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September 19, 1942

You Don't Have to Exercise! Rest Begins at Forty

JAMA. 1942;120(3):245. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830380077037

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This is a small book with a large impact. It is a direct challenge to the popular belief, fostered by many promoters of the cult of the physical, that exercise is the sine qua non for physical fitness. It comes at a time when the nation has barely escaped—or has it?—the menace of a national program of exercise for all citizens, of whatever age or physical state, in the name of victory through "physical fitness." The theory that exercise is essential for the maintenance of bodily vigor into the upper age brackets is the stock in trade of many who view with alarm the protuberant abdomen of the bleacher athlete and point to his laziness as the cause of his unfitness. Quite the contrary, says this startling book, with commendable frankness and courage: "Rest begins at forty." Never exercise if you can avoid it, after you have passed forty and

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