...Whitman’s words, part of a nearly 47,000-word journalistic series called “Manly Health and Training,” were lost for more than 150 years, buried in an obscure newspaper that survived only in a handful of libraries. The series was uncovered last summer by a graduate student, who came across a fleeting reference to it in a digitized newspaper database and then tracked down the full text on microfilm.
But the most striking thing, Mr. Reynolds said, is its emphasis on moderation, and a holistic vision of the relationship between mental and physical health, in contrast to the radical temperance advocates, water-cure partisans and dietary reformers who sprang up across mid-19th-century America.
Whitman, who lived to a ripe 72, is really advocating “getting up early, having a walk, getting the benefit of fresh air and lots of moderate exercise,” Mr. Reynolds said. “One could do worse than follow his advice.” nyt