Get Moving!

It's not just a matter of looking svelte. Exercise does remarkable things for your health. So what are you waiting for?

Americans didn't worry much about keeping fit 100 years ago. In those days 40% of the population was reaping and sowing, herding and mowing its way through life on preindustrial farms. In coastal cities, strong-shouldered stevedores were loading and unloading ships dawn to dusk without a container or stacking crane in sight. Builders, lumberjacks and railroad men drove nails or sawed wood with their muscles, not power tools. And for those doing the washing, cooking and scrubbing at home, life wasn't so dainty either. (Ever pick up one of those 8-lb. solid-metal weights that gave ironing its name?) In that bygone,...