March is women's history month and we thought, what better way to celebrate than to look back to the women who
Abbye Pudgy Stockton
Abbye Pudgy Stockton (should be Abbye No-Pudge Stockton) started by working out with her husband at Muscle Beach. Soon she began to gain attention as the only woman who could hang with the boys (apparently babes and barbells are hot!). By 1944 she began writing a column for women's training in Strength & Health magazine. Stockton helped organize the first weightlifting contests for women, winning the title herself once (no Lulu Lemon required), paving the way for women's fitness. You're welcome Jane Fonda.
Lilias Folan the crowned "First Lady of Yoga" debuting her groundbreaking PBS series (yes, public television, apparently it was much cooler back in the day) Lilias, Yoga and You. Time magazine referred to her as the "Julia Child of yoga". Lilias has spent more than 40 years inspiring others drawing on all sorts of different yoga traditions. Basically, she did yoga before it became cool. She might even be the reason it's become so popular in recent years.
Jane Fonda probably the most influential woman in fitness history. In 1982 Fonda revolutionized the fitness industry with the release of her first workout video (there was a book first, ha, who works out with a book now-a-days?). She was the first to introduce at-home workout videos, not to mention all the cool neon spandex, legwarmers and leotards. She made you want to workout (if not for the clothes alone). Popularizing the concept of working out for women in general, she got the ladies doing leg lifts, lifting dumbbells and exercising together for fun. This fitness legend shows no signs of slowing down, still releasing DVD's at 72! Rock on Fonda! (someone should make a shirt that says that, I would totally wear it).
Not to be missed, Tamilee Webb AKA Buns of Steel (they are real and they are hers), had one of the most all time popular video series throughout the 80's and 90's. Her down-to-earth attitude and "steel" moves have empowered many to get fit. Still 20 years later and her videos are still big sellers (I totally Netflixed Abs of Steel last year and it was killer).
At first I thought she was just your average TV fitness personality, but Denise Austin has proved to be so much more putting emphasis on staying fit naturally by exercising just about 30 mins a day and using real butter and sugar instead of the artificial junk. Austin encourages people to stay fit at all ages, and conducts research with experts in nutrition, to emphasize realistic, real-life solutions to weight control and fitness (I see a Denise Austin book on my kindle in the near future). Including yoga, pilates, cross training and dance, her exercise programs encourage people to stay away from fad diets. After all these years she is still one to watch. (please god, let me look like that at 50+).
Who are the women of the NEXT fitness generation?