By Coach Vanan
Staying fit is big business. Industries are thriving on providing the latest to keep individuals at their fittest and best. State-of-the-art gyms with the latest technology, nutritionists dishing us food that will build strength and stamina, to therapists who will take care of our physical well-being. Ever wondered what people did in the olden days to stay fit? Let’s look at the history and evolution of exercising and keeping fit.
- HUNT OR BE HUNTED
During the time when men lived in caves, the sole purpose of humans was to stay alive. Hunting and gathering food kept humans going. They had no choice but to learn from a very young age about the dangers from animals around them and at the same time, how to hunt the animals for food. They had to run at high speed, be able to jump from different heights, throw spears and carry heavy loads from a distance back to their shelters. It was a way of life that kept them fit and sharp.
- FARMING FOR LIFE
Man started farming around 12,000 BC. It was a way to get a steady supply of food without having to travel far. Farming was back-breaking work. Working from dawn to dusk, humans had to sow, cultivate and harvest food and crops. They had to walk long distances, carry, lift, pull and push heavy loads on a daily basis, unlike an hour in the gym. Again, the daily activities and routine movement using existing equipment kept people fit and strong – food for thought.
- BRED FOR WAR
As civilisations started to rise, war seemed to be the primary occupation of humans. To be a war
hero was something many craved to be. Nations fought each other for dominance and riches. The Romans and Greeks trained young men for battle, putting them through tough routines to build physical and mental strength. They had to have the body and agility to carry heavy armour and fight with speed. Physical training for war gave way to competitive sports. This culminated in the Olympic Games in Greece and the gruesome Roman gladiator games.
- INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
The Industrial Revolution in the 1700s required humans to exert less effort as the machinery did the heavy lifting. Machine-based production systems and manufacturing processes vastly changed the lifestyle of humans. As people used less and less human effort to move, lift and do other physical activities, they became sedentary. A sedentary lifestyle brought its own set of problems and people realised the importance of fitness and started to put aside time for exercise and physical training. That brings us to modern day physical and wellness needs.
There are plenty of lessons we can learn from our forefathers. Using everyday habits and taking advantage of our surroundings and nature will help us to stay fit and healthy. Keep moving, people!
For personal training enquiries, do call Vans at FitMantras at 98525309.