Jane Fonda Workout Wisdom

Illustration by Raphaelle Martin; Image courtesy Grantland; of Jane Fonda back lifts; animated gif.;
Illustration by Raphaelle Martin; Image courtesy Grantland

A remarkable woman such as Jane Fonda makes the top of my list of inspirational women. For her grace, excellent posture and wisdom, with a fierce attitude and unrelenting nature she continues to challenge herself.

Since we all know what a great actress Jane Fonda has been, this article focuses on her workout wisdom. Not only has she spearheaded the aerobatic exercise craze, in her Prime Time, a well-researched book in which she gives detailed information on why certain exercises are good for our health bodily and psychologically.

Jane Fonda workout; ca. 1980s; Image courtesy Jezebel; Jane Fonda black and white photo; workout studio; Jane Fonda happy; leotard; leg warmers; curly hair with fringes;
Jane Fonda workout; ca. 1980s; Image courtesy Jezebel

Look at this beautiful photograph, her workout has motivated many women around the world to keep fit and strong. I started to read her books when I was feeling stuck in life. From the readings, I’ve learned about how she has kept her spirit up through the ups and downs of life.

Cheer workout, ca. 1980s; Image courtesy Idolator; Cher in neon leotard; yellow wrist bangs; red tights; blue leotard; Cher
Cher workout, ca. 1980s; Image courtesy Idolator

Jane Fonda pulls through hard times by doing regular physical exercise. In Prime Time, chapter 6: “The Workout,” she starts with a humorous quote by Cher:

“I’ve been screaming at the top of lungs at my family, ‘Work out! Work out! Old age is coming!’ At some point you will need the strength. Who would have ever thought you would get this old?” (p.83)

Old? This adjective doesn’t apply to these two women (and many others), for Cher and Jane Fonda are ageless. Here is a brief breakdown that I’ve extracted from the book about the importance and benefits of physical exercise, including but not just aerobics.

Jane Fonda poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, 1984; Image courtesy ABC news; Jane Fonda in sparkling blue leotard; silver waist belt; blue wrist bangs;
Jane Fonda poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, 1984; Image courtesy ABC news

Let’s start with aerobics-
It is the only physical activity that gets rid of fat from your body. Whether you carry the gene for heart disease, the exercise can influence whether the genes for heart diseases, diabetes, etc. are ever activated. (90)

In addition, aerobic exercise aids brain’s cognitive functioning by reducing the rate of frontal cortex shrinkage that comes with aging. (92-3)

Jane Fonda doing weight training; striped leotard; red exercise outfit; NYTimes; demonstrating how to do weight training exercise;
Jane Fonda demonstrating how to do weight training exercise; Image courtesy NYTimes (an article about the star’s fashion auction)

Weight-training or resistance-training-
Engaging weight-training increases your muscle mass, and improves the strength of your bones. In turn, it reduces the risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis. (94-5)

For the brain, weight and resistance-training betters cognitive function such as decision-making, resolving conflicts and retaining focus. (95) Who’d think it could do all this!? I thought it was just an exercise for ego-driven men.

Balancing and core-training-
This type of training prevents the loss of muscle mass and tone, especially in the legs, hips and trunk. (98)

Our ability to balance decreases as we get older. This is because of various physiological changes in the inner ears, the bottoms of our feet and our eyesights. (98) Jane Fonda does one-legged stands with her eyes closed at home. (99) I’ve tried doing this in my yoga practice, surely, it isn’t easy.

But with time, it is not impossible, I promise. Besides, what other better ways to live life to the fullest and keep it interesting than by doing things that are seemingly intimidating?

For more details, please read Prime Time it also gives you coping strategies when life feels too hard to get on with. In this book, Jane Fonda candidly talks about her own shortcomings and personal failures that she eventually conquers by being persistent.

As something extra, I put together some tips on injury-prevention in yoga practice. I’ve been practicing for over 15 years now, and learned a lot from falling down and fear of going upside down without having a wall to lean on.

Meanwhile, I’ve also put together a list of foods to eat post-workout that’d help grow stronger muscles and fuel your energy.

For those that want to look fashionable while doing your physical exercises, here are some stylish leotards and onesies that I wear to my studio.

Lastly, thank you Jane Fonda. You surely made my writing this article much easier than when I’ve had to do all the research myself.

Betsey Johnson fashion; models dong yoga; purple and blonde wigs; Champagne; red yoga mats; golden boots; lace-up boots; yoga fashion;
Betsey Johnson once put on a fashion show with models doing yoga twists; Image courtesy Racked

 

4 thoughts on “Jane Fonda Workout Wisdom

    1. Thanks. Jane Fonda is a remarkable person. She’s never been afraid to admit her mistakes in public, and able to move on from them.

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