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Spandex-clad actors in VHS tapes have been replaced with fitness influencers on social media platforms like Instagram, many of whom endorse the same kind of “lose weight fast” dietary supplements or exercise gadgets that the fitness industry always has.
But deluxe 10-in-one exercise machines, like the ones you’d see at a gym, let people take home fitness more seriously.
Gyms were rare; those that existed were almost exclusively frequented by men and “weren’t places where you’d be proud to be seen”, says Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, an associate professor of history at The New School in New York City who’s writing a book about the fitness industry.
With many people exercising simply to just pass the time (since many places are closed), some are wondering if it’s a good idea to exercise once-a-day or to spread the workouts throughout the day.
Exercising has been around for a long time; yoga in India, tai chi in China and Olympic training in Greece go back thousands of years, for example.
Before long, home catalogues and TV adverts followed the cash by offering products and more shows for these beauty-oriented consumers with both time and money.
Products promising quick fitness fixes and effortless ways to shed pounds have long been a part of the health industry, and in these early days in the 1950s and ‘60s they were heavily aimed at this same demographic.
The COVID-19 outbreak is reportedly taking a serious toll on people's mental health and stress levels.
“They were seen as kind of seedy places where lowlifes would hang out.” And while people (mostly men) played sports, getting sweaty on purpose for health or appearance just wasn’t something most people did.
There are classes for a broad range of activities, such as yoga, strength, and cardio -- all with different lengths and fitness levels.
A full-length mirror that doubles as an LCD screen, you can use it to check your form while taking live and on-demand fitness classes ($39-per-month membership required).
He thinks the new online classes tap into something that didn’t exist in home fitness before, but believes that the lure of the gym may prove stronger in the long term.
American actress Jane Fonda stormed onto the scene in 1982 with her Jane Fonda’s Workout video tape which, again, targeted women at home.
These women became the main target for the nascent home fitness industry, with fitness promoted to them as a key element of their beauty routine.
Traditionally, men went off to work each day while women stayed at home to do housework.
Fitness trends may come and go, but combining these classic exercises can make some of the best workouts for women.
“Trends towards open-plan living and technological developments… fueled appetite for staying healthy, conveniently, at home,” says James Stark, associate professor of medical humanities at the University of Leeds in England.
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