As we enter the 21st century, one of the greatest accomplishments to be celebrated is the continuous pursuit of fitness since the beginning of man’s existence. Throughout prehistoric time, man's quest for fitness has been driven by a desire to survive through hunting and gathering. Today, though no longer driven by subsistence requirements, fitness remains paramount to health and well-being. This article will highlight historical events and influential individuals who have shaped the history of fitness beginning with primitive man up to the foundation of the modern fitness movement.
United States - National Period (1776 to 1860)
Fitness in the United States during the National Period was influenced by European cultures. Immigrants brought many aspects of their heritage to the United States, including German and Swedish gymnastics. Constant threats to independence and nationalism from foreign invasion were dynamics prevalent in Europe and not the United States. German and Swedish gymnastic programs failed to attain the same levels of popularity as in Europe (9)....act