Benjamin Franklin Coined the Phrase “No Pain, No Gain”

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was one of the first exercise gurus? Nearly 300 years ago, he recommended that adults get a minimum of 45 minutes of exercise every day. My new book, The Benjamin Franklin Diet explains how Franklin used exercise to increase his own health and longevity. Below is an excerpt from the book.

Everyone has heard the phrase, no pain, no gain. As contemporary as it sounds, it was Ben Franklin who coined these famous words back in the eighteenth century when he wrote, “There are no gains without pains.”

Exercise is essential to your health and you must make time for it every day. Forty-five minutes of moderate exercise broken up into fifteen-minute intervals before meals is the minimum amount an adult needs every day. Exercise is not always easy and, yes, sometimes it can be painful. Just remember Franklin’s famous words as you sweat it out and know that you’re losing fat and gaining a healthier body. Eventually your sore muscles and pain will diminish as you grow stronger.

Besides his superb eating habits, Benjamin Franklin’s other secret to long life was exercise. In a letter to a relative, he wrote, “The resolution you have taken to use more exercise is extremely proper, and I hope you will steadily perform it. It is of the greatest importance to prevent diseases.”

Exercise is a vitally important part of achieving optimum health and happiness. Franklin found that moderate exercise before meals improved his digestion, promoted sound sleep, and put him in a cheerful mood. “To this End it is in the first place necessary to be careful in preserving Health, by due Exercise and great Temperance; for in Sickness the Imagination is disturb’d; and disagreeable, sometimes terrible, Ideas are apt to present themselves. Exercise should precede Meals, not immediately follow them; the first promotes, the latter obstructs Digestion. If after Exercise we feed sparingly, the Digestion will be easy and good, the Body lightsome, the Temper cheerful, and all the Animal Functions perform’d agreeably. Sleep when it follows, will be natural and undisturb’d.”

Here’s to your good health!

Kelly Wright, Author of The Benjamin Franklin Diet

Benjamin Franklin, Red Wine & Good Health

“Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.”Benjamin Franklin

While Benjamin Franklin wasn’t a big drinker, he occasionally enjoyed wine and ale. Alcoholic beverages were the drink of choice in colonial America, much preferred over water. The reason why is explained in this excerpt from my new book, The Benjamin Franklin Diet.

“Because the water supply in Colonial America was sometimes unsafe and polluted, especially in densely populated cities, people drank large quantities of alcohol to quench their thirst. The first settlers drank water only when necessary, and when the tea and spirits from England ran out, people began distilling their own hard alcohol from the native Indian corn, as well as alcoholic cider from apples. Excessive drinking among the colonists was common. The custom grew even more popular when farmers began cultivating crops of malt and hops. Beer, cider, and rum were the most popular drinks among the populace, much preferred over milk and water. Most people believed that alcohol consumption was healthy and that the practice cured many common ailments. The trend of heavy drinking continued throughout the Revolutionary War and didn’t taper off for many years to come. In the late 1700s, a United States Government study showed that people over the age of fifteen consumed an annual average of thirty-four gallons of beer or cider, five gallons of distilled spirits, and one gallon of wine.”

While nearly everyone else in colonial America was walking around in a stupor, Benjamin Franklin was going about his business with a clear head. “Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation,” he once said. In other words, have a drink for your health, but don’t get drunk. Or as the old saying goes, a little alcohol is medicinal, too much is poison. While Benjamin Franklin probably wasn’t aware of the benefits of small amounts of alcohol, he certainly enjoyed a lifetime of good health by practicing moderation in most everything he did, which included temperate alcohol consumption.

Studies show that a little alcohol every now and then can be beneficial to your health. Red wine contains melatonin, a naturally occurring chemical that promotes sleep. Also found in red wine is reservatrol, a compound that has been linked to longevity in animals and has been proven to reduce bad cholesterol and heart disease. And if that’s not enough good news, a recent study in a European university found that moderate drinkers of red wine had 44% fewer colds than those who abstained.

  • A 5-ounce ‘glass’ of red wine is also relatively low in calories with approximately 100 calories per glass.

Here’s to your good health. Cheers!

Kelly Wright, Author of The Benjamin Franklin Diet