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This arti­cle is about the indoor sports facil­i­ty. “Gym” can also refer to a fit­ness and health club. For oth­er uses, see gym­na­si­um (dis­am­bigua­tion). Not to be con­fused with Phys­i­cal Edu­ca­tion. Gym is slang for gym­na­si­um and gym­nas­tic ser­vices such as in schools and col­leges and is attrib­uted to com­pounds such as gym shoes. Gym­na­sia are open air and cov­ered loca­tions for gym­nas­tics and ath­let­ics. Gym­na­sia appa­ra­tus such as bar-bells, par­al­lel bars, jump­ing board, run­ning path, ten­nis-balls, crick­et field, fenc­ing gallery, and so forth are used as exer­cis­es. In safe weath­er, out­door loca­tions are the most con­duc­tive to health. Gyms were pop­u­lar in ancient Greece. Their cur­ric­u­la includ­ed Gym­nas­ti­ca mil­i­traria or self-defense, gym­nas­ti­ca med­ica, or phys­i­cal ther­a­py to help the sick and injured, and gym­nas­ti­ca ath­let­i­ca for phys­i­cal fit­ness and sports, from box­ing to dance. The gyms had halls and colon­nades with stat­ues and pic­tures. These gym­na­sia also had teach­ers of wis­dom and phi­los­o­phy. Com­mu­ni­ty gym­nas­tic events were done as part of the cel­e­bra­tions dur­ing var­i­ous vil­lage fes­ti­vals. In ancient Greece there was a phrase of con­tempt, “He can nei­ther swim nor write.” After a while, how­ev­er, Olympic ath­letes began train­ing in build­ings just for them. Com­mu­ni­ty sports nev­er became as pop­u­lar among ancient Romans as it had among the ancient Greeks. Gyms were used more as a prepa­ra­tion for mil­i­tary ser­vice or spec­ta­tor sports. Dur­ing the Roman Empire, the gym­nas­tic art was for­got­ten. In the Dark Ages there were sword fight­ing tour­na­ments and of chival­ry; and after gun­pow­der was invent­ed sword fight­ing began to be replaced by the sport of fenc­ing. There were schools of dag­ger fight­ing and wrestling and box­ing. Then in the 1700s, Salz­mann, Ger­man cler­gy­man, opened a gym in Thuringia teach­ing bod­i­ly exer­cis­es, includ­ing run­ning and swim­ming. Clias and Volk­er estab­lished gyms in Lon­don, and in 1825, Doc­tor Beck, a Ger­man immi­grant, estab­lished the first gym­na­si­um in the Unit­ed States. It was found that gym pupils lose inter­est in doing the same exer­cis­es, part­ly because of age. Vari­ety in exer­cis­es includ­ed skat­ing, danc­ing, and swim­ming. Some gym activ­i­ties can be done by 6 to 8 year olds while age 16 has been con­sid­ered mature enough for box­ing and horse­back rid­ing. The Greek term gym­na­sion (γυμνάσιον) was used in Ancient Greece to describe a local­i­ty for both phys­i­cal and intel­lec­tu­al edu­ca­tion of young men (see gym­na­si­um (ancient Greece)). The lat­ter mean­ing of intel­lec­tu­al edu­ca­tion per­sist­ed in Greek, Ger­man and oth­er lan­guages to denote a cer­tain type of school pro­vid­ing sec­ondary edu­ca­tion, the gym­na­si­um, where­as in Eng­lish the mean­ing of phys­i­cal edu­ca­tion was per­tained in the word gym. The Greek word gym­na­si­um means “school for naked exer­cise” and was used to des­ig­nate a local­i­ty for the edu­ca­tion of young men, includ­ing phys­i­cal edu­ca­tion (gym­nas­tics, i.e. exer­cise) which was cus­tom­ar­i­ly per­formed naked, as well as bathing, and stud­ies. For the Greeks, phys­i­cal edu­ca­tion was con­sid­ered as impor­tant as cog­ni­tive learn­ing. Most Greek gym­na­sia had libraries that could be uti­lized after relax­ing in the baths.