Getting fit and burning the Christmas calories, is not new. The beloved Treadmill, common in all modern gyms, was first invented in 1818, by engineer William Cubit. Treadmills were introduced to prisons, mainly for prisoner punishment and, as an added benefit, to provide a free source of power to process crops.
Prisoners on treadmills - mid-1800s
By the 1920s, the prison treadmill had been reinvented as a method of exercise. It comprised wooden slats that were manually rotated around two rolling drums. By the 1930s, the wooden slats were gone, replaced by fabric, with handrails added for comfort and balance.
Keep fit with a smile, the 1930s way
Invented in the mid 1800s, gym machines became a regular fixture on luxury ocean liners, allowing first class passengers to exercise between meals. Rowing machines, exercise bikes and weights, all familiar to us today, were common in the Edwardian gym.
Exercise Bikes with distance clocks, 1920s
Passengers exercising, fully dressed, in the Titanic's gymnasium