muscle-exercise is not to be separated from lung-exercise. If bodily movement be neglected, deleterious fluids accumulate, which. I call "suffocation-blood" and "fatigue blood." The former contains carbonic acid, which makes one always drowsy, and causes one to go about his day's work with a feeling of lassitude no matter how long he has slept. This feeling of weariness grows steadily worse. "Fatigue-blood" accumulates in the muscles as a result of drinking wine and beer; even simply bending the body causes inconvenience; one feels quite unstrung and wants to recline on a lounge or a bed, whereas what he ought to do is to take a brisk run in the open air, or a little exercise in a gymnasium. In this way the skin is ventilated and the serum worked off.

My essay cannot exhaust all the topics named in its title: the most it can do is to awaken attention, free the reader from certain erroneous ideas, and lead him to believe that the simplest remedy is always