The Rise of American Fitness Culture with Shelly McKenzie

Cover of Getting Physical by Shelly McKenzie, a book about American fitness culture

Shelly McKenzie, an independent scholar, holds a Ph.D. from George Washington University, where she has taught writing and American studies. In this interview, we discuss her book Getting Physical: The Rise of Fitness Culture in America and the development of American fitness culture from the Cold War to the present. Enter the giveaway … Read more

The Rise of Women’s Fitness Culture with Danielle Friedman

Danielle Friedman and her book Let's Get Physical, a history of the rise of women's fitness culture

Danielle Friedman is an award-winning journalist and author of the critically acclaimed cultural history of women’s fitness Let’s Get Physical: How Women Discovered Exercise and Reshaped the World (Putnam 2022). Her feature writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Cut, Vogue, Health, and other … Read more

The History of Fitness with Daniel Kunitz

Daniel Kunitz, author of Lift

Daniel Kunitz is the author of Lift: Fitness Culture from Naked Greeks and Acrobats to Jazzercise and Ninja Warriors. He has written for numerous publications and is the editor-in-chief of Sculpture magazine. In this interview, we discuss Lift and the cultural history of fitness. Enter the giveaway below to win a copy of … Read more

KineSophy Hall of Fame: Junko Tabei

Junko Tabei at the summit of Mount Everest

This month, KineSophy adds another member to its Hall of Fame: mountain climber, activist and author Junko Tabei. Tabei was the first woman to climb Mount Everest and the Seven Summits, and she did so in the 1970s despite social pressures against women living active lifestyles and pursuing lofty goals. … Read more

Learning to Swim Might Be My Daughter’s Most Important Lesson

A baby learning to swim

Six weeks ago, my wife gave birth to our first child—a baby girl. There are seemingly infinite abilities our daughter needs to develop, starting with lifting her head and tracking moving objects. But as soon as she can, I want her to learn to swim. Learning to swim will make … Read more

2022 Year in Review

Toy cyclist between 2022 and 2023

While the COVID-19 pandemic is still not over, 2022 saw a marked shift away from the practices and media coverage of the previous two years. And this change in focus played out on KineSophy as well. This past year, I returned to the topics that grounded this site in the … Read more

The History of Exercise with Bill Hayes

Bill Hayes, author of Sweat: A History of Exercise

Bill Hayes is the author of Sweat: A History of Exercise, Insomniac City, and How New York Breaks Your Heart, a collection of his street photography, among other books. He is a recipient of the New York City Book Award for How We Live Now: Scenes from the Pandemic, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in … Read more

Hormesis, Exercise and Health

Hormesis, Exercise and Health

“What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche It has been 134 years since the German philosopher wrote those words in his book Twilight of the Idols. Recent scientific findings echo Nietzsche’s sentiments. According to the process of hormesis, certain toxins and physiological stressors can make you … Read more