17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Friday, August 23, 1912: Didn’t do so very much today and didn’t go any place either.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Sounds like a boring day. Maybe Grandma should have taken a walk. I know that I always feel better after a brisk walk—and she probably would have felt better, too.
Today we constantly hear in the media that we aren’t active enough. Amazingly there were similar concerns a hundred years ago:
Walking is one of the most healthful forms of exercise. It may seem unnecessary to devote much space to a subject that everyone thinks they know all about, but the fact is that, with trolley cars, automobiles, and horses, a great many persons have lost the ability to walk any distance.
It is very easy to cultivate the street car habit. An excellent rule to follow if you are going anywhere is this: If you have time, and the distance is not too great, walk.
In walking for pleasure, avoid a rambling, purposeless style. Decide where you are going and go.
Walk out in the country if possible and on roads where the automobiles will not endanger your life or blow clouds of dust in your face.
Never mind the weather. One rarely takes cold while in motion.
To walk comfortably you should wear loose clothing and old shoes.
Walking just for the sake of exercise can easily become a tiresome occupation, but the active mind can always see something of interest, such as wild flowers, gardens, and all the various sides of nature study in the country, and people, houses, and life in the city.
Outdoor Sports by Claude H. Miller (1911)