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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 1 (April 1, 1935)

The Slimming Craze

The Slimming Craze.

The present-day craze for slimming is now more than a passing phase of fashion. It has apparently come to stay. Since woman discarded the voluminous and stiffly whale-boned garments of bygone days the improvement in health, both mentally and physically, has been obvious. She now has freedom of movement and an alertness that enables her to take a prominent place in the different sports and outdoor recreations that was unheard of a generation or so ago.

The craze for slimness has unfortunately led many women to go to extremes in the matter of diet and exercise. To a great number of people a slimming diet literally means starvation. Others have taken various drugs to gain the desired effect. These methods invariably lead to a serious lowering of the general health and resistance, and serious illness is often the result.

To many people diet means giving up all favourite and interesting food. This need not happen. Food should be varied within healthful limits, and, of course, simple and wholesome, and be partaken of temperately and with regularity. In the proper selection of foods, due regard should be given to the requirements and conditions of the individual, and must always be in page 58 accordance with the principle of maintaining normal nutrition. With intelligent selection, a mixed diet should be the aim and the daily menu should include raw ripe fruit and raw green vegetables. Cut out fried and fatty foods, rich cakes and puddings, pasties, etc., from the every-day diet. Drink water (hot or cold) between meals, also fruit drinks, and one or two tumblers of hot water with some lemon juice first thing in the morning. A slim and healthy appearance may be achieved by the majority of people without undue loss of weight by reasonable dieting and regular, judicious exercise of the right kind.

There are many systems of home exercises. The idea is the need of an all-round physical development and the toning up of all the muscles of the body. Allow yourself from five to ten minutes first thing in the morning and at night for a few simple movements. Try stretching before you get out of bed in the morning. Stretch all ways, first on one side, then on the other, pushing against the foot of the bed with the feet. Then get out of bed, and, standing on the balls of your feet, stretch your body as tall as you can make it, pulling yourself well out of your hips, with the spine straight and abdomen as flat as possible. Then stand on the whole foot, and raise the arms straight into the air, swoop sideways and touch the floor with the fingers. Return the arms overhead and swoop to the other side. Do these alternate movements several times.

Friction is a part of the bath routine that is a most beneficial and effective way of hastening the slimming process. A brisk rub down with a rough towel until the body is in a glow, invigorates the system, stimulates the circulation and tones up the muscles and skin.

Walking is a health-giving pastime that helps greatly towards achieving the desired goal. Take a brisk walk daily if at all possible—strolling leisurely is useless. To be of real benefit, the feet should be comfortable, so wear a pair of well-fitting walking shoes if a long walk is contemplated.

It is well to make sure, by consulting your doctor, that you are in normal health before commencing any system of unaccustomed diet or exercise.