1900’s Fitness Plan

It’s relatively easy these days to find articles that speak fondly of the past. When life was slower. When all the current stresses of today were not a constant concern.

Perhaps we need a reminder once in a while that progress has some positive results. Take for example, the lunch hour of a businessman.

Do you long for the days when the shop door would be locked and the proprietor could go home for a home cooked meal? It does sound lovely — in contrast to the often hurried brown bag or take out fast food lunch gulped while at the desk. But is it true?

If you “lived above the shop” it was a short walk. And if your wife or older children were quick with the routine chores — wood or coal for the stove, washing, ironing, cleaning, emptying chamber pots — they could give free labor at the business.

Not everyone had such a short commute. Consider this view in Galena, IL. You got to walk one, two, or even three sets of steps like this four times a day – down in the morning, uphill for lunch, back down the hill for afternoon business, and a slow climb at the end of the day. And think about winter — those first and last trips would have been in the dark. Possible snow and ice. No gym membership required for aerobic exercise!

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