The popularity of a healthy lifestyle today is hard to overestimate. In the entire history of the world, a healthy lifestyle has never been so introduced into the masses. This is clearly expressed by the abundance of fitness clubs on the streets of cities and the number of motivating photos on the instagram of every second (or third) user.
But despite this, a large number of people continue to experience problems with obesity, and among them there are even those who are engaged in fitness. The causes of this phenomenon may be different. Perhaps this prevalence of this trend has contributed to the decline in the quality of this service: today, YouTube is filled with the advice of instructors, who themselves just yesterday crossed the threshold of the gym. Or perhaps the fitness system itself has become less effective. And it includes not only a set of physical exercises. The very concept of fitness as a sport, motivating prerequisites, when its goal is not to become strong, but to make a cool selfie in front of a mirror, has become distorted.
In this article, we offer you a brief look at the history of fitness as a separate discipline. Perhaps this will partly make it clear what ultimately went wrong.
Physical activity exists as much as the person himself exists. After all, in fact, the life of the first Homo sapiens was like a solid workout: they could only walk on their own feet, they worked a lot with their hands. Well, if you wanted to eat (as you understand, the ancient “Ashanov” did not exist then), they had to use their natural potential to get food while hunting.
But the first mention of the existence of special physical training as a separate discipline belongs to the ancient states formed thousands of years ago. The history of the Egyptians, Greeks, and Persians indicates the emergence of the first kinds of sports, which served as the prototypes of modern ones.
Naturally, the development of these sports was mostly practical: the preparation of young people for war. But in the end, the positive consequences of the ancient sports agenda were reflected in the Olympic Games: evidence of this are the surviving references to competitions in running, javelin throwing, boxing, wrestling, and so on. In addition to this fact, there is still evidence of the creation of the first sports gymnasium in that era. This is the first time in human history when physical training has become an end in itself.
In the later (relative to Antiquity) times of the Middle Ages, people did not particularly focus on sports training. All physical activity in those days was the hard work of the working class and the military training of the nobility. But if we look further for a few more decades, then, being in the epochs of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, we will again come across references to exercise as a separate discipline.
Writers and physicians of the time, such as Cristobal Mendez and Mercurialis, are authors of some of the earliest works on the topic of sports: De Arte Gymnastica and El Libro por Ejercicio Corporal. Some parts of these books include familiar exercises such as climbing with a rope, balancing with a pole, and, of course, various elements of gymnastics.
Strength training has also been an integral part of the sports program for a long time. One of the innovators of the weightlifting system was Thomas Inch, who at the beginning of the 20th century tried to shed light on the theory of the muscular structure of the human body.
And yet, with such an impressive historical background, it is not at all clear what is the reason for the extinction of sports as the stronghold of a nation’s recovery.
Some believe that the reason for this is the development of the machine industry, including the automotive industry. People began to work less physically, and having their own car completely deprived them of the incentive to move on foot. In this case, scientific progress can be blamed exactly as well as highlighting its merits. For example, the emergence of simulators, treadmills (which can also be attributed to industrial achievements) contributed to the fact that people became more involved in sports, as this process became more convenient. In addition, the presence of technology in our lives saves time when performing basic duties, which leaves more time for training.
The main problem is most likely the commercialization of fitness and its transformation into a business sector. And in any business the main task is to maximize profits. Therefore, people who are not particularly motivated are often told that they can improve their body quickly, while ignoring the fundamental ideas of a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and active leisure.
To this it is worth adding the indisputable fact of the passivity of modern society, in which people have become much lazier than their historical predecessors. And if earlier in the basis of the aesthetics of physical strength was its functionality, now fitness has become an element of a fashionable image, and the meaning of participation in training has become more important than the training itself.