This book provides a sociological perspective on fitness culture as developed in commercial gyms, investigating the cultural relevance of gyms in terms of the history of the commercialization of body discipline, the negotiation of gender identities and distinction dynamics within contemporary cultures of consumption.
Sports & Recreation by Prof. Karin Volkwein-Caplan
Sport|Fitness|Culture focuses on the influences of culture and society on human movement, such as sport, physical activity, and fitness. The text introduces and analyzes current issues of importance for those concerned with human movement and culture, whether it is in the context of teaching physical education, coordinating/ marketing sport and recreational programs, coaching or serving the general population – young and old – with any form of physical activity. Sport|Fitness|Culture incorporates interdisciplinary, cutting-edge work reflecting various research paradigms from these theoretical perspectives: sociology, psychology, history, philosophy, anthropology, gender and race studies and cultural studies. The fact that more and more people of all ages are participating in sport and physical activity means that serious attention must be paid to increasing awareness of the positive as well as the negative effects of such involvement. Indeed, sport has become a major socio-cultural factor in people’s lives. In the USA, there is hardly anyone who is not touched by this movement; however, people have very different experiences based on their cultural and socio-economic background, including gender, race/ethnicity, age, ability, as well as their sexual and religious orientations. This book will educate people about the importance of socio-cultural as well as psychological factors influencing people’s choices, opportunities, experiences and limitations in the domain of human movement.
This book explores common representations and experiences of American fitness. It takes women’s experiences as the center of inquiry toward an understanding of the function of fitness in our lives and in our culture-at-large. Ranging from 1968 to the present, from Jane Fonda to WiiFit, from revolution to institutionalization, from personal to political, and beyond, this book considers a broad range of topics from an interdisciplinary perspective: generations, cultural appropriation, community development, choreography, methodology, healing, and social justice. Drawing on her experience as a cultural theorist, educator and fitness instructor, the author offers critical and creative approaches that reveal the limitations and possibilities of fitness. The book enables readers to think about their own relationship to fitness as well as the more abstract meanings of the term, and suggests the idea that fitness has some potential to transform our worlds—if we’re willing to do the work(out).
by Karin A. E. Volkwein-Caplan, Karin A. E. Volkwein
A fascinating cultural history of fitness, from Greek antiquity to the era of the “big-box gym” and beyond, exploring the ways in which human exercise has changed over time—and what we can learn from our ancestors. We humans have been conditioning our bodies for more than 2,500 years, yet it’s only recently that treadmills and weight machines have become the gold standard of fitness. For all this new technology, are we really healthier, stronger, and more flexible than our ancestors? Where Born to Run began with an aching foot, Lift begins with a broken gym system—one founded on high-tech machinery and isolation techniques that aren’t necessarily as productive as we think. Looking to the past for context, Daniel Kunitz crafts an insightful cultural history of the human drive for exercise, concluding that we need to get back to basics to be truly healthy. Lift takes us on an enlightening tour through time, beginning with the ancient Greeks, who made a cult of the human body—the word gymnasium derives from the Greek word for “naked”—and following Roman legions, medieval knights, Persian pahlevans, and eighteenth-century German gymnasts. Kunitz discovers the seeds of the modern gym in nineteenth-century Paris, where weight lifting machines were first employed, and takes us all the way up to the game-changer: the feminist movement of the 1960s, which popularized aerobics and calisthenics classes. This ignited the first true global fitness revolution, and Kunitz explores how it brought us to where we are today. Once a fast-food inhaler and substance abuser, Kunitz reveals his own decade-long journey to becoming ultra-fit using ancient principals of strengthening and conditioning. With Lift, he argues that, as a culture, we are finally returning to this natural ideal—and that it’s to our great benefit to do so.
By participating in the everyday life of fitness professionals, gym-goers and bodybuilders, The Global Gym explores fitness centres as sites of learning. The authors consider how physical, psychological and cultural knowledge about health and the body is incorporated into people's identity in a local and global gym and fitness context.
The comprehensive guide to getting the most out of your gym workout. It includes detailed information on planning, executing and maintaining a fitness regime. More than simply an instructional manual, The Complete Guide is also a valuable resource on nutrition, attitude, and the development of a personal training program that fits every lifestyle. Building on years of research and experience as an educator, personal trainer and government official for fitness accreditation, Yigal Pinchas has integrated the theory and practice of health and wellness to address the physical, mental, and emotional demands of an effective fitness regime. Accompanied by over 200 illustrations, the text includes instruction that range from step-by-step guides to performing the exercises and reaching your training goals without injury to balancing training with proper eating habits and keeping yourself motivated over the long term. The book is structured to allow readers to progress all the way from the first tentative steps to the more advanced stages of independent and effective exercise. This book is a must for professional trainers, kinesiology specialists, and the general fitness enthusiast.
Bachelor Thesis from the year 2016 in the subject Sociology - Culture, Technology, Peoples / Nations, grade: 1,3, University of Passau (Professur für Amerikanistik / Cultural and Media Studies), language: English, abstract: This paper is focused on the cultural transfer of contemporary American fitness culture into the Chinese environment. In what respect does the current state of the contemporary Chinese fitness culture reflect this process? Furthermore, cultural implications will be analyzed as well as the question about the shape of the cultural transfer is going to be answered: What part of the transfer is “literally” adopted from the United States, what parts of the culture are reinterpreted, what is distinctly Chinese? To achieve this rather ambitious goal in this fairly limited scope, it is going to be explored what makes the fitness lifestyle as culture unambiguously American by looking at its historical roots and cultural features, before a snapshot of the adaption on Chinese soil including the determining cultural idiosyncrasies will be analyzed in depth. As the thesis is working with the framework of cultural transfer as well as it is exploring a concept of lifestyle, these two concepts will be initially defined to clarify what is going to be discussed subsequently.
Publisher: Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers
This volume contains a selection of papers presented at the Nutrition and Fitness Conference in Shanghai, held in November 2006 under the auspices of the World Council on Nutrition, Fitness and Health. Starting with a keynote presentation on nutrition, fitness and the concept of positive health from ancient times to the present, the focus then shifts to the role of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in health and disease. Other topics addressed are non-conventional genetic risk factors for cardiovascular disease; the impact of the APO E genotype on health, nutrition and fitness; nutrition in the prevention of chronic disease; and the connection between exercise and obesity. Papers on nutritional risk factors for gastrointestinal cancers; mediterranean diets as a global resource in health and disease; as well as political issues conclude the presentations. Covering a wide spectrum of issues, these proceedings will be of interest to geneticists, nutritionists and dieticians, exercise physiologists, cultural anthropologists, historians, pediatricians, internists, general practitioners, health care providers, scientists in industry and government, policymakers, and national and international governmental organizations.