Aerobic Dancing with Lionel Blair (1983 vinyl LP)

80s Fitness Fads That Deserve a Comeback

By freelance writer Jane Duncan

May 13 2020

The 80s was a great time for getting fit, as fitness icons such as Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons, Suzanne Somers, and Olivia Newton-John cheerfully encouraged people all over the world to get in shape. To this day, Simmons and Fonda are still inspiring people to workout as they’ve started providing new exercise content on their social media accounts. Fonda has even jumped on the TikTok trend where she revived her famous workout routine, and teens are now experiencing what it’s like to get fit in the 80s. 
If Fonda’s moves are considered cool again in 2020, there’s no reason why other exercise trends from the decade of excess can’t have a revival. Not only are they lots of fun, but they actually work to give you a fit and toned body. Here are the 80s fitness fads that deserve a comeback.

Aerobics

Aerobics was the most popular among the fitness crazes of the 80s, and millions of people all over the world flocked to gyms and dance studios to participate in this workout. This exercise trend was also the reason why gym goers invested in workout gear, and people would show up to exercise class wearing flashy leggings, shiny unitards, and leg warmers, paired with the requisite matching sweatbands and wristbands. Meanwhile, those who couldn’t make it to the gym would tune in to shows such as 20 Minute Workout, which was considered as the most successful aerobics show of the decade. If you or your parents happen to keep old aerobics tapes around, you can follow along to them, or go on YouTube and follow along to routines taught by Richard Simmons or Denise Austin.

80s Aerobics Costume for Women
Meanwhile, those who couldn’t make it to the gym would tune in to shows such as 20 Minute Workout, which was considered as the most successful aerobics show of the decade. If you or your parents happen to keep old aerobics tapes around, you can follow along to them, or go on YouTube and follow along to routines taught by Richard Simmons or Denise Austin.

The Total Gym

The Total Gym is an exercise machine that was designed to help people achieve a toned body through bodyweight training. This device became highly popular in the 80s, and it was reported that 85 million units were sold as demand shot up due to infomercials done by Christie Brinkley and Chuck Norris. While you can certainly do different bodyweight exercises using this device, you can also use other gym equipment, such as wooden gymnastic rings, to boost core and arm strength. Doing push ups or resistance training using resistance pull up bands can also give you good results if you wish to have toned arms and a flatter stomach.  
While you can certainly do different bodyweight exercises using this device, you can also use other gym equipment, such as wooden gymnastic rings, to boost core and arm strength. Doing push ups or resistance training using resistance pull up bands can also give you good results if you wish to have toned arms and a flatter stomach.  

Jazzercise

Long before people danced up a storm in Taebo and Zumba classes, there was Jazzercise. This dance-based exercise which was founded in the late 60s, became one of the most successful franchises of the 1980s, and everyone from teenagers to seniors loved it as it encouraged everyone to find the joy in working out. To this day, people still attend Jazzercise classes in every US state and in 25 countries. Original Jazzercise classes can be found on YouTube, but you can also attend online classes on websites such as Jazzercise On Demand. 

The 80s was surely an iconic decade for exercise as people discovered how much fun it is to get fit. Now more than ever, these fitness trends deserve a comeback, as working out should be a joyful part of every one’s life.  

More Jazzercise by Judi Sheppard Missett

More Jazzercise by Judi Sheppard Missett (1982)

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