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Sunday, 11 January 2015


The Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was keen on exercising, including jogging, which he saw as the best stimulant for the stomach. He once walked from Athens to Olympia to see the Olympics.

St Paul wrote a letter to one of his closest companions Timothy in 64AD, in which he said that bodily exercise profits a little but godliness is profitable for all things. He did not mean that physical exercise has little value. Indeed he acknowledged that there is a short term profit to it.

Louis XIV (1638-1715) played  billiards under Doctor's orders as it was recommended that the exercise of stretching across the billiard table would improve his digestion.

King August of Saxony and Poland (1670-1733) was known as “August The Strong” and used his ten stone valet as a weight in his daily exercises on his palace balcony. He would lift the man over the parapet and stretch and bend his arms back and forth- suspending his “weight” over a 750ft drop.

Dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells can also be traced back to a 1700s fitness craze that involved ringing an artificial church bell.

Even in his late seventies Leo Tolstoy had not abandoned his habit of vigorous exercise, spending nearly every afternoon in riding, walking and in spare moments indoors playing battle-dore and shuttlecock with his daughter or amusing himself with cup and ball,

Mark Twain was a keen walker. For years he went for a ten mile walk from Hartford to Talcott Tower every Saturday with his friend, Rev Twichell. He once quipped "Golf is a good walk spoiled.”

When Theodore Roosevelt was governor of  New York State, he would run up the steps of Albany’s capitol building every morning for exercise. Allegedly, if reporters wanted an interview, they would have to get to the top of the stairs first.

Joseph Pilates (December 9, 1883 – October 9, 1967) was a German working in England when World War 1 broke out. While interned in a prison camp (Knockaloe) on the Isle of Man, he developed a method of exercise prisoners could perform in confined space using just their own body weight. Pilates called his method "Contrology."

Pilates' method of exercise worked well and established a devoted following after the War. He eventually moved to the US in 1926, where well-known dancers such as Martha Graham became devotees and regularly sent their students to Pilates for training and rehabilitation.

The fitness system is now known as Pilates is practiced worldwide, and especially in western countries such as Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Pilates wikipedia

Angelo Poffo was an American professional wrestler and wrestling promoter and the father of "The Genius" Lanny Poffo and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. While serving in the US Navy in 1945, Poffo set a world record for consecutive sit-ups. He completed 6,033 sit-ups in four hours and ten minutes. (According to his son Lanny, after 6,000 sit-ups he did 33 more, one for each year of Jesus Christ's life).

Founded in 2001, Zumba is the largest branded fitness company in the world – reporting more than 15 million weekly participants, in 200,000 locations, across 186 countries.

A new world record for the most press-ups in an hour was achieved by David Escojido, nicknamed Popeye, in Victoria, Texas, on April 2, 2016 (see below). The 55-year-old American did 2,298 in 60 minutes.

Japan has a national exercise routine and millions of people across Japan do the same routine at the same time.

Vigorous exercise is good for almost all of the body — except the teeth  Regular exercisers are “mouth breathers”, which causes plaque to dry on their teeth resulting in cavities.

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