June 19, 2020
by KidsFit Coach

Fitness of the Past

The way we exercise has completely changed from the beginning of time simply running for survival to exercising to stay healthy! Although we did not know about many benefits of exercise back then, over the years our knowledge about exercise is greater than ever! Follow along with Daira in this fun workout to bring our timeline to life!


Primal (10,000 BC)

  • Traveling on foot to find food and running away from predators was our main form of exercise
  • During this time, we were hunter gatherers who ate fruit, plants, roots, seeds, and nuts. We discovered how to hunt which led us to eat meat.

Crop Culture (10,000- 8,000 BC)

  • People built homes and started growing their own food. Physical activity came from growing crops, raising animals, and plowing.
  • The first foods to be grown were wheat, rye, and barley to make porridge or oatmeal. Animals were owned for meat and dairy sources.

War Times (4,000 BC- 476 AD)

  • Physical Exercise focused on running, jumping, crawling, lifting, and fighting to prepare for war. Sports became important, which lead the Greeks to create the Olympics.
  • Civilizations started growing vegetables and making pots for cooking. The different empires during this time often ate variety of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein

The Renaissance (1400-1600)

  • Benefits of exercise were being studied by understanding different exercises, sports, and games.
  • Meat was eaten during special occasions and most people often ate soup, vegetables, oatmeal, and pasta.

Industrial Revolution (1800)

  • Using machines for work was more common which made people more intentional with exercising. Gymnastics became the exercise of choice and came to America from the Europeans.
  • Sandwiches with meat, cheese, and vegetables were made, and leftover pie for desert were brought to work for lunch at factories.

20th Century

  • Exercise focused on aerobics, weight lifting, and body building. Exercising was often done at health clubs and gyms like the YMCA. Health and Exercise guidelines were established to keep us healthy.
  • We started making packaged and canned foods, and as life got busier fast food restaurants became popular for quick and easy meals.


Even though the reason why we exercise has changed we have learned that exercise is an important part of our daily lives. With increased knowledge and research about exercise and healthy living we have more ways to move our body more than ever! Find ways that you like to stay active to make exercise fun and find healthy foods to fuel your body for the future!

Learn more about the History of Health!

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