A Historical Perspective

Jack W. Berryman
Department of Bioethics and Humanities and Adjunct, Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

INTRODUCTION The belief that exercise could be considered medicine, or part of medicine, is not new. In fact, before mainstream Western medicine and healthcare became more focused on ‘‘sick care’’ at the beginning of the 20 th century, a major part of a physician's duties focused on the preservation and promotion of health and the prevention of disease. In this context, physicians emphasized the importance of exercise and diet, or what became known as regimen. This strong emphasis on health, rather than disease, dates back to the two most prominent physicians of the ancient world: Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.) and Galen (129-210 A.D.).