Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Gymnasium. Get fit or die trying. #atozchallenge

Get fit or die trying


G is for gymnasium.


In Ancient Greece, a gymnasium was a training facility for competitors in public games. There was a strong link between athletics, education and medicine. The word is derived from the Greek word 'gymn├│s,' which means naked.

In Denmark (and other parts of Europe) a Gymnasium is an upper secondary education facility. Gyms as we know them are usually referred to as Motion centres. 

Since I'm not re-inventing the wheel and just passing on information, here's the Wikipedia page link for more fascinating facts on ancient greek gymnasiums. Here's some bits I found most interesting.

According to Plato it was Prodicus who first developed a connection between gymnastics and health, which was later improved by Hippocrates.  Throughout ancient Greek medical writings special exercises are prescribed for healing specific diseases and the same connection is still suggested by experts today.


I've long believed that healers have many guises. For example your local hairdresser often provides a social service that extends far beyond cutting your hair.  

Personal trainers and fitness instructors rate high on my list of guised healers. Since the gym I work in opened 6 months ago, I've witnessed some incredible changes in many of our members.  One woman told me she has previously spent thousands of kroner (Danish currency) on psychiatric help that had no obvious benefit. 

Since joining the gym she is 20 kg's (44 lbs) lighter. No longer suffers from anxiety attacks and has changed her diabetes medication from insulin injections to tablets (I would find this hard to believe if I'd only heard this information second hand.) She speaks so highly of her personal trainer, and I agree he is marvellous, but I also remind her it was her own dedication that made the biggest difference. Her husband is so grateful to have his happy, healthy wife back. 


Aside from the naked definition. I love the idea that a gymnasium is a centre for physical pursuits, learning and healing. While I understand some people prefer to be left alone when they are training, gyms can be social centres too.  

I encourage members to find a training partner to help hold each other accountable. Compliment people you see working hard. Offer tips to people you see struggling with a move. Ask people to show you a technique you aren't familiar with. Strike up conversations and share information. Suggest an interval challenge with the people beside you on the treadmills or bikes. Get to know each other or at least smile at one another if you recognise each other down the street. 

If you are a member of a gym do you try to socialise with other members? 


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3 comments:

  1. I was a member of a hotel gym (a little not overcrowded one), as it had a pool... although I did try out the exercise bike and I loved the rowing machine, didn't last long and was typical of many in that paid for it for months whilst never using it!! I liked it there but never got into a routine.

    Now I'm a member of a swimming club that uses a big pool at a private school, I can only swim for 45 mins on a particular time slot on one evening a week... but I am usually one of only 5 people using the pool, no public, no too much chlorine, and one side of pool is glass and looks out onto green playing fields. It's an expensive way to swim but it's my weekly treat! There are usually 1 or 2 training for something, 1 or 2 learning to swim, and me just social swimming for light excercise.

    Gyms in the UK usually have quite complicated/expensive membership options so never bothered again.

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

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    Replies
    1. The glass sided pool sounds like bliss. Complicated gym memberships are a turn off. :)

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  2. Fascinating!!! I love learning the history behind things we find so common. I've never been a member of a gym, but I should probably try it someday! :)

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