Our Roots

Bonnie Prudden is one of the founders of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, which was established in 1956 as the "President's Council on Youth Fitness." She began delivering her fitness message in 1945 when she taught an exercise conditioning class to her daughter's friends after school. She utilized the fitness test developed by Drs. Hans Kraus and Sonja Weber to test the fitness of children in the U.S., Europe and Central America, which ultimately led to a report that was presented to President Eisenhower, and the establishment of the President's Council. She has authored 19 books on fitness and has developed numerous physical fitness programs for schools, hospitals, camps, factories and other institutions. She has helped hundreds of thousands of women and babies through her pre- and post-natal exercise routines. She is renowned in the pain management field, as her technique incorporates physical activity in the healing process. She was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2006 and has dedicated more than 60 years of her professional career to improving the health of women, men, and children.

- The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports - 2007 PCPFS Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

In addition to writing 19 books on fitness, Bonnie has been given credit for writing the FIRST book on fitness. She designed the FIRST fitness clothing, and wrote the FIRST fitness column for Sports Illustrated. Bonnie also wrote: Is Your Child really Fit, Harper & Row. This was the FIRST book to describe the lack of physical fitness and provide the answers. She was featured on the FIRST fitness spots on national TV where she produced fitness/ exercise albums to contemporary music. In 1960, Warner Brothers produced and released the FIRST of 6 fitness records where Bonnie actively performed the exercises while recording the voice over. In 1963, Bonnie held the FIRST of many FIVE DAYS TO FITNESS workshops. For mothers and their babies, she established the FIRST diaper gym and swim classes. And for the elderly, the FIRST exercises classes. In the world of skiing she was the FIRST woman to receive the National Ski Patrol badge, and she started the FIRST "dry" ski school. In her work with the American Foundation for the Blind, Bonnie also created their FIRST fitness programs. Bonnie established the FIRST exercise/fitness program in a Women's Prison, including mothers and babies in the prison nursery. In the 50's she designed an obstacle course that included America's FIRST climbing wall. In 1946 - 1955 Bonnie documented 30 FIRST ascents in the Shawangunk Mountains and considered most prominent woman rock climber.

Her technique that has made her renowned in the pain management field is called Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®. In 1976 at the age of 62, Bonnie started developing this technique when working with Dr. Desmond Tivy, M.D. Bonnie then complemented the technique using all of her knowledge learned and developed over the years in fitness and exercise, and how the body moves by combining her own corrective exercise program with the therapy. It was about this time that Dr. Tivy coined the word MYOTHERAPY.

In 1979, Bonnie opened the Bonnie Prudden School of Physical Fitness and Myotherapy. By 1985 she had written 3 books on the subject. Her first book on Myotherapy, "Pain Erasure: The Bonnie Prudden Way," published in 1980, is still in print. In addition to being inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2006, she was also inducted into the Massage Hall of Fame in 2006, and was presented the President's Council Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. This award is given to individuals whose careers have greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of the physical activity, fitness or sports nationwide. Winners are chosen by the members of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports based on the span and scope of an individual's career, the estimated number of lives the individual has touched through his or her work, the legacy of the individual's work, and additional awards or honors received over the course of his or her career.

More Reading

Read about Dr. Hans Kraus, M.D. and Bonnie Prudden® at: Fitness.gov.

For the Lifetime Achievement 2007 Award Winners and Press Release, go to: Fitness.gov.


Go to Left side of page at above website and open the PDF or HTML heading that says:

President's Council

History - Narrative