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American Social Hygiene Association: Keeping Fit Posters I (1919)

Keeping Fit Posters

“Keeping Fit” was a 48-poster series produced by the American Social Hygiene Association in collaboration with the U.S. Public Health Service and the YMCA in 1919. It was designed to educate teenage boys and young men about the dangers of sexual promiscuity and urged them to embrace moral and physical fitness. A parallel series, “Youth and Life” was designed for girls and young women.

Can you walk 20 miles in a day? Can you work an 8-hour day in the field? Can you “chin yourself” 8 times? Can you run 100 yards in 12 seconds?
Keep fit for athletics, study, business, and all of life’s tasks by adopting these rules: 1. Exercise and play wisely. 2. Eat wholesome food. 3. Get all the fresh air possible. 4. Get sufficient sleep. 5. Keep clean
Chopping wood, gardening, mowing lawn, shoveling snow, are a few good home exercises.
How to Bathe. 1. Warm water and soap 3 minutes. 2. Cold water about 1/2 minute. 3. Rub down with coarse towel 4 minutes. A pleasant reaction, a sensation of warmth and a feeling of general well-being should always follow the bath. Daily bathing, frequent washing of the face with soap and water, and drying with a clean towel will help prevent but not cure pimples. Pimples do not indicate any serious defect. If they cause inconvenience the family physician may be consulted.
1. Drink water freely on arising. 2. Be sure that your bowels move at least once each day. 3. Make it a habit to sit on the stool the same hour each day. 4. Eat laxative foods, such as fruits, fresh vegetables, and coarse breads. 5. In general, avoid laxative drugs, except under medical supervision.
A new experience comes into the lives of most boys when they become about 15, 16, or 17years old (like the boys above). Occasionally (about one to four times a month) a fluid from inside the body is discharged from the sex organ during sleep. This is a natural experience. It is called a seminal emission.
The man or boy absorbed in constructive and interesting work and thoughts has no time to bother with smutty stories.
Keep your mind occupied with good books. Some good ones are: Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson; Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain; The Virginian, by Owen Wister; The Crisis, by Winston Churchill; The Making of an American, by Jacob A. Riis; The Last of the Mohicans, by J. Fenimore Cooper; The Doctor, by Ralph Connor; Kim, by Rudyard Kipling; Poems of Action, by David R. Porter; High Adventure, by Captain Norman Hall; Men of Iron, by Howard Pyle; The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, by John Fox, Jr.; Profitable Vocations for Boys, by Weaver and Byler.
















































































































































Source: American Social Health Association Records, 1905-2005. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Social Welfare History Archives. Minneapolis, MN:


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