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October 18, 1941

Start Today: Your Guide to Physical Fitness

JAMA. 1941;117(16):1400. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820420092041

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This book is dedicated to the thesis, now growing in popularity among physical educators, that the nation will be saved through strengthening its recti abdomini. To this end exercise is prescribed; hard, strenuous, much of it of a character which even the author warns is not suitable for many readers unless advised by a doctor "who knows muscle as well as medicine." It is claimed that there are three kinds of exercises—the anatomic, which help the posture but do little for the physiology, the physiologic, which do marvelous things for the vital organs, and the psychologic, which help the mind and the personality. Admitting the undoubted value of exercise in stimulation of circulatory functions and respiration, and the probable secondary benefits to all the tissues, it is too much to ask that the reader accept such fanciful conceptions as that laughter causes the diaphragm to pat the liver on the

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