A short history of the Gym

How important is Gym?

Gyms have popped up all around us: on streets, in malls, in high schools, and in elementary schools. They have come to form part of our society. But are they genuinely important to the average individual’s life? In order to recall what they are supposed to accomplish for us, let’s remember the origins of the gymnasium.

Greek attitudes to the body

In Ancient Greece, physical and intellectual education were one. That is why physical education lessons were given in the same place as philosophy, literature, and music lessons. This was the gymnasium.

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We must understand that, in the Ancient Greek mind, the development of the individual to reach his full capacities was supremely important. Man was great, and his greatness should shine forth. The arena in which he was made to shine was this physical world. Therefore, his physical excellence was on the same plain as his moral and intellectual excellence.

Strength, bravery, agility and endurance were crucial qualities to acquire, especially in a world where physical battle might be one’s destiny. This is the reason for the Greek wrestling matches. Even from very young ages, Greek boys were taught to refine not only their minds, but also those great symbols of man’s awesome potential – their bodies.

More than that, Socrates said that, in order to develop a good mind, one needed to keep a healthy body. Otherwise, depression, loss of memory, and insanity would take over one’s thoughts.

Where Gym went after Greece

Roman civilization also had a place for physical training, but less so than the Greeks. In the nineteenth century, gyms were started in Germany. Soon after that they caught on in the USA.

An important part of the history of the gym was the games ethic of the British Empire, which ruled most of the civilized world for a period until the beginning of the twentieth century. This nation was interested in raising the value of physical achievement in games and sports because of its relation to military prowess. This was needed to keep the imperial machine going. Therefore, wherever Great Britain laid its feet, she left her mark in the form of sports competitions.

Gym in the modern world

In western societies, gym has shed its intellectual connotation and refers to a place of physical or sports training. They grow more and more central to our schedules for the reason that many of us live inactive lives, at least from the perspective of our bodies. People who spend hours per day sitting in front of a computer screen need to ensure that their posture, breathing, blood flow, and muscle tone remain healthy. This is crucial for emotional well-being and for alleviation of the unique kinds of stress in modern life. It’s a very good idea to maintain a gym membership with an experienced and expert gym like K FIT for these reasons.

We must remember what the Ancient Greeks understood: that our bodies are a part of who we are and should not be neglected. Often, a person’s emotional wellbeing feels less than optimum only because he has neglected his body for a period. Establishing a consistent gym schedule can make the difference between feeling one is struggling against the stream of life and feeling full of energy and enthusiasm for the day.

By G Da, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54347607

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