What To Do When Weight Loss Comes At A Standstill A Brief History of Exercise Part I

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A Brief History of Exercise Part I

Exercise as a dedicated activity has played such an important role in society that it is easy to forget the importance of childhood in other areas of our lives. It’s amazing that it has grown from almost nothing to a huge success in less than 60 years. Here is a brief summary.

Today’s fitness movement began with a problem, namely the gradual decline of exercise as new technologies have given us freedom from physical activity. This recession began in the late 19th century, when the Industrial Revolution moved millions of people off the land and their farms into cities and factories. Quality of life improved, but at a cost. In World War I, one-third of Army recruits who went into combat were tested as invalids.

In the 1920s, the situation took a turn for the worse, and the decline in health was exacerbated by the poor diet during the Great Depression. In the 50s, televisions, cars and urban growth threatened to prevent daily physical activity. This time, our American bodies did not escape. Currently, diabetes and heart disease are the leading causes of death. Americans were successful in transforming themselves into the kind of idleness known to man.

When the situation is very dark, help comes, American style, in the form of a powerful TV personality. This character isn’t named Superman, but he might be. In 1951, ten years before health clubs were common, Jack LaLanne began teaching strength training for men and women on his television show. Today his work continues to be efficient and effective. “They said I was a bully and a talker,” he says. However, by the 80’s Jack LaLanne had over 200 health clubs across the country.

The sixties, a decade famous for its creative spirit, ushered in two subsequent periods of physical activity. First, the Beatles made yoga and meditation cool around the world. Then, in 1968, Dr. Kenneth Cooper coined the term “aerobics,” beginning the 20-year-old master of aerobic dance.

America’s current fitness movement is in flux. In the 1970s three out of the five main areas of fitness: strength, cardiovascular health, and stretching were defined as exercise options. Both things are still missing, body image and coordination, which is a harder sell in a country that focuses on weight loss over other fitness products.

From this point forward, the industry underwent a long search for its identity. Is it macho, mind-body, muscular or lycra-bound? Should a man dance, grunt, stretch or sweat? Do women look skinny or squishy, ​​soulful or spacey? Are health clubs related to racquetball, recreation, family or fitness?

Without a clear path, the industry succumbs to fads and stereotypes.

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