Publication Date: January 3, 2023
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A captivating blend of reportage and personal narrative that explores the untold history of women’s exercise culture--from jogging and Jazzercise to Jane Fonda--and how women have parlayed physical strength into other forms of power.
For much of the twentieth century, sweating was considered “unladylike” and girls grew up believing physical exertion would cause their uterus to “fall out.” It was only in the Sixties that, thanks to a few forward-thinking fitness pioneers, women began to move en masse. In Let's Get Physical, journalist Danielle Friedman reveals the fascinating untold history of contemporary fitness culture, chronicling in vivid, cinematic prose how exercise evolved from a beauty tool pitched almost exclusively as a way to “reduce” into one millions have harnessed as a path to mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
Let’s Get Physical takes us into the workout studios and onto the mats to reclaim these forgotten origin stories—and shine a spotlight on the trailblazers who made it possible for women to move. Each chapter uncovers the birth of an fitness movement that laid the foundation for working out today: the invention of the barre method in the Swinging Sixties, jogging’s path to liberation in the Seventies, the explosion of aerobics and weight-training in the Eighties, the rise of yoga in the Nineties, and the ongoing push for a more socially inclusive fitness culture—one that celebrates every body. Ultimately, it tells the story of how women discovered the joy of physical competence and strength—and how, by moving together to transform fitness from a privilege into a right, we can create a more powerful sisterhood.
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