The art of fitness

The Art of Fitness

Many individuals say that fitness is both an art and a science. Many believe the science aspect because there is a connection between the power and stamina that one puts forward to perform fitness activities. There is an actual scientific basis for how fitness relates to the aging process, the brain and body connection, and the quality of life that a person has. But what about art? How can art and fitness be related in any manner? Here we will delve into how fitness can be considered an art and what the connections are between them.


What is Art

Art is a human expression or creation that generally takes a visual form. This may be a painting or a sculpture. Art typically is appreciated by many for not only the beauty that it brings to others, but also for the emotional power that it can possess. Technical, as well as imaginative skills, are used when an artist creates this form of art.

Artwork can be a form of communication and entertainment. For some, art can be used as a means of raising awareness to different causes, such as autism, childhood cancer, or the environment. Others use it for propaganda. Many have used it as a means of healing.

There are various forms of art, such as literature, paintings,calligraphy, opera, music, dance, films, movies, and photography. Architecture can even be considered art.

No matter the form used, it is typically pleasing to the senses. Our eyes may like the bright colors used or how there is a contrast to a painting. Our sense of touch may revel in the texture of a painting. Perhaps a certain beat in a particular piece of music makes us happy. A drawing could be abstract, giving us free reign in deciding how to feel about the piece.


Principles and Elements of Art

There are various principles to art. These include the following:
● Movement- A principle used to create a feeling action.
● Variety- Diversity within the art. In fitness, an example of this could be spinning classes listening to rock and roll music while a yoga or pilates class may use soothing music.
● Harmony- Portions of the art are similar to each other. These parts are combined to form a sense of togetherness. In fitness, this could be a group of dancers performing the same dance, each with their own style.
● Contrast- The principle used to combine various elements, but still be able to showcase the differences between the two. In fitness, this could be combining two different workouts, such as aerobics and lifting weights.
● Balance- If a piece of art is well balanced, it means one will feel comfortable looking at it or performing it.
● Pattern- An element that is often repeated in art. In movement, this could be doing the same dance move during the chorus.
● Proportion- The relationship that different elements have not only with each other but also together.
● Unity- This principle gives a feeling that separate parts are working together to create “oneness”. Many artists will use simplicity, proximity, and repetition in order to create unity.


The elements of art include:

● Shape- An element that is two dimensional that is able to be defined in some way.
● Line- This element is used to describe edges and also control a person’s view.
● Value- This is defined as lightness and darkness of colors or tones.
● Color- An element that affects how we feel about a piece of art. An example of this may be seeing a dance where the performers are dressed all in black versus the same dance where everyone is wearing bright colors.
● Form- An element that is a 3-D shape.
● Space- The positive and negative areas that add depth to a piece of artwork.
● Texture- How the artwork feels or looks like it could feel if touched.


The Connection Between Art and Movement

Movement can be a form of art, especially when you consider the many different forms of movement. Dance of all kinds is a form of art that expresses a form of non-verbal communication. Ballet is majestic and gorgeous to watch. This dancing artform is graceful to watch, with fluid movements. Ballroom dancing is elegant and skillful while hip hop is energetic and allows a person to fully express themselves. Riverdance is astonishing to watch as it involves lots of foot movement that is fast-paced.

Tap dancing can easily be attributed to being a form of art for a few reasons. A tap dancer is essentially making music while they are dancing. Each time they hit the floor with their shoes, a sound is produced to form a pattern while the performer is dancing. It can be mesmerizing to watch the feet while concentrating on the sounds. And if you watch the upper body, the dancer is often using it to keep the entire dance well blended together.

Dancing is not the only kind of movement that can be considered as art. Take into consideration yoga. Yoga allows the mind, body, and soul to all be connected. The movement of the body during a yoga session can be graceful and beautiful. It can be visually appealing to watch someone do yoga while also mimicking the moves for themselves. The body can be used as a form of expression, just as an artist would use their canvas as a way to express what they are thinking or feeling at the time. Yoga can also be inspiring to others, just the same as various artforms are inspiring.


The Art of Fitness Training

Fitness trainers have been trained in various forms of science such as biology, anatomy, kinesiology, and more. It is essential for any fitness trainer to know about how each part of the body works. However, these trainers have an art because they understand when they need to apply scientific facts. When bodybuilding, and especially if you are going through strict and precise routines such as cutting or bulking, understanding the science behind the training programs and behind each step you need to take, understanding that is an important factor.

Personal trainers also understand that fitness and art go hand in hand. They know that exercise will impact how creative a person can be, and vice versa.


How Art is Used by the Fitness World

Art is something that is being adapted by the fitness world to make the experience of working out and getting healthier a more mesmerizing experience. One way many fitness centers and gyms are doing this is by adding artwork to the studios. You may see murals on the walls throughout the gym, not only in the locker rooms but also in the workout areas. Photography can also be displayed throughout the gym, such as photos of existing members using various gym equipment or of them exercising in a class.

The music that is being played during your spinning class can be considered art as well. And let us not forget about some of the classes that may be offered by your gym too that come from various art forms such as Zumba for example. This could be martial arts inspired workouts, utilizing moves from karate, boxing, Kung Fu, TaeKwonDo, Muay Thai, and Capoeira.


In Conclusion

As you can see, there are many ways that fitness can be viewed as an art. Various forms of exercise can be constituted as art, such as martial arts workouts like boxing or Kung Fu, or dancing, such as Jazz, Hip hop, or ballet.

Many of the art elements and principles are used in fitness as well. Patterns are used for many aspects of fitness, as is variety and harmony.
Fitness is a work of art for many reasons. Many find it appealing to watch. More find it exhilarating to do. Fitness is movement and movement is a form of art.

About The Author

Professor David Percival

Director of AHVC programme, and specialist in art and technology, including presence research, mixed and virtual reality.