Segments in this Video

The Ancient Workout (05:18)


Jack LaLanne describes how physical fitness can keep people from dying from inactivity. Ancient Asia developed the most effective methods for muscle toning, losing weight, and increasing flexibility. Ancient Greece was known for its Olympic Games in which top athletes would compete; in early Western culture, exercise was reserved for soldiers and slaves.

The Puritan Workout (04:31)

According to the Puritan Ethic, idleness, including exercise and playing, was considered innately sinful and was forbidden. In response to a vast outbreak of "nervous exhaustion," Doctor George Taylor prescribed a type of early aerobics in the form of Swedish Gymnastics set to music; one patient was Harriet Beecher Stowe's sister Catherine Beecher.

Morality of Fitness and Health (02:55)

Gus Hill was the American champion of "Indian Club Swinging" a popular form of exercise in the mid to late nineteenth century. Gymnasiums began prospering in the United States following the Civil War and the rise in popularity of Muscular Christianity.

The Fitness Guru (04:03)

Dr. Diocletian Lewis, a homeopathic physician, sought to emphasize how much fun physical fitness could be. Lewis experienced success and opened the first training program for P.E. teachers; in the mid-1800s people begin taking elixirs, believing they provided a quicker route to physical fitness.

The Lords of Battle Creek (06:53)

At the end of the nineteenth century, exercise equipment was being mass produced and sold to American consumers. Seventh Day Adventist Church founder Ellen White and Cornflakes inventor John Harvey Kellogg built and expanded the Battle Creek Sanitarium, a famous health resort known globally as The San.

American Fitness Culture (02:29)

Fitness magazine "Physical Culture" was started in 1898 by Bernarr Macfadden and was credited with popularizing health foods and adult exercise. Women were given a platform to speak about physical fitness in Macfadden's magazine, which was not typical of the times.

The War Workout (08:12)

During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson was surprised by the number of young men who failed the military's physical fitness examination; women in World War II had a more important role on the battlefront. LaLanne was the first fitness guru to use the media of television to promote his work and physical fitness in the homes of average Americans.

The Aerobic Workout (09:25)

The word "aerobics" is now used to describe endurance exercise that improves the cardiovascular system; the word was coined in 1966 by Dr. Kenneth Cooper. Dr. Cooper is also credited with popularizing jogging as a form of exercise in the United States, but Jane Fonda popularized aerobics among women with her fitness tapes.

Credits: Quest for Health (01:05)

Credits: Quest for Health

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Modern Marvels: Physical Fittness: Quest for Health

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This episode traces the role of physical fitness in the health of the individual and society from ancient Greek gymnasiums, where pupils pumped up the mind as well as body, to 19th-century Muscular Christians.

Length: 46 minutes

Item#: BVL160893

Copyright date: ©2002

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.