- Prehistoric times.
The origin of the word “fitness” (English “fitness”) means “fit,” “adaptability,” “suitability. The term appeared in the 1970s in America. But the history of fitness actually goes back thousands of years. Even primitive man good physical shape helped him to survive – to get his own food and protect himself from wild beasts. Ancient people practiced fitness unconsciously. They were forced by life to jump, run, squat and bend down. Rock and cave paintings of that epoch depict human figures not only moving or dancing but also throwing spears, maces and boomerangs – so men developed dexterity, accuracy and strength in order to become good hunters. And the latest drawings of those times depict competitions between different tribes and awarding the winners. With the development of animal husbandry and agriculture, man had helpers, ranging from animals to various tools. But still had to work hard, so people were healthy and hardy. Fitness continued its development in ancient civilizations. Physical activity was associated with well-being; it was believed that he who worked hard was not sick and lived well.
- ancient times
Ancient Greek civilization.
The history of the origin of fitness is inextricably linked to ancient Greece. For the Hellenes, body development, along with music and education, was very important. By engaging in sports, the ancient Greeks sought to achieve the unity of external beauty and inner harmony. Society idealized the man, developed comprehensively, the personality that is both a thinker and an athlete at the same time. The spread of fitness was promoted by Greek doctors, philosophers and scientists. Hippocrates was a consummate horseman, Pythagoras was a famous fist fighter, and Socrates, Plato, Sophocles and Euripides constantly received prizes for participation in various competitions. Already in those days gymnastics was practiced in specially designated places. Ancient Greek thermae were entire complexes, where you could not only train, but also relax, visit the sauna and communicate with friends. Progenitor of fitness rooms is considered to be the Hercules Caves in the south of the Peloponnese peninsula: there archaeologists found the first “workout machines” – primitive stone devices, which are almost 3 thousand years old. It is impossible not to mention the fitness programs that existed in Athens, Sparta, the Persian Empire. In order to become good soldiers, boys from wealthy families were required to attend gyms. But women were also required to do the same – in order to remain attractive and give birth to healthy offspring, they were obliged to watch their physical form. The next page of the history of fitness are the competitions that were very popular in Olympia in the 8th-4th centuries BC. The Olympic Games had such a strong influence in society that sometimes even wars were suspended in order to hold them. Competitions included fist fighting, wrestling, running, discus and javelin throwing, jumping, and chariot riding.