TLC Book Tours has been generous in providing me so many great books to read. I am always excited to get a package in the mail, and Lift: Fitness Culture, from Naked Greeks and Acrobats to Jazzercise and Ninja Warriors is fantastic look at the history of exercise and fitness that brings us through history to the present day.
Lift brings back memories of the time in my life before I became a teacher. My bachelor's degree is in Fitness Management, a degree that combined science classes like kinesiology and cardiophysiology with business classes so that students would be able to run a corporate fitness program. As companies faced hard times financially, those corporate fitness programs dried up - right about the same time I was graduating and looking for a job.
Obviously I chose a different path to pursue, but my interest in exercise and fitness has endured (even when I find myself not very excited about my own work-out).
Nowhere in my classes did I learn about the history of exercise, so Lift was especially interesting. I don't have a great interest in Greek history, but the background that is given in this book isn't overwhelming and explains how athletes were perceived and how they trained.
The portion of Lift that deals more with our recent history is of more interest to me than the first part of the book. However, I appreciate that first portion and the research done about the Greeks because it does give a better overall picture of this culture.
I can better appreciate the different rationales behind exercising. Weight loss? Performance? Longevity of life? Each plays a part in why people exercise.
In just my lifetime alone we have seen a shift in exercise. Women can now lift heavy weights where it was once discouraged. Exercise machines were popular, but are now less encouraged since a machine restricts movement, and cross fit has become the go-to workout.
These time periods are explained and recalled in Lift which really was a fantastic look at the reasons we exercise - and proved a very interesting book to read while running on the treadmill.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for providing a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are, as always, my own.