“Life is like riding a bicycle.
In order to keep your balance,
you must keep moving.”
~ Albert Einstein
“We do not stop exercising because we grow
old – we grow old because we stop exercising.”
History.com | JFK on Youth Fitness.
On July 19, 1961, John F. Kennedy, the youngest candidate ever elected to the presidency, urges schools to adopt the guidelines recently published by the National Council on Youth Fitness.
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” ~ John F. Kennedy
A Look Back into History: The Federal Government Takes on Physical Fitness
Physical fitness is often in the news today, but it has long been a national concern. New programs to help keep Americans fit were a hallmark of John F. Kennedy’s administration.
After World War II, many Americans worried that U.S. citizens, especially the young, were growing overweight and out of shape. The nation’s economy had changed dramatically, and with it the nature of work and recreation changed. Mechanization had taken many farmers out of the fields and much of the physical labor out of farm work. Fewer factory jobs demanded heavy labor. Television required watching rather than doing. Americans were beginning to confront a new image of themselves and their country, and they did not always like what they saw.
“Lack of activity destroys
the good condition of every human being,
while movement and methodical
physical exercise save it and preserve it.”
“Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading; I will rather say more necessary, because health is worth more than learning.” – Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson firmly believed that physical exercise ensured not only bodily health, but mental health as well. Walking was his preferred activity, although as he aged he lamented that “a single mile is too much for me,” and turned more to horseback riding as his daily exercise.