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A Positive Experience

A Positive Experience

Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) home workouts have become a rage among families in lockdown, amassing 23 million viewers a week. The whole experience feels unifying and motivating, in an age of physical distancing. He is and part of a cultural legacy of fitness/entertainment, which stretches back many decades.

TV (and now YouTube) exercise is appealing due to its universality and inclusiveness: all generations and levels of fitness are embraced, without making anyone feel excluded.

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Global trends have often followed the transatlantic model: the MTV Lebanon show Get Fit, or Indian fitness instructor Suchita Pal hosting a Zoom TV series based on popular Zumba routines.

.. was Jack LaLanne, whose self-titled fitness show in the US ran from 1951 to 1985, after which his celebrity status made him appear in prime-time sports and even on The Simpsons.

.. The famous George Orwell novel (published in 1949) got a lot of things right and has sustained its relevance in 2020, surprisingly also had a mandatory fitness session on a telescreen.

... saw Gurus like Richard Simmons and Susan Powter gain fame by using variations in the presentation of their fitness routines.

... made home fitness videos a craze, where video rentals and usage of VCRs ensured the exercises can be done at any time. The BBC had a popular show called BBC Breakfast Time in 1983, spurring a trend of ‘get up and go’ fitness mornings, something that other channels copied fast.

... an expert mountaineer and youth fitness advocate, founded the Institute of Physical Fitness in NY in 1954, making her a force to reckon with and a regular on prime-time US shows.

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