Ideal Home Life - online book

A valuable and well-organized system for home education(homeschooling) 3 to 12 years.

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Systematic Exercise
What is a strain under conditions of physical unfitness is no longer a strain when properly trained, and the great lesson for the athlete is the value of special and systematic exercises to build up every part of his body. He should gain the maxi­mum of all-around strength before he subjects himself to the strain of specializing in athletics and before he attempts such competition as will test his strength and powers of endurance to their utmost. As a matter of fact, extreme tests of this kind, in athletics or elsewhere, are not desirable before the age of twenty or twenty-two years. Competition should be regulated in such a way as to avoid taxing one's powers to the extreme, while at the same time giving an opportunity to try out one's speed and strength in a reasonable way. It is doubt­ful for example whether any one should ever try himself out in a Marathon Race before the age of twenty-two or twenty-three years. In athletics there is literally a pace that kills. Schoolboys should not attempt that pace. They should never carry their athletics to a point at which they experience real distress, but if they are properly trained by special exercises they are not likely to have any trouble even in ordinary com­petition.
The girls especially will benefit from dances between the ages of fourteen and sixteen, and the folk dances are espe­cially satisfactory in this way. They will benefit both the boys and the girls, but are peculiarly adapted to the needs of the "little women." Other more elaborate forms of fancy dancing and classic dancing, when they can be studied and practiced, are likewise to be recommended.
During the period from seventeen years on to twenty-one years, both boys and girls may undertake more energetic train­ing and also, as a rule, the most vigorous branches of sport. Special exercises for vitality building and general development are just as valuable as before, and should be kept up con­tinuously. Particularly they will be of value to the young
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