A History Of Fitness

The continuous and steady quest for fitness since the existence of man, there is a significant accomplishment in this 21st century. All through prehistoric time, man’s search for eligibility has been driven by a desire to survive on hunting and gathering. However, today fitness remains a dominant ingredient towards total health and general well -being. Fitness health can be traced from the primitive man to what is today the basis of fitness movement.

Primitive man and fitness (pre-10,000 B.C)

Though early nomadic lifestyles demanded persistent task, there were planned physical activities as a life principle. This is supported by activities which included celebration events with neighboring communities about six to twenty miles away. They included walking trips and the real actions of dancing and social games. The Paleolithic pattern of existence demanded fitness levels of highest order accompanied by a variety of physical activity.

Primitive man and fitness

The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution (10,000-8,000 B.C.)

This was the times that transited primitive lifestyles and ushered in civilization. Agriculture necessitated the need for the invention of the plow to increase production. This boosted food availability and hence no need for such movements. The man became an agrarian and thus his beginning of reduced daily activities.

Ancient civilizations – China and India (2500-250 B.C.)


Physical inactivity was realized to be a contributor towards the development of various diseases. Cong Fu gymnastics hence were introduced as a way to sustain a healthy body.

Ancient Greek Civilization (2500-200 B.C.)


Ancient Greece was typically a model of fitness idealism. For Greece, physical development was attached to mental health. Medical doctors such as Herodicus, Galen and Hippocrates came up to facilitate the advance of fitness.

Gymnasiums with music accompaniment were considered as all essential classes. For the ancient Greek, the saying music for the soul and exercise for the body said it all.

The 20th Century

This was an era of fitness leaders. Theodore Roosevelt, the then United States president, understood the power of physical fitness and as the leader, he encouraged Americans to be physically active. This was echoed by subsequent leaders though in different enthusiasms.

The 1950s – United States

This was the benchmark era in influencing modern fitness. Kraus-Hirschland came up with the “Minimum Muscular Fitness Tests in Children” that mostly dealt with measuring muscular power and elasticity in the leg and trunk muscles. His findings when reported to the then president Eisenhower, he called conference which bore dual results.



One was the establishment of the President’s Council on Youth Fitness and the foundation of a presidential committee that was to advise citizens on youth fitness. Present day fitness programs have harmoniously advanced the concept of exercise for the body and music for the soul”. Music is a different element to the exercise experience.