The human body a perfect machine…How to keep well….(final page)
A tramping vacation of several days furnishes a fine opportunity to see new scenes and to live economically
Near any city you may have difficulty in persuading the farm-wife where you stop that you are not a tramp who will burn the house in the night. If you intend to live by the wayside, the surest way to inspire confidence is to show in advance that you have money to pay for your accommodations. Also try to avoid looking like a tramp, which is quite different from looking like a tramper.
There seems to be a great difference of opinion on the question of how fast one can walk. The popular idea is “four miles an hour” but any one who has tried to cover a mile every fifteen minutes will testify that such a rate of speed is more like a race than a walk and that it will require great physical exertion to maintain it for any considerable distance. An eighteen or twenty-mile walk is about all the average boy should attempt in a day, and this is allowing the full day for the task from early morning until sunset.
Short and frequent rests are much better than long stops, which have a tendency to stiffen the muscles. The walker on a long tramp must pay especial attention to the care of his feet. They should be bathed frequently in cold water to which a little alum has been added. A rough place or crease in the stocking will sometimes cause a very painful blister.
Mountain climbing is a very interesting branch of walking. It is sometimes very dangerous as well and in such cases should only be attempted under the guidance of some one familiar with the neigborhood. For rough climbing our shoes should be provided with iron hob nails. Steel nails often become very slippery and will cause a bad fall on rocks.
Cross-country running and hare and hound chases are much more common in England than in America. Our runners as a rule excel in the sprints and short dashes, although in the recent Olympic sports we have shown that our trained athletes are the equal of the world in nearly all branches of sport.
In many of the English schools it is a regular part of the school work for the teacher to organize hare and hound chases. The hares are given a start of several minutes and leave a trail by means of bits of paper or confetti, which they carry in a bag. In this kind of running the object to be sought is not so much speed as endurance. An easy dog trot with deep regular breathing will soon give us our second wind, when we can keep on for a long distance.
After any kind of physical exertion, especially when we are in a perspiration, care must be exercised not to become chilled suddenly. A rub down with a rough towel will help to prevent soreness and stiff muscles. The lameness that follows any kind of unusual exercise is an indication that certain muscles have been brought into use that are out of condition.
A trained athlete does not experience this soreness unless he has unduly exerted himself, and the easiest way to get over it is to do more of the same kind of work until we are in condition.