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EXERCISE TO KEEP FIT

Jan. 17, 1955
Jan. 17, 1955

Table of Contents
Jan. 17, 1955

Pat On The Back
  • A salute to those who have earned the good opinion of the world of sport, if not yet its tallest headlines

Table of Contents
The Wonderful World Of Sport
Soundtrack
Spectacle
  • Bullfighting is a spectacle of violence. Some who watch it are revolted; others are enthralled. Here, in words and eight pages of superb color pictures, SI shows what a bullfight is: blood and fury against grace and courage, a supreme test for animal and man, a moment of truth known to

Sport In Art
Tip From The Top
Sporting Look
Bowling
Under 21
Snow Patrol
Fisherman's Calendar
Acknowledgments
Health
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

EXERCISE TO KEEP FIT

Last August, SI published an account of Prof. Thomas K. Cureton's training tips to athletes. Herewith his conditioning program for men in middle age

THE humanbody," says Professor Thomas K. Cureton, "is the only machine thatbreaks down when not used. Moreover, it's also the only mechanism thatfunctions better—and more healthily—the more it is put to use."

This is an article from the Jan. 17, 1955 issue Original Layout

Dr. Cureton haslong been working on this thesis in his Physical Fitness Research Laboratory atthe University of Illinois where, for the past 10 years, he has tested andanalyzed the physical condition of 20,000 men and women and has put 600middle-aged men through his conditioning program. From this study Dr. Curetonis convinced that, although a man may grow older in years, "the majorphysical ailments of aging—chronic fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath,digestive upset, overweight, some forms of heart and circulatory trouble, inshort, middle-age sag—can be avoided completely or postponed for as much as 15years by a daily program of body conditioning and active recreation."

Once thesedentary man passes 30, he begins to take a physical nose dive. Thousands ofmicroscopic blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the muscles,lungs, heart and other organs slowly fall into disuse. "The key to turningback the clock on physical aging," says Dr. Cureton, "is to force openand use these blood vessels." The method: regular, rhythmic exercises toraise the metabolism, strengthen the heart, keep a high volume of blood flowingand create a demand by the muscles for more oxygen and nutrients.

This cannot beaccomplished by just any type of exercise. For example, Dr. Cureton maintainsthat it is useless to expect that genuine physical fitness can be obtained frompassive methods such as massage and heat treatment, or from a few mildexercises done over and over. To put the body into condition and keep it fit itmust be challenged a little more each time with active, endurance-buildingexertion.

Dr. Cureton'sprogram is tailored to fit the individual's needs, but in principle it consistsof two parts: 1) rhythmic warm-up of the body's major muscle groups for 30minutes to flush the deep tissues with blood, combined with forceful breathingto gradually build up respiration, and 2) another half hour devoted to runningor some sport to develop stamina and increase the efficiency of thecardiovascular system. Of all the sports, Dr. Cureton finds that swimmingimproves the lungs and heart the most. The easy, rhythmic movements of swimmingare the best stimulants to an active flow of blood, the body is buoyed up sothat there is almost no weight and the water itself tones up the bodygenerally.

"It's nevertoo late to begin getting into shape," Dr. Cureton says, "but it doestake daily, sometimes painful, perseverance. After all, you can't expect in aweek's time to make over a body that took years to wreck."

[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

CURETON'S PROGRAM OF DAILY RHYTHMIC EXERCISES FOR BODYCONDITIONING

BODY SEGMENT AND PRINCIPAL MUSCLE GROUPS USED

EASY EXERCISES FOR FIRST MONTH

MODERATE EXERCISES FOR SECOND MONTH

HARD EXERCISES FOR THIRD MONTH AND LATER

ALLOTTED TIME

NECK, SHOULDERS, UPPER BACK AND CHEST

NECK AND SHOULDER RETRACTORS, ARM ELEVATORS AND CHESTELEVATORS

Standing, arms extended along sides, flex arms tochest. Rhythmically swing arms down, forward, and upward over head, as far backas possible. With upward motion, take a deep breath, fill lungs with air andstretch chest.

Standing, swing both arms across the front of the bodyin full arm circles. Rhythmically rise on the balls of the feet with eachupward movement of the arms, taking regular full, deep breaths.

Standing with legs wide apart, alternately cross overarms, touching hand as far as possible to the floor outside of foot. Whip armback overhead, fast and hard. While doing exercise, suck in and blow out airforcefully.

Perform each set of exercises for 5 minutes, breathingdeeply. Rest, take 10 full breaths, then start exercises for next musclegroup.

BACK REGION, BUTTOCKS AND UPPER LEGS

HAMSTRINGS, GLUTEI AND SACROSPINALIS

Lying on stomach with hands tucked under the thighsand with back arched, chest and head up, flutter-kick continuously, moving thelegs 8 to 10 inches apart. Kick from the hips with a slight bend in theknees.

