Think You Know The History of Fitness?

Article Title

The History of Fitness


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. The article then looks at:

  • Primitive man and fitness (pre-10,000 B.C)
  • The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution (10,000-8,000 B.C.)
  • Ancient civilizations – China and India (2500-250 B.C.)
    • China
    • India
  • The Near East (4000-250 B.C.)
  • Ancient Greek Civilization (2500-200 B.C.)
    • Athens
    • Sparta
  • Roman Civilization (200 B.C.-476 A.D.)
  • The Dark (476-1000) and Middle Ages (900-1400)
  • The Renaissance (1400-1600)
  • National Period in Europe (1700-1850)
    • Germany
    • Sweden
    • Denmark
    • England
  • America – Colonial Period (1700-1776)
  • United States – National Period (1776 to 1860)
  • United States – post-Civil War (1865-1900)
  • Physical Education
  • The 20th Century
  • World War I
  • The Roaring Twenties and Great Depression
  • World War II
  • 1950s – United States
  • Lessons from History


Dalleck, L.C. & Kravitz, L. (N.D.) The History of Fitness. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 02 February, 2014].

Originally Published In:

Dalleck, L.C. & Kravitz, L. (2002). The History of Fitness. IDEA Health and Fitness Source. 20(2), pp.26-33.


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