Personal Hygiene and physical training for women

Personal Hygiene and physical training for women
by Anna M. Galbraith
Philadelphia:W.B. Saunders Co., 1913



The aim of this work has been to present in a clear and concise manner the fundamental physiological laws on which all personal hygiene is based; together with the practical, detailed directions for the proper development of the body and the training of the physical powers to their highest degree of efficiency by means of fresh air, tonic baths, proper food and clothing, gymnastic and outdoor exercise, so that the tissues will be placed in the best possible condition to resist disease.
 病気にかからない衛生的な生活について、女性に指導を与えるというのがこの本の目的なのだそうだ。19世紀末から20世紀にかけての公衆衛生関連の書物には、必ず「fresh air」の摂取が声高に叫ばれているはご存じの方も多いと思うが、やはりこの本にも「fresh air」は大事であるとしてある。これについては、"The physical training of the Japanese Women"の項に面白い記述がある。

The Physical Training of the Japanese Women.--
 First of all, the Japanese women are taught that life is impossible without a sufficient supply of fresh air. This internal cleansing with air is deemed of more importance than the bath which follows soon after. That the Japanese woman is a deep breather is shown by the firm muscles that stand out on the abdomen.
 Consumption is a rare disease in Japan; even winter coughs are of rare occurrence. The Japanese look upon full, deep breathing as being the most vital function in lifr; food is not so important, although it is necessary. The best exercise are of little importance when the breathing which accompanies them is not properly done.(p.274)
 「まず第一に、日本の女性は"fresh air"の充分な供給がなければ生きることはできないと教えられる」って本当か?初めて聞いたぞ。結核が日本では希な病気である、というのも初耳だ。いわんや「冬に咳込むことも少ない」にいたっては絶対嘘だ。まあ、それはともかく「もし呼吸が正しいものでなければ、いくら運動しても意味がない」とまで言い切るとは、よほど「fresh air」を重視していると見える。

 この「fresh air」に対する執着について、別の例をあげる。

The Gymnasium in the Campaign against Disease.--
 Women,generally speaking, do not take sufficient exercise. The trend of the present day is for girls of the richer classes to lead an outdoor life, but the women of the middle and lower classes do not obtain enough variety of exercise or enough fresh air, and to the lack of proper outdoor exercise is due their anemic condition, pallor, flabby muscles, and generally ill-norished appearance.(p.300-301)
この本が出版された1910年代のアメリカでは、金持ちの婦人達はアウトドアで体を動かすのが流行しつつあったらしいのだが、中流、下層階級の婦人は充分な運動をせず、充分な「fresh air」を摂取しないので、青白く、貧弱な筋肉で貧相な外見になるというのだ。

不摂生な生活によって衰弱した体は、容易に病気にとりつかれてしまう。それを防ぐために、女性も体を動かさなければならない。それが、Physical training なのである。面白いのは、この本においては、Physical training を Gymnastic と Athletic trainingにわけて対立するものとして提示している点である。この本ではGymnasticは体操を意味し、Athletic trainingとは陸上競技や球技などの"競争"もの、私たちが今「スポーツ」と読んでいるものを意味しているようだ。 そして、理想的なphysical training とは組織的な体操を野外でのスポーツが補完する形だという。

 The ideal physical training requires that systematic gymnastic exercises should be supplemented by outdoor games and sports. Gymnastics are not sufficient for an all-round means of development, because the movements are too regular, too expectd, and too deliberate, but they are invaluable for health and physical development, for the correction of physical deformities, as a foundation for many games and sports, and for supplementing the same.(p.303)

 In gymanastic exercises the work done on each piece of apparatus must be tried repeatedly, in order to be learned,and then must be practised assiduously, in order to be well performed. This is what makes gymnastics so valuable as a means of physical training and development. The first essential is to learn to handle one's own weight, and to have the muscles of the body under complete control, and much of the interest and fascination found in practising heavy gymnnastics come from this acquired power over one's own body and the ability to make it do the feats and stunts which one desires it to do.(p.302)

 But, in order that good and not actual harm may be done, gymnastics must be carried on under medical supervision. Bodily exercises should, as far as possible, occupy the mind at the same time. The fact that gymnastic training is being taken up in our high-schools and colleges for girls is a great gain, not only to the individual, but to the race as well.(p.302)

 この本によると、イングランドではAthletic trainingを重視し、その他のヨーロッパ諸国はGymnastic を重視しているとある。

 England has relied for her physical training upon a large variety of games and sports, instead of an elaborate system of gymnastics. The Englishwomen live an outdoor life, are great walkers, horseback riders, and go in for athletics and sports, and we find that the English women have a much more vigorus physique and healthy and ruddy appearance than their American sisters.
 In Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, and Italy more stress is laid on the gymnastic training, and in the Olympic contests, held in London in 1908, the twenty-five women from Denmark afforded a revelation to many of the Americans present.
 Medical gymnastics had their origin in Sweden, and are practised largely in that country and on the Continent.(p.302)


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