What makes a great Gym, and how do I pick the best one to help me achieve my fitness and lifestyle goals? With so many fitness fads and options available today, it has become so confusing to make the right choice. Let’s take a walk back in history to the Greek origins of the Gymnasium as we know it today.
We’ll begin with the etymology of the word Gym, to see if that can help give us perspective in this process. The word “gym” is abbreviated from the word “gymnasium”, which is the latinization of the Greek noun “gymnasion” which means public place for exercise. The “gymnasia” were the ancient Greek equivalent of a sports centre, and several were located just outside Athens’ city walls. It was also a place for socializing and engaging in intellectual pursuits. In Greek “gymnastēs” means trainer. The gymnastai were the teachers, coaches, and trainers of the athletes. The Greek gymnasiums also held lectures and discussions on philosophy, literature, and music. Greeks felt a strong relation between athletics, education and health.
In Athens there were three great public gymnasia: the Academy, the Lyceum and the Cynosarges. Each of the three was rendered famous by association with a celebrated school of philosophy. Antisthenes founded a school at the Cynosarges; Plato founded a school that gathered at the Academy, after which the school was named, making the gymnasium famous for hundreds of years; and at the Lyceum, Aristotle founded the Peripatetic School.
Plato considered gymnastics to be an important part of education and according to him it was the sophist Prodicus who first pointed out the connection between gymnastics and health, and formulated a method that became generally accepted and was subsequently improved by Hippocrates. There was a strong connection between health, education, and medicine. The same connection is commonly suggested by experts today.
When a resident of Ancient Athens selected a Gymnasium, they chose one that was local and convenient to them, provided the expert instruction and training to advance their health and wellness, and sought the social and intellectual connection from members of their common peer group.
For success in selecting the best gym today, we should take a lesson from our ancient Greek ancestors and pick a gym the is local and convenient (as studies shows that is one of the biggest keys to success in a fitness program), provides world class expert instruction, and surrounds us with intellectually and socially stimulating peer groups.
Living Fitness is proud to be led by owners of Greek heritage, following the principles handed down from their ancient Greek ancestors to create the world’s best and most beautiful “Gymnasio”, located conveniently in the luxury enclave of Newport Coast. We invite you to visit and immerse yourself in Living Fitness’ grand design & architecture, exquisite music, intellectual conversations and expert fitness instruction.
Living Fitness™ is a world class fitness facility in Newport Coast, California, featuring personal training, a Pilates Studio, state-of the-art exercise equipment and resort-level facility design. Living Fitness cutting-edge Personal Training programs are led by some of the nation’s leading fitness Instructors. Living Fitness proudly serves residents of Newport Coast, Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach and Irvine.