PERSONAL HYGIENE.—Beauty which, according to Locke, consists in " a certain composition of colour and figure causing delight in the beholder," is, in its human manifestations, dependent upon the full and well-balanced functional activity of the organism. Beauty is sometimes a gift, sometimes an acquirement, and it takes many forms ; but in all cases it calls upon its fortunate possessor to follow certain rules of hygiene for its preservation.
The first principle of beauty is health. To acquire and maintain health should be the aim of every woman who desires to retain her good looks. The glow of a healthy skin cannot be successfully imitated by art, but it can be acquired by following the rules of right living, and by putting no obstacles in the way of beneficent Nature.
Sleep plays an important part in this programme. This is, of course, more or less a matter of individual requirement, but, generally speaking, women should take from eight to nine hours of sleep every night.
The bedroom should be well ventilated ; the windows wide open. The bed is not to be tucked away in a corner, bin. sufficiently removed from the wall to allow a free circulation of air about it, care being taken not to place it in a draught. The room should be furnished simply and not overloaded with bric-a-brac of all kinds, which catches the dust and germs.
It is better, as a rule, to lie on one's right side, and one of the best remedies for sleeplessness is deep breathing. It tranquillises the nerves and induces drowsiness. Take long, deep breatlis, filling the lungs to their utmost capacit v and exhaling slowly ; ays inhale through the nose.
On rising and before the bath, give yourself a thorough rubbing Ivith a flesh-brush ; there is nothing so good for the skin. Choose a brush with bristles not too stiff, and do not wet it. After the bath, and while you are dressing, drink a tumbler of hot water and fruit-juice ; oranges or grape fruit are excellent for the purpose. And now a few hints as to exercise.
This may be classified under two headings : (I) Exercise taken to improve and maintain the general health ; (2) exercise taken to build up and strengthen special muscles of the body.
In the first case, walking is the best and most universal form of exercise.
There are several ways of walking, but only one correct way, and the correct way must be followed if the greatest benefit is to be derived from it. Glance at the pedestrians who pass you in the street. You will see every form of walk—the nervous, the slouchy, the stiff, and a dozen other wrong ways of carrying the body and moving the legs.
Walking is a series of movements which can best be described as impelling the body to fall forward. Take a free swing from the hips, shoulders back. chin in, and at the end of every step straighten the knee and spring it well back ; then the body will be thrown forward and the impetus for the next step will come from the toes. There is no necessity, eVell when youth is past, to acquire a solemn and dignified strut, coming down heavily on the heels and losing all sense of buoyancy and spring.
While walking at a moderate pace, it should be necessary to breathe only ten or fifteen times a minute. This means that deep, slow inspiratioos are to be taken, filling the lungs properly. In walking to prevent or reduce obesity, a certain amount of hill-climbing is desirable.
For those who can afford it, riding is an excc-Ilent exercise. As a London physician aptly put it: " The outside of a horse is the best thing for the inside of a man." The vexed question for women, whether to ride astride or side-saddle, is really very simple of solution. Many women are not built for the cross-seat ; their limbs are too short and their thighs too round ; they neither look graceful nor are they able to secure a good grip or proper balance. The side-saddle is obviously best fur them. On the other hand, if a woman is built along the lines of a lanky youth, she will find no difficulty with the man's saddle. No hard or fast rule can be laid clown. The objec tions to the side-saddle are greatly over-estimated. An English saddle with a straight scat enables a woman to present a square front to the horse's head without strain or effort. It is always possible to get a saddle with reversible pommels, which will prevent a tendency to one-sided development. In brief, both methods are good, and the choice largely depends upon physique and inclination.