The physiology of muscular exercise has been an interesting area of investigation for several decades; the conclusions have found limited clinical application. Probably the greatest benefits may be recorded in the mechanical and psychological advances associated with physical rehabilitation. Furthermore, in recent years the physician has been faced with an increasing demand for his skills and knowledge in the management of participants in athletics. He may also be called upon to render advice regarding physical activity for convalescents and for healthy individuals in their later decades of life.
The earliest printed book on exercise prepared by a physician, published in 1553, has been translated recently by Dr. Francisco Guerra, research associate of the History of Medicine Department, Yale University School of Medicine and edited by Mr. Frederick G. Kilgour, Librarian of the Yale Medical Library.1 Dr. Christobal Mendez published his treatise Book of Bodily Exercise in Seville, Spain only