- 6. Modern times
Gymnastics also became popular in Germany, largely thanks to the efforts of Gerhard Wiest, who fought for the idea of creating public gymnastic institutions, and Johannes Guts-Muts, who published “Gymnastics for Youth”. And the “father of modern gymnastics” is considered to be the German pedagogue Friedrich Jahn, who promoted the importance of physical improvement, opened the first sports ground in the outskirts of Berlin, founded several gymnastic unions in Germany. Various sports schools were also opened in other European countries. Scientific and technological progress has simplified human life to such an extent that hypodynamia has become a real threat to society. In the XVIII-XIX centuries gymnastic programs were actively popularized in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Great Britain and America. The Swede Per Henrik Ling, the Englishman Archibald McLaren, the German Gerhard Fit, the Czech Miroslav Tyrsch, the Dane Frank Nechtegal, the Swiss Emil Jacques-Dalcroze, the French Georges Demeny, Francois Delsart and Frans Amoros, the Americans Catherine Beecher and Bess Mensendick – all these people have left their mark on the history of fitness.
- Modern times.
U.S. Contributions to the History of Fitness
Modern fitness began to develop in the United States at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is believed that the revival of ancient traditions contributed, above all, to the anabolic steroids, which began to be fond of athletes who were engaged in bodybuilding – these drugs literally disfigured both men and women. Fitness became a kind of alternative to bodybuilding, which in the XX century conquered America. The final return of ancient Greek ideals to American and European society took place in 1896, after the revival of the Olympic Games by Pierre de Coubertin. In the United States, physical education programs were recalled during World War II, but not for long, exclusively for the purpose of training recruits. The real importance of fitness was thought only in the early 1950s, after the tests that were conducted on American schoolchildren. Their results were disappointing – more than half of the children participating in the experiment were unable to pass at least one of the standards of flexibility and muscular strength (compared to 9% of schoolchildren in Europe). During this period, many organizations began to actively promote healthy lifestyles, educating the public about the consequences of lack of physical activity in human life. John F. Kennedy also insisted on the need for health promotion. The president himself regularly visited the gym, setting a good example for the citizens of his country. Thanks to Kennedy, the government began to actively engage in the development of youth sports. Monica Beckman’s jazzercise, Jackie Sorensen’s aerobics, and the programs of Ken Cooper, a man whose philosophy was aimed at preventing disease rather than curing it, appeared in America. Those ideas that Dr. Cooper actively disseminated are still used today. The decision to popularize fitness was made by the U.S. government in the 1970s, after the spread of various diseases and obesity among Americans had become epidemic.