Gym

Who invented the gym & when did they do it?

5th Century BC The ancient Greeks invent (a basic form) of the dumbbell called a haltere. 1704 The term “kettlebell” is first used, in Russian. Kettlebell exercises were later popularized in the late 1800s by a Russian Vladislav Kraevsky. 1796 The Gymnasticon, an early exercise machine resembling a stationary bicycle, was invented by Francis Lowndes. Its function was to exercise the joints, either “in all parts of the body at once, or partially.” 1818 William Cubitt, a civil engineer, created the treadmill—which was also called a treadwheel in the early days. Cubitt later became famous for overseeing the construction of The Crystal Palace in London in 1851. Treadmills were initially used as punishment devices in British prisons – by 1842 more than half of British prisons had one. The likes of Oscar Wilde, imprisoned for gross indecency, worked the treadmill. 1832 Creatine is discovered by a French scientist, Michel Eugene Chevreul, who extracted it from meat. 1838 Protein was discovered by Jöns Jakob Berzelius. Named from the Greek word ‘protas’ meaning ‘of primary importance’. Berzelius is also credited with discovering the chemical elements cerium and selenium and with being the first to …

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Why Gym Memberships Don’t Improve Health

At any one time around 10.39 Million British people hold gym memberships. That’s substantially more than Spain, Ireland, France, Italy & Portugal on a per capita basis. So are British people in better shape than these countries (as you might expect)? Well life expectancy is lower in the UK than all five of those European nations. The UK also has the highest obesity rate of all of those nations with 27.8% of UK adults being obese which is higher than Italy (19.9%), France (21.6%), Spain (21.6%), Portugal (22.8%) & Ireland (25.3%). So more gym memberships doesn’t mean better health. Why? The gym industry isn’t about health or fitness its about profits – with an annual turnover of north of £5 billion a year the sector needs a churn of overweight and obese people to support the 191,000 people it employs. Most people don’t have a clue what they’re doing at the gym. Gym inductions are not even a legal requirement anymore. Not that those offer anything more than general “this is where the treadmills are, this is where the weights are” sort of information. The “industry” is failing …

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