Did you ever go to an aerobics class in the 90s or watch your mum ‘rock’ her leg warmers, as she joined some friends to giggle their way through an Jane Fonda inspired ‘Let’s Get Physical’ aerobics session at the local leisure centre?
As Erin Bunch from WellAndGood.com writes:
“It’s hard to argue with the joy inherent in retro aerobic workouts.”
When did exercise get so serious?
Mark Frank, founder of We Are Synthetics, an ’80s-themed studio about to launch in the UK, has a similar outlook.
“[It] harkens back to a carefree era,” he says. “The music was uplifting and feel-good, the fashions were colorful, playful, and vibrant. By contrast, he says, “the fitness world has become somewhat intimidating—workout practices such as Olympic lifting, intensive spin classes, and exhaustive HIIT bootcamps have taken fitness back to its military roots. Many [people] are looking for a more balanced approach to exercise, searching for workouts that are not only effective, but also enjoyable too.”
That is simply music to my ears. I have long since abandoned the ‘beach body ready’ fitspiration (#fitspo) rhetoric and truly believe in running relaxed, accessible fitness classes for every BODY and aim to empower, energise, support AND challenge women through exercise.
Can we still get a good workout from an aerobics session?
Many people feel that the only way to get a proper workout is from a punishing gym class or military bootcamp session.
“General aerobics is great for… improving your posture, core stability, and coordination, while strengthening your heart. Aerobics has an addictive quality to it because you release serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine” he says.
I believe in body positive fitness and don’t adhere to the ‘no pain no gain’ route to fitness. Of course I love women to work hard in my classes and feel empowered and strong but NOT to the detriment of their mental health or physical well being.
Megan Jayne Crabbe, who created the body positive site Body Posipanda, wrote the following in response to the thinspo/ fitspo generation where the emphasis is on exercise for weight loss and pushing yourself to the extreme.
Exercise does not have to equal pain. Sure, if you’re doing something intensive there are bound to be moments of woAH this is HARD I am pushing myself! But… you don’t need to be hyperventilating within an inch of your life to benefit from physical activity, and you definitely shouldn’t be comparing what you’re doing to anyone else.
‘Thank god ’80s aerobics are back.’
Oh yes! What made aerobics so popular in the first place remains true today: Anyone can do it.