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Physical Exercise

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

The greatest problem you will have to solve will be that of making your

body do the work required. Every one else will be doing exactly what you

are doing, and you have too much pride to want to take even a shorter

step than the man by your side. Some men have to leave the training

camps because they are not in the proper physical condition to go on

with the work. If this chapter is taken as seriously as it should be, it

> will be of great help to you.

If you have not a pair of sensible marching shoes (tan, high-tops, no

hooks on them) get a pair. These shoes should be considerably larger

than a pair of office shoes.

Walk to and from your business. Take every opportunity to get out in the

country where the air is pure. Fill your lungs full. Get into the habit

of taking deep breaths now and then. Don't make this a task, but

surround it with pleasantries. Get some delightful companion to walk

with you. Walk vigorously.

Let down on your smoking. Better to leave it alone for a while. You will

enjoy the air. Deep breathing seems to be more natural.

Make it a work for your country. View it in that light. If you are not

going to be called upon to undergo the cruel hardships and physical

strain of some campaigns, your son will be, and you can be of great help

to him by being fit yourself. You and your sons will form the backbone

of America's strength in her next peril.

You will have a great deal of walking after you arrive in camp, possibly

a great deal more than you have ever had, and probably a great deal more

than you expect, even with this word of warning. If you have failed to

provide yourself with proper shoes and socks, great will be the price of

your lack of forethought. You will wince at your own blisters. You will

get no sympathy from any one else. It is the spirit of the camp for each

man to bear his own burdens. So arrive at camp with hardened legs and

broken in shoes. Don't buy shoes with pointed or narrow toes. They

should be broad and airy.

Immediately after you arise in the morning and just before you retire at

night, go through the following exercises for two or three minutes. In a

short time you may want to make it more. No objection. Give it a fair

trial. Be brisk and energetic. Forget, for the time being, what you are

going to get out of it. Give and then give more. The result will take

care of itself.