Blast from the Past: Health Advice for 2012

Some health advice is timeless. What follows applies just as much today as it did when it was first written, more than 60 years ago.

In 1928, incumbent members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives were dying at the appalling rate of almost 20 per year. On December 5th, after one House member had dropped dead and two others had collapsed from causes attributed to overwork in the first four days of that month alone, the House passed a resolution directing the Secretary of the Navy to appoint a medical officer to be present near the House Chamber while that body was in session.The Secretary of the Navy appointed Dr. George Calver, who initially took up residence in the House Democratic Cloakroom.

In April, 1930, the Senate adopted a concurrent resolution extending Dr. Calver’s jurisdiction to its premises. Thus was born the Office of Attending Physician, which moved to two ground-floor rooms in its current location near the midpoint of the Capitol’s west-front corridor.

For the next 35 years, Dr. Calver captured national media attention with his health advice to hardworking members of congress. His “Nine Commandments of Health,” first reported nationally by the New York Times Magazine on February 3, 1951, were printed on large placards and displayed throughout the Capitol. Dr. Calver later modified them slightly, adding a 10th commandment, and printed them on wallet-sized cards which were distributed to every member of Congress with the following admonition: “If a man wishes to be on the job and physically fit, he must obey the following simple rules.”

Here then are the

THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF HEALTH

  1. EAT WISELY
  2. DRINK PLENTIFULLY (OF WATER)
  3. ELIMINATE THOROUGHLY
  4. BATHE CLEANLY
  5. EXERCISE RATIONALLY
  6. ACCEPT INEVITABLES (DON’T WORRY)
  7. PLAY ENTHUSIASTICALLY
  8. RELAX COMPLETELY
  9. SLEEP SUFFICIENTLY
  10. CHECK UP OCCASIONALLY

P.S. Give 5% of your time to keeping well. You won’t have to give 100% getting over being sick.

May you have a prosperous and healthy 2012!

(Information sources for this article: Wikipedia, AARP Bulletin January-February 2012)

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