My name is Retro Mimi, and if you read my blog, 1972: The Retro WW Experiment – you know that I like to write about my adventures in retro dieting. Sometimes the food can be a little scary, but it is ALWAYS fun.
So when the wonderful and generous Carla asked for a guest post, I thought it would be interesting to explore the concept of retro fitness & exercise. I looked at it as a mini-challenge since this is something I have not yet explored on my blog.
As I began pouring through my vast collection of cookbooks and magazines about dieting in the 1970’s and looking for retro fitness inspiration – I had a huge realization. There is nothing. Nada. Zilch. No real mention of exercise anywhere! Well, unless you count the creepy ads in the back of the magazines that urge you to send $2.99 and a self addressed stamped envelope for your very own “chin gym” to help you eliminate that double chin! Apparently, exercise was not necessarily encouraged as part of a regular weight loss plan for women in the 70’s! Wow. Weird.
This got me thinking. When did exercise start to catch on? When did we really start to embrace it? Then it hit me.
Leg warmers. Leotards. Headbands. The 80’s.
I was a child of the 70’s and 80’s – and lived in a household of chronic dieters. So you can imagine the litany of fitness fads we voraciously attacked. Just to name a few of the things you might have found in our house at any given time when I was growing up:
- Dr. Scholl’s Exercise Sandals (pink, of course)
- Sauna Suits
- Jane Fonda Workout Video
- Nordic Track
- Abdominal Wheels
- Elaine Powers Figure Salon Membership Card
- Pumping Iron: The Book
As a kid, I was lucky enough to have parents who taught me that fitness should be fun. One of my fondest childhood memories is sitting on the living room floor with my mom each day waiting for The Richard Simmons Show to start, so we could do our leg lifts together. We jogged, we swam, we roller skated and we were one of the first families to sign up at the new racquetball club when it opened. I proudly wore my shiny red satin gym shorts and matching tube socks through it all.
To this day, I guess you could say I am pretty “retro” when it comes to my fitness routine. The most hi-tech piece of equipment I own is a pedometer, and I much prefer a nature hike over a trip to the gym. A good old fashioned exercise video every morning really does the trick for me, so please don’t laugh when I tell you I still own “Buns of Steel” – parts 1 and 2.
For me, fitness is not about gadgets and glamorous gyms. It’s about getting off the couch, having fun and shaking my booty–whenever and however I can. But that’s just me. I’m old school.
So this post leaves me wondering. What about the rest of the MizFit world? I know I’m not the only one with leg warmers and a ThighMaster stashed away in the closet!
What’s your Retro Fitness Secret?