You might think of the gym as a modern invention, with its metal equipment both shiny and matte, hi-tech performance fabrics and electronic machines whirring away—but you’d only be half right. Indeed, the modern gym has its roots on the beaches of Southern California, where GIs returning from World War II congregated for group exercise en plein air. Through sun-kissed fitness sessions, they sought camaraderie, sex appeal and an escape from the humdrum existences of their parents and grandparents, says Eric Chaline, author of The Temple of Perfection: A History of the Gym, on the phone from his home in London. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-six Buy Now Related Stories Interiors Issue 19 Prankster’s Paradise Is the nine-to-five grind approaching monotony? Arrive at the office early to even the playing field and invoke mirth for your co-workers. Interiors Issue 18 A View from the Porch The shapes and sizes of our homes are changing, and society along with it. Avi Friedman has come to make sense of the new era of household realities. Interiors Issue 16 My Bedside Table: The Fashion Designer Starr Hout, who cofounded fashion brand Apiece Apart with her friend Laura Cramer, talks about her evening rituals and a kid-friendly bedroom. Design Interiors Issue 15 The Community Entrepreneurs: The Food Enthusiasts Food can be used to enrich, strengthen and connect people of all societies and cultures: All you need is a passion for tasty morsels and tradition. Interiors Issue 14 My Bedside Table: The Editor The editor in chief of Milk Decoration magazine in Paris discusses what she likes to have at hand while slumbering. Interiors Issue 14 Home Tour: The Evergreen Cottage For this home tour, we look inside a festive house in a cobblestoned corner of Copenhagen.