New Enthusiasm for Exercise
Factors Behind Physical Fitness Boom
Never before have so many Americans spent so much time, energy and money to get into shape and stay there. Tens of millions of men and women have made physical fitness an integral part of their lives, regularly setting aside time for tennis, swimming, bicycling, jogging and the like. Young affluent adults are in the vanguard of the movement, but nearly all segments of American society are participating in the physical fitness boom.
Exercise authorities are even encouraging parents to take their pre-schoolers to gym classes. At the other end of the age spectrum, senior citizens are active in sports and exercise activities that only a few years ago were thought to be the exclusive domain of the young. One of the most important trends in the fitness craze is the marked increase in women sports participants.
According to Richard O. Keelor, director of program development for the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, “America is going through a physical fitness renaissance that can make a real dent in degenerative diseases, not to mention the quality of life.” Keelor is one of many medical authorities who believe that exercise is a form of preventive medicine that leads to better physical and mental health.