HOW BOYS AND GIRLS SHOULD
By BERNARR MACFADDEN
W HAT physical training is needed during the period between boyhood and manhood, or between girlhood and womanhood? The few years between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one are really the period of manhood and womanhood in the making. And the question of exercise during this time is important, not simply as a matter of muscular development, because it is such a large factor in influencing healthy growth, promoting organic vigor and building vital strength.
The most important fact to be considered, first of all, is that boys are of different types of physique and of varying degrees of vital strength, and that girls differ from each other in the same way. And on account of these differences various individuals will require somewhat different programs in the matter of training. What might benefit a robust boy or girl might prove too strenuous for another less hardy. For instance, the tall and slender youth who has "grown too fast" cannot stand too much of a strain, and has no excess of energy to spare. The developments of puberty make their own demands upon the vital forces of the body, and neither the thin and nervous girl nor the "bean-pole" type of youth can afford to go too far in the expenditure of energy through violent or exhausting activities. It is true that they need exercise, more than anyone else, but it should be of the right kind. Exercise in youth is a vital necessity, just as is food. But one can make mistakes in exercise, just as he can in connection with food, and with results equally detrimental.
Again, it is sometimes found that the young man who has grown fast and large seems to have temporarily outgrown his heart and vital organs. Perhaps the heart is for the time