A Brief History Of Physical Fitness


Since the beginning of time, people have found ways to stay fit. During the prehistoric era, man would spend a big portion of their time hunting. Unlike today, prehistoric man did not have access to rifles and shotguns. In fact, their hunting gear was limited to spears and complex techniques. It required a lot of strength and endurance to bring down small and large prey in the prehistoric era. This is why fitness was so important to primitive man. Below, you will discover more information about the history of physical fitness.

Fitness Was Survival


Primitive man relied on their fitness to survive. In fact, any man who lacked fitness did not survive in the prehistoric era. Those who were in poor physical health did not survive, because they did not have the strength or endurance to endure the long hunting expeditions required to gather food. These journeys would last anywhere from one to two days or even longer, depending on the villages’ food and water needs.


In the 21st Century, hunting and fishing is no longer a requirement for survival. Foods are available on just about every corner, in grocery stores and restaurant. This brings up the question of the importance of fitness in the modern world. The top spine surgeon in Jersey City (NJ)says that fitness is paramount to well-being and health. Without adequate physical fitness, man would not have been able to survive back then. Mankind really owes a lot to prehistoric humans and their will to survive.

Cultural Dancing


Dancing was an important activity in the prehistoric era. Both women and men took part in dances that could last for several hours. Fitness played a major role in partaking in these events. Those who lacked fitness would set out and watch the others enjoy the activities. While some of the individuals not partaking in the dances were elderly, others could not endure the strenuous physical activity. Dancing was not only a part of culture, it was a great exercise. They might not have realized it at the time, but dancing definitely helped to keep early humans fit and trim.

Celebration Trips


Primitive man was partial to celebrations. In fact, they would celebrate anything from successful hunting expeditions to births. A common way of celebrating during this era was spending time with friends and family members of neighboring tribes. These trips brought a lot of enjoyment, but for those involved in the trips, they were grueling. However, the rewards were definitely worth all the effort.


Visiting neighboring tribes during the historic period required a six to 20-mile journey on foot. These trips required a high level of fitness, which is a quality that primitive man took very seriously. Today, humans have far more convenient ways to travel. They can utilize automobiles, planes and trains, In the past, this was impossible. Instead, they were forced to walk from one location to the next.


It was indeed a struggle. Nevertheless, it helped these individuals remain health and fit.

Staying Healthy


The Chinese began to recognize the importance of physical activity sometime between 2500-250 B.C. Physical inactivity was linked to poor health, internal stoppages and organ malfunctions. To encourage more physical activity, Chinese teachers, such as Confucius, included words of encouragement in their teachings. But, this was only the beginning of the Chinese fitness movement. The Chinese developed the gymnastics program known as Cong Fu. The program was utilized to encourage regular physical activity, in an effort to combat poor health.


Ancient Chinese were also encouraged to participate in other types of physical activities, such as wrestling, fencing, badminton, archery and dancing. Many of which are still utilized today by people around the globe.


Physical Education


At one time, physical fitness was paramount. In fact, it was once part of the school system in the United States. Today, fewer schools require physical education are a part of the curriculum and that is taking a toll on the country at large. Since children are not getting the education needed to keep themselves in tiptop shape, fewer are remain fit and thin. Instead, they’re eating whatever they wish and gaining too much weight. Physical education is slowly being removed from schools across the nation.


That will prove to have a disastrous impact on the country as a whole in the future. The government has attempted to offset this problem, but their attempts have been futile.

Worldwide Obesity Epidemic


According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 1.6 billion overweight and obese people worldwide. The obesity epidemic is taking its toll on the health care industry. To combat the problem, governments are utilizing TV and radio ads to encourage physical activity. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be helping. More and more people are giving up and getting obese. Despite the television and radio ads, it is really up to each person to take control of their own life. If these individuals are not willing to do it, the government cannot force them.


This is a major factor in why the obesity rate around the country has climbed and why diabetes is now one of the common diseases in the entire world.

4 thoughts on “A Brief History Of Physical Fitness

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  1. Please can you name the research papers supporting your historic assumptions arpund prehistoric man?
    Many such assumptions have recently been questioned.

    1. Hi David. I borrowed from O’Keefe, James H., Robert Vogel, Carl J. Lavie, and Loren Cordain. “Achieving hunter-gatherer fitness in the 21st century: back to the future.” The American journal of medicine 123, no. 12 (2010): 1082-1086. If you have other sources please do let me know!

      1. Many years ago there was an assumption that prehistoric man had to be very fit fo survive. More recent archaeology seems to be questioning this assumption. We are discovering new things about diet and the frequency of conflicts and capturing large prey. I will do more research from your references and my own sources. Thanks again.

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