Wednesday (16 April) was Jogging Day in West Germany. Federal President Walter Scheel, suitably attired?
Wednesday (16 April) was Jogging Day in West Germany. Federal President Walter Scheel, suitably attired in a track suit, set the nation in motion in the question of physical fitness.
Herr Scheel turned out at Bonn's Venusberg to inaugurate 1975 as "Trimm Dich" (Keep Fit) Year.
The Germans are already amongst the most fitness-conscious of European nations. Every day, an estimated eight million people put on running kit and jog their way to a healthier life.
Fitness Year is the latest device thought up to jog the memories of the sluggards who haven't got the running habit yet. The campaign is backed by advertisements on television and in newspapers, by medal award schemes, posters, brochures and cartoon characters.
Hundreds of special jogging courses, all clearly signposted and marked off in 500 metre lengths, are provided throughout the country under s scheme organised by the West German Sports Federation.
There's good sound economic thinking behind the keep-fit campaign. Every year the country spends ten billion marks on illnesses caused by circulatory diseases -- mainly due to lack of exercise.
So there's a catchphrase encouraging West Germans to take up Trimm-trab (the slow job). Trimm-trab and Fight Flab is the motto.