Monday, June 22, 2015

Phys Ed, 18th Century Style

When the Summer comes along, everybody.....and I mean everybody, wants to look their best in their summer attire, or beach wear. During the winter, all those "Figure Flaws" are concealed under coats and sweaters. Haha
We start to take stock of what we eat, and how much, and then there is the task of doing more, or better, exercise. But we 21st Century folk are not alone at this.

The history of exercise dates back to pre-historic times, though Cro-Magnum man might not have understood that he was exercising, when he was running away from a T-Rex! Keeping fit is important for many reasons! 

Around 400 BC, Hippocrates famously mentioned about exercise, "If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health."  At this time, people gave seriously thought to the importance of physical exercise, and its beneficial effects on the human body. Hippocrates's thoughts were shared by other famous thinkers a few centuries later.
The idea of exercise routines to help build up the body, came along later, and no one is sure exactly when, but there are some suggestions from ancient Rome, Greece and even in India, where artifacts like dumbbells have been found. 
But in the 18th Century, the idea of physical fitness took hold. exercises became more efficient, and included running, weight lifting, some exercise machinery employed. The notion of going to the gymnasium became popular. Some "myths" about exercise were dispelled, like weight training slowed down athletes, endurance training taxed the heart and was unhealthy for women, that exercise was not good for elderly people. All these myths have been found to be untrue, and the more exercise, the better, as long as people work up to it. The notion of the "Weekend Warrior" sees many good intentions ruined. But as they say, use it or lose it!

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