Retro workouts: Let's Get Physical again

Mon May 25, 2009 12:42pm EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Maybe it's a "Back to the Future" kind of thing.

The 1980's, that bygone era of big hair, big shoulders, big jewelry and general gaudy excess, seems to be inspiring the latest craze in back-to-basics fitness -- retro workouts.

"Everyone enjoys the feeling of nostalgia while breaking an intense sweat," said Carol Johnson, who teaches Retro-Robics, a leg warmers optional old-style aerobics class in New York City.

Johnson, group fitness coordinator with the Crunch fitness chain, conceived of Retro-Robics as "an homage" to the decade that gave us Jennifer Beals' soggy, flash-dancing and turned Olivia Newton-John's workout headband into a must-have fashion accessory.

"Dressing in old-style aerobic outfits is all the rage," said Johnson. "Jane Fonda's attire is signature; Richard Simmons is an icon."

Music for the high-intensity cardio workout also harks back to everything from heart thumping aerobics mixes to Michael Jackson, disco, Motown, and Madonna.

"The class is timeless," she said. "Good for the heart, spirit, and wallet."

BACK TO BASICS   Continued...

<p>TV personality Richard Simmons (L) leads a parade of models dressed in clothing adorned with fruit and vegetables, both real and faux, during a "summer salad fashion show" at New York's Grand Central Terminal June 2, 2006. REUTERS/Wish-Bone/Ray Stubblebine/Handout</p>