Robert Fitzsimmons, ‘A Chapter for Women – To Gain Beauty with Strength’, Physical Culture and Self-Defense (London, 1901), 47-50.


Muscle Building Will Bring Charms that the Toilet Table Can Never Furnish

MUSCLE building brings beauty to woman. This brief statement is sufficient, I think, to I make many women embark upon a physical development course. What will woman not do to become beautiful? They—some of them, at least—powder and paint, and bleach their hair, and do all kinds of other foolish things in an attempt to improve their appearance. If they but knew what a routine of daily, healthful exercise would do for them they would soon forsake their toilet tables for the gymnasium.
There is nothing in this world more lovely than a beautiful woman. There is nothing more pleasing to the eye than a browned, rosy­ cheeked, full­chested, straight—backed woman. Let her be all these and she is certainly queen.

A Woman that Excites Pity

When I see a poor, pale, narrow­chested, weak woman, with her waist drawn up so tight that it is impossible for her to take a deep, full breath—the kind that puts health and strength into the human body—my heart fairly bleeds for her.

My wife having at one time been an ath­ lete,I am in a position to know just what is beneficial and what is not for the average woman.

In the first place, a woman should dress so that there will be plenty of room for the lungs to have full play. Ninety­nine per cent. of them are dressed so that it is impossible for them to take a good, deep breath. They breathe up in their chests only. Consequently, they are short­winded.

Then, again, the average woman seldom gives a thought to the idea of daily exercising. She seldom walks unless she is compelled to. She shuts herself up in a hot, stuffy room, eats improperly, and then wonders that she is subject to so many complaints.


Golf’s Many Advantages

I must say that in the past few years there has been a big change in the mode of living adopted by women.

The game of golf has been responsible for this to a large degree, and I cannot say too much for it as a means of exercise for women. It provides just the kind of outdoor life that they need. It takes them out into the sun and makes them brown and healthy looking. It fills their lungs full of pure, fresh air, while the continual walking and swinging of the clubs supplies exercise for the entire body.

Women, play golf!

Of course, you can overdo it. Women differ so much in their physical make­up that what is medicine for one is poison for another. For this reason a woman should carefully guard her strength.

Do not overtax yourself. Go about your sports and your walks with moderation. Too much exercise is worse than not enough. You can easily find out just what you are capable of enduring, and then shape your work and play to suit your strength.


Do Not Be a Physical Freak

What I want most of all to impress upon women is not to try to make physical freaks of themselves.

A woman cannot stand too much training in any one direction at the expense of the rest of her body as well as a man can. Her physical make­up is not constructed for it. For this reason she should try to divide her exercises as evenly as possible.

A woman who can row, ride a wheel and a horse, swim, shoot, play tennis and golf all moderately well, and not try to overtax her strength in any one branch, is the woman who will be strong and healthy.

She does not lace herself too tight; she glories in the pure air and delights to throw out her shoulders and drink in long, deep mouthfuls of it, and she nurses her strength as carefully as does the trained athlete.

This is the woman whom it is a joy to see. This is the woman who is queen.

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