Fitness History – United State – The Roaring 1920s and the Great Depression (Part 11)

united states roaring twenties

The increased interest in fitness dissipated throughout the decade. A similar pattern is always repeated in the history of humanity after a war is won. Is that the society to relax, enjoy life and make fewer exercises. The Roaring 1920s earned this name because of this reason, the society was the most frivolous than any other in history until now. The priorities were eating, drinking, partying and other forms of entertainment.

In October 1929, the stock market crash signaled the beginning of a decade of economic depression. The economy has failed to recover until the United States entered World War II in 1941. With many other aspects of life, levels of physical condition fell during the Great Depression. The benefits that physical education programs have done through legislation that followed the First World War were short-lived. The funds for these programs were limited and were eventually exhausted because of the weak economy.

united states roaring twenties

Despite the setbacks suffered by the fitness during the Great Depression, Jack LaLanne, who came to be recognized as a pioneer of the modern fitness began his career as a media fitness instructor . Throughout his life, LaLanne preached the values of lifestyle fitness. In the 1950s, the « Jack LaLanne Show » began to be broadcast on television, 25 years before the shows of Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda. LaLanne developed fitness programs including aerobics, water aerobics and resistance exercises. He has also presented numerous pieces of exercise equipment including the first cable machine, the secure system for squat called « Smith Machine » and the first machine « Leg extension ». Although LaLanne is often named as the inventor of the movement « Jumping Jack » history suggests that the real inventor was John « Black Jack » Pershing, a tactical officer at West Point in World War II. Although LaLanne preceded the movements of the modern fitness by some three decades, its ideology and its exercise programs had a good approach as demonstrated modern research.

World War II

Throughout world history, military conflicts have had a major impact on the state of fitness. The Second World War and its consequences for the United States were not different. Essentially, the modern fitness movement has evolved under the influence of the Second World War and the Cold War.

world war 2

The United States are entered World War II with the bombing of Perl Harbor on December 7, 1941. With this declaration of war, he came to the need to prepare soldiers. However in recruitment, it became embarrassing found that many people were unfit for combat. When the war was over, it was reported that almost half of people prepared should have been refused or were given a non-combat position. These disturbing statistics helped gain more attention to the importance of fitness in the country.

There have been significant contributions in the gym during the 1940s, especially from Dr. Thomas K. Cureton from the University of Illinois. Cureton has introduced the application of research to fitness, which improved the recommendations of exercises to individuals. Cureton hasn’t only recognized the many benefits of regular exercise, he strived to extend the knowledge of the human body with the help of fitness. He wanted to answer questions such as « how many exercises to be healthy ? » and what types of exercise are most effective. But most important was that Cureton wanted to know how physical fitness could be better measured on an individual. Among his contributions, the most important were the fitness test development for cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and flexibility. His research has resulted in several recommendations for improving cardiorespiratory fitness, including the identification of exercise intensity needed to improve fitness levels. His suggestions became the fundamental basis of future exercise programs.

That’s all for today. Soon the rest of the fitness history

-Steph

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