During the 1970s, I began to witness an evolution in fitness—away from jarring, damaging, high-impact methods of running, exercising, and (so-called) aerobics routines. This movement has been, and continues to be, towards low-impact methods of becoming or remaining fit without injuring yourself in the process. At least one pioneer (Elizabeth Kenny), 100 years ago, made some of the same observations about the workings of the human body as I have been making. Her findings were at first ridiculed, but over many decades were gradually accepted.

Evolution in Fitness

Topics in This Chapter

Hidden Causes of Injury
Non-Impact Aerobics
Sister Kenny
Moving away from Fitness Injuries

Four decades later, in 2012, this movement away from harmful exercise continues. The only reason a movement away from injury can have begun and lasted this long is that exercise is still being taught badly. People are still being injured by exercise, learning the wrong way to exercise. On-lookers imitate what they see, and so the bad habits are propogated. Some of us bypass the warm-up and the learning phases, setting out to imitate athletes who are in shape for high performance (for example, setting off at a “runner’s run” instead of building gradually to the endurance level required to run at that intensity. If exercise were being taught properly, there would be no need for a movement away from harmful exercise. 

The growing awareness of the harm that some forms of exercise are doing to us is obvious in the works of contemporary fitness experts who are contributing to the current, quiet trend away from injury and towards gentle shape-shifting. I call this trend an evolution in fitness. By eliminating the impact and the injury of exercise, we get fit without getting injured.

Hidden Causes of Injury

In 1977, John Jesse, a sports coach, published Hidden Causes of Injury, Prevention and Corrections, for Running Athletes and Joggers. His ideas inspired me—that athletics, and running in particular, can correct posture and prevent injury, through the awakening of atrophied muscle groups. Jesse emphasizes the importance of weight-resistance training (especially the resistance), and observes that it is often approached incorrectly, using bad form and excessive poundage. Jesse’s fitness programs respect the body and the limitations of individual structures. Jesse’s drawings of wonky feet made me realize the importance of addressing our wonkiness.

To continue reading you must be signed in or sign up as a member. This section is member only content.
Sign In Here OR Click Here To Sign Up For Free.

 


 

Mini DEER Logo Animated

 

Summary
Evolution in Fitness
Article Name
Evolution in Fitness
Description
During the 1970s, I began to witness an evolution in fitness—away from jarring, damaging, high-impact methods of running, exercising, and (so-called) aerobics routines. This movement has been, and continues to be, towards low-impact methods of becoming or remaining fit without injuring yourself in the process.
Author