Updated: Apr 2
May 7, 2022 is National Fitness Day - Celebrate and get active.
Accepting and appreciating fitness has been an ever-evolving process, in a good way. Physical activity has been recognized by many as the cornerstone of good health.
Throughout history, people have recognized the value of staying active for a healthy life.
In the 1800s physical fitness was influenced by European Immigrants bringing many types of activities such as gymnastics and sports to the US.
Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and many US presidents touted the need for regular exercise.
1823 - Catherine Beecher, An early pioneer of physical education for girls, introduced calisthenics to improve women’s health.
She has an incredible story and is worth her own Blog.
1901 - Theodore Roosevelt was the most physically fit president, bringing to the office his dedication to staying active to maintain good health.
1940s - Dr. Thomas K. Cureton at the University of Illinois introduced his application of research into fitness, which become the foundation for all future exercise programs.
The medical community embraced the benefits of regular physical exertion as an aide in the battle against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer's, anxiety, depression, and many more negative health issues.
1954 - The American College of Sports Medicine was founded and became the leading organization in promoting the benefits of physical fitness.
ACSM works with the Center for Disease Control in developing guidelines for the fitness industry and the nation. (see note at bottom)
July 16, 1956 - The President's Council on Youth Fitness was founded by President Eisenhower, to encourage American children and create public awareness.
1963 - President Kennedy changed the council's name to President's Council on Physical Fitness to address all age groups.
Since 1983 - each President has proclaimed May as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month to promote the importance of physical activity, physical fitness, and sports participation.
History speaks for itself.
Humans have taken great strides to become more physically fit.
In many ways, we are regressing.
With life being so technologically advanced and "easy" to maneuver we have become less active and more complacent. Our posture has become hunched over, and we are more stagnant than ever.
Hence the need to get people up and moving, pull their heads out of their devices long enough to burn a few calories, and get some fresh air.
Fitness is a viable part of human existence.
Here are a few fitness facts that I hope you will find interesting and informative.
There are many ways to exercise, it's all physical activity
Move more... That's exercise.
You can begin an exercise program at any age.
Any amount of activity is good.
You can have positive health benefits with 10 minutes of exercise a day. Longer durations will reap even more benefits.
Daily exercise can improve your mood, daily function, and sleep.
You don't have to sweat to have a productive workout.
You do not need to kill yourself in the gym or on your run to get a good workout.
Vary your routine to avoid overuse injuries, reduce boredom and keep things interesting.
Resistance training does not only increase muscle, but can increase bone density as well.
Increasing muscle mass will elevate the metabolism. Muscle is active tissue it requires calories to function. The more muscle you have the more calories your body requires to move.
Your muscles get denser before they get bigger, that is what's known as muscle tone. They also become more efficient at burning calories.
You can work out with weights at any age. The quantity, style, and weight will change for each age group.
Anything that causes your body to exert against external forces is resistance training.
Gravity is an external force.
ACSM and CDC recommendations state that:
All healthy adults aged 18–65 yr should participate in moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 min on five days per week, or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 min on three days per week.
Every adult should perform activities that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance for a minimum of two days per week.