Benenden Health made this video showing just how fitness has evolved over the last 100 years. Get ready to sweat.
In the 1910s, ankle-length skirts didn’t hold women back from stretching, which was seen as a serious form of exercise and not just a way to warm up.
During the roaring ’20s, stretching was still all the rage, and it was performed at home in full makeup and everyday clothes.
No Lululemon just yet.
But the 1930s marked a change in fitness, with more group activities and synchronized formations.
In the 1940s, however, fitness and exercise focused more on physical attractiveness. Women weren’t interested in sweating or muscle definition, but would perform basic sit-ups and small moves at home.
The 1950s saw the introduction of the hula hoop, making workouts a bit more fun.
According to Benenden Health, “25,000,000 hula hoops were sold in less than four months, while over the next two years, sales exceeded 100,000,000 units.”
In the ’60s, lots of machines emerged “focused on weight loss through much more passive forms of exercise.” Women would slide on boards or put vibrating belts around their thighs to “jiggle away excess.”
Basically, it was all leading up to the Shake Weight.
The 1970s were all about Jazzercise! This technique included a combination of aerobic exercise and jazz dancing, and really swept the nation by storm.
But if any decade gets the crown for fitness, it has to be the 1980s. This era was all about aerobics, with even celebrities like Jane Fonda promoting it.
Much like the ’80s, fitness was super trendy in the ’90s. Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo, a mixture of tae kwon do and boxing, was all the rage.
In the 2000s, fitness and dance came together again with hip-hop classes.
These days, dance classes are still a really huge form of exercise, especially with the rising popularity of Zumba, which “incorporates hip-hop, soca, salsa, samba, merengue, and mambo.”
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