Two exercises: 1) Back toward floor, supporting bodyon hands and heels, whip midsection of body up and down in rapid movement. 2)Lying on stomach with hands behind the neck, arch body, raising chest and legsoff the floor 15 times.

Lying on stomach with hands behind neck, exercise infour counts: a) arch back, legs and chest off floor; b) extend arms fullyforward; c) return hands to neck; d) flatten body to floor and relax onesecond. Repeat exercise 15 times.

Perform each set of exercises for 5 minutes, breathingdeeply. Rest, take 10 full breaths, then start exercises for next musclegroup.

ABDOMINAL REGION

THIGH FLEXORS, QUADRICEPS AND ABDOMINALS

Two exercises: 1) Kneeling on both hands and knees,inhale a deep, full breath, then suck in abdomen toward the spine-hold for afew seconds. 2) Sitting, alternately raise right and left knees toward thechest.

Two exercises: 1) Lying on back, raise and hold bothlegs 4 to 5 inches off the floor. Vigorously slap the abdominal region butcontinue to breathe. 2) Sitting, tuck both knees toward chest, then thrust legsout straight 20 times.

Two exercises lying on back: 1) Raise legs to verticalposition, then slowly lower them to the floor 20 times. 2) In four counts, a)raise legs 18 inches; b) spread legs apart; c) return legs together; d) lowerlegs to floor. 20 times.

Perform each set of exercises for 5 minutes, breathingdeeply. Rest, take 10 full breaths, then start exercises for next musclegroup.

WAIST AND SIDES OF THE BODY

LATERAL MUSCLES OF THE TRUNK AND LEGS

Lying full length, right side of the body on thefloor, whip left leg up and down in rapid motion 12 inches off floor 50 times.Repeat exercise with left side of body down, raising right leg-off floor 50times.

Lying full length, right side of the body on thefloor, whip left leg up and down in rapid motion as high as possible off thefloor 30 times. Repeat exercise with left side down, raising right leg offfloor 30 times.

With right side of body down, rigidly supported offfloor by extended right arm and foot, raise left leg up to horizontal and down30 times. Repeat exercise with left side of body down, raising right leg offfloor 30 times.

Perform each set of exercises for 5 minutes, breathingdeeply. Rest, take 10 full breaths, then start exercises for next musclegroup.

HANDS, ARMS AND SHOULDERS

ARM EXTENSORS AND FLEXORS AND ENTIRE SHOULDERGIRDLE

Two exercises: 1) Lying on back, grasp one knee andwhile resisting with hip muscle, pull knee toward chest. Repeat exercise withother knee. 2) With chest down, resting on both hands, do full-length pushupsup to 10 times.

Two exercises: 1) Chest down, resting on both hands,do full-length pushups up to 20 times. 2) Chin the bar, lifting body weight offthe floor, 10 times.

Two exercises: 1) Chest down, resting on both hands,do full-length pushups 20 times or more. 2) Chin the bar, lifting body weightoff the floor, 12 times or more.

Perform each set of exercises for 5 minutes, breathingdeeply. Rest, take 10 full breaths, then start exercises for next musclegroup.

FEET, LEGS AND ANKLES

ARCH SUPPORTERS, FOOT SUPINATORS, FOOT EXTENSORS, LEGEXTENSORS AND THIGH EXTENSORS

Three exercises: 1) Walk in circle on outside edges offeet. 2) Facing wall, lean forward, hands on wall, and push up and down ontoes. 3) In extended push-up position, feet pointed in, bounce body weight onankles to stretch joints.

Hop on both feet up to 100 times; change to straddlehop, up to 100 times; change to alternate stride hop, up to 100 times; hop onright foot 25 times; hop on left foot 25 times.

Hop on both feet 200 times; change to straddle hop,200 times; change to alternate stride hop, 200 times; hop on each foot 50times; do up to 50 full-squat jumps, touching fingers to floor each time andspringing 4 inches to upright position.

Perform each set of exercises for 5 minutes, breathingdeeply. Rest, take 10 full breaths, then start exercises for next musclegroup.

CIRCULATORY AND RESPIRATORY ENDURANCE

ARMS, LEGS, TORSO AND HEART, BLOOD VESSELS ANDLUNGS

Walk one mile each day, taking long strides and deepbreaths. Or swim, cycle, row, bowl, skate, ski, dance, play handball, golf orany other activity to use the various muscle groups, increase efficiency anddevelop endurance.

Walk-jog-walk-run-walk 2 miles each day. Or swim,cycle, row, bowl, skate, ski, dance, play handball, golf or any other activitywhich puts various muscles of the body to test, increases agility and developsgreater endurance.

Walk a mile, run a mile, walk 1/4 mile, sprint 200yards and walk 1/2 mile each day; breathe deeply, stretch chest. Or, to developmaximum motor ability and endurance, strenuously engage in an activitydescribed at left.

Do above exercises for 30 minutes to warm up specificmuscles. For endurance, add exercises, swimming or game (left) for 30minutes.

TWENTY NINE ILLUSTRATIONS