During last few centuries sport not only became quite common, but also it developed the scope of its disciplines and distinctly changed its formulas. Hundred years ago nobody thought about gyms and fitness clubs on every corner, personal trainers or the body work with training programms available online. Currently, so called “body cult” is being powered not only by media, which impose certain beauty standards and the need to display with amazing body, but also because of the science progress, which unceasingly validates, that healthy lifestyle in excercises and nourishment allows to enjoy health and physical fitness for a longer time. Although it does not mean that people formerly did not do any sports – they were just less socially popular and often required less effort than modern ones.
Among stocks of libraries belonging to the Digital Libraries Federation we can find many interesting and sometimes surprising handbooks for physical activities. National Digital Library POLONA can show off quite a fair collection of such objects – apart from objects chosen by the library, we can find many other appealing books, e.g. 19th century Healthy soul in a healthy body: sport textbook containing lessons of: gymnastics, fencing, boxing, swimming, skating, rowing, horse riding, cycling and dancing: gathered from various authors and Gymnastics for children from 4 to 9 years old: manual for parents and teachers. Equally many similar, but a bit later ones, are shared by the Pomeranian Digital Library – there are among others School of juniors : handbook for instructors of civil defence training from 1933 about physical lessons – drill, detailed exercises and Physical exercises in primary school : teacher’s book from 1928 presenting plays, games and many illustrated examples of exercises, songs and also interesting equipment. Other single worthwhile objects of this subject can be found in lots of repositories: Jagiellonian Digital Library (quite unusual sport discipline – Exercises with bludgeons – brandishing, supporting, floating around, complicated setups and combinations with illustrations from 1894), Silesian Digital Library (Physical education at summer camps. Methodical guide from 1936 containing many examplary orderliness of exercises and games in groups, describing the meaning of such education for young people, its advantages for body and soul), Digital Library of Wielkopolska (WPhysical education: magazine dedicated to school and educational hygiene and bodily practices at home, school, army and societies, presenting news and scientific raports from world of sport), Digital Library of Chełm (Scout at the field : terrain exercises from 1926 – description of important scout games and abilitie – assigning the way with a map, compass, marking the distance, recognizing the clues) or Podlaska Digital Library (Sport Games: basketball, volleyball, handball, hazena, American stick-ball – illustrated with photographs, tactic drawings, detailed descriptions of games).