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From the 1903 Hawkeye: Nowadays it is considered exceptional to walk 5 miles
May 11, 2017


Editor's note: Some things never change, like commenting that people aren't as hearty as they used to be. For example, this article from the Sept. 11, 1903, Hawkeye discusses the importance of walking.

That the people of today, in spite of the modern devotion to athletics in the colleges of the country, do not exercise enough to keep the physical being in anything like the condition of strength and endurance it is endowed with to assume is shown by a little glance backward at times when people as a rule did more walking and were compelled through natural conditions and environments to take more exercise.

Nowadays it is rather considered that if five miles a day is walked, something quite exceptional is done, while scientific consideration of the subject affirms that ten miles per day of good walking is but rational exercise that the average person should be able to accomplish with entire comfort.

A fully developed man is considered by expert authority as being able to walk, in proper training, fifty miles per day without injurious physical fatigue. The North American Indian of the frontier days, when he was used as a messenger, often ran one hundred miles in a day without suffering. While these examples may be considered as extreme for any requirements of today, either of body or practical necessities, there still remains a wide and conservative range for the improvement and development of the general constitution.

There has never been a mode of exercise invented that for well balanced tendencies, compared with the perfectly natural exercise of walking, while when the practice is kept up for a time it becomes not only healthful and pleasant but a fascinating diversion.

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