Want to look as fit and glamorous as a 1950s housewife? These 1950s fitness routines will have you looking and feeling great. Plus they are full of retro fun!
There were a few ways 1950s housewives stayed so thin, they eat around 300-400 fewer calories a day than we do, they burned twice as many calories doing housework, diet drugs were popular, and there were some fitness trends that really took off in the 1950s.
I don’t recommend trying the diet drugs, they ended up being very bad for you and highly addictive. Wonder how they got so much done, well they were basically taking speed. While effective, not great for your heart.
Many of the other methods were safe and are still beneficial. Most of us need to be more active and eat less. Combining some of the popular weight loss methods of the 1950s with our better knowledge of health can be extremely effective.
I’ve talked in the past about some of the ways 1950s housewives lost weight, things like smaller portions, eating at home more, eating more whole foods, being more active, and such but now I want to share some of the forms of exercise they enjoyed.
One of the best ways to make exercise a habit is to find something you enjoy and if you are interested in vintage living being able to combine that with exercise may just be the perfect thing for you. It’s worth a try!
Fitness Routines from the 1950s
Different forms of calisthenics are still popular today. They are essentially bodyweight exercises so they are great for at-home workouts.
If you are a fan of the show Mrs. Maisel you likely saw a sample of calisthenics. These classes were popular with housewives trying to keep their figures.
Calisthenics was also often done at home, the Jack LaLanne Show, a 15-minute television workout was a big influence in this trend. He provided simple calisthenic workouts that could be done at home.
Really this is just another version of calisthenics. From what I can find it was simply a vinyl record with a calisthenics workout done to music.
There are still a lot of copies of this record out there so it would appear it was pretty popular. You can try it out yourself because someone has posted the whole album on Youtube. And a blogger shared photos of the instructions.
Or if you want you can even buy it for yourself. I thought about before finding the online versions. I’d still buy it if I saw a cheap one in person. It would be a fun addition to my vinyl collection.
Hula hooping was another popular form of exercise. You see that some in the show Call the Midwife and Trixie’s Get Fit class. They did calisthenics and hula hooping. All while looking fabulous, of course.
It was a big fad during 1958 with around 100 million hula hoops being sold in the first six months on the market.
It is a great ab workout and great for getting that small 1950s waist. We have even seen a bit of a comeback over the last several years in using hula hooping as a workout.
While not new as they were invited in the mid-1700s they were starting to gain popularity in the 1950s. They saw even more popularity in the 1960s-1970s but you did see them advertised in the 1950s.
I assume they were popular for hanging clothes on in all eras. But if we actually use them they are a great way to exercise no matter what the weather is like.
These are all useful ways to improve your fitness and lose weight. And I just find it fun to try things people did in the past.
The biggest thing is that you stick to something and if you love the 1950s maybe a 1950s workout routine is what you will find you can stick to.
It can’t hurt to try out some of these vintage workouts. Throw in a 1950s cleaning routine, try some 1950s size meals, and you are sure to make some good progress.