High intensity aerobics

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High intensity aerobics

This is a story about an exercise that was popular a while back. It was the rage of the last generation. Actress Jane Fonda released her first workout tape in 1983 the new “aerobics” style of exercise exploded into American fashion, and health clubs around the country scrambled to respond. Aerobic’s studios were created from empty rooms with hardwood—or even carpeted concrete—floors. Instructors with a little training set up pounding routines designed to challenge the young women that wanted to look like Jane.

The routines were mostly floor-based, and they were challenging! Challenging, that is, on knees, hips and feet, as participants stomped, jumped, through their weight around the floor and pounded their joints to perky 1980’s pop music. The real hard-core aerobicizers, mostly women, attended class daily. Maybe more than once.

As a fitness routine was it affective? It sure was, if you’re joints held out. You can still try these old-style high-impact classes, as Erma Nern features 1980s pound-it style aerobics once a week at the Gulchline Health Center. “I’ve been teaching high-impact aerobics for a quarter century!” said Nern as she cued up a CD of 1980s hits. “I’ve got my Michael Jackson, Madonna, Whitney Houston and, of course, Prince.”

Nern said she was limping a bit because her knees hurt most of the time. “You’ll see this kind of thing among a lot of us old aerobics instructors from the 80s. We were no-pain-no-gain groupies. And, sure, high-impact aerobics puts a lot of stress on your joints. But if you are careful and don’t go stressing your joints everyday, you really will get in great shape. Look at Jane Fonder! Look at Richard Simmons! We can still do these great high-impact workouts and still look good.”

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