Linda’s Incomprehensive Guide to Exercise

Hello Dear Readers! Welcome to Linda’s Incomprehensive Guide to Exercise.  Let’s dig right in, shall we?

History of Exercise: 1950 to 1959

The only kind of exercises that existed in the 50’s were jumping jacks, deep knee bends and squats and nobody did them without being forced to do so by a P.E. teacher, a football coach or a drill sargent. Those were the good old days when people ate anything they wanted and only went for walks to commune with a pack of Salem Cigarettes.

walking in forest smoking Salems

“Gosh, honey, it’s really pretty here when the smoke clears!”

History of Exercise: 1960 to 1969-ish

In the 60’s, exercise  boiled down to a little globule  of a man named Jack LaLanne.  Every day millions of everyday women would stand in front of their television sets to watch tiny Jack LaLanne cutely dressed in a teeny-weeny, one-piece jumpsuit, doing deep-knee bends while singing the praises of vitamins and veggies.  He is still alive to this day but, unfortunately, has continued to shrink  little by little over the years and, sadly;  is now only visible through a microscope.

jack Lalanne in Tux
Here’s Jack trying not to shrink out of his tux.

History of Exercise: 1970-ish to 1980-something or other

Somewhere around in here we got Jane Fonda. Jane was a busy Seventies Gal running around in her shag haircut winning academy awards, making aerobic videos and being against the Viet Nam War.

Everywhere you looked there was Jane Fonda shagalistically shorn in her leotards and leg warmers stretching, reaching, pulling, clawing and cloying.  Looking back it was quite Hanoi-ing.  But she single-handedly started the Aerobics Craze so you have to hand it to her — or trip her whichever you prefer.

Can it get anymore Hanoi-ing?

History of Exercise: 1980-something to somewhere in the 90’s on up

Somewhere in here Richard Simmons skipped onto the scene. What Richard Simmons had going for him was a heart of gold combined with an uncanny ability to sweat to pop songs that weren’t popular anymore.

Richard won over the hearts of  Americans by crying tears of happiness about how he used to be fat but wasn’t anymore; and he didn’t want you to be fat anymore either because it made him cry because you’re so, so fat and he’s not fat anymore.

Lately however Richard Simmons seems to have fallen off the face of the planet . . . or was pushed.

Richard Simmons, Sweating Professionally Since 1979

Present Day Exercise: 2015 to To-Be-Determined

In the interest of brevity, let’s be brief.  Exercise today boils down to one word:   Bicycling.  But not the old-fashioned kind of bicycling we all knew and loved in the 1950’s.  When bike riding simply meant hopping on our bikes wearing jeans and a tee-shirts and riding around the block while smoking  Salem Cigarettes.

People in the country smoking salem cigarettes
“Hey, honey, I think somebody stole our bikes!”  “Don’t worry, they can take our bikes out of the country but they can’t take the Salem out of our lungs!”   “Oh, honey, I love you!”   “I love you too!”

Now Riding a Bike is Groovy!

There’s a new, groovy way of riding one’s bike called cycling.  When cycling one must take up an entire car lane and pretend that one can pedal as fast as a car.

This is hard to pretend without the proper “pretending apparel” called cycling apparel which is a necessary technical piece of equipment necessary to make you comfortable technically while pretending to ride your bicycle as fast as a car can go.

It also helps if you make a “vroom, vroom” noise under your breath as you pedal along.

Bicyclist in full cycling apparel.
” Vroom! Vroom! I’m a blur!”

The New Groovy way of riding bikes can be a bit dangerous in heavy traffic, sure, but not too worry.  For every bicyclist that is run over by a car, a pedestrian somewhere in the world is being run over by a bicyclist.  So you see, it all evens out in the end.

Until next time . . . I love you

Dumb Things We Did in the 50’s

My dad, my brother and me in 1953.

Flipping though the pages of  the TV Guide yesterday brought back a lot of memories.  Here are some  things I haven’t thought about in years:


When I was a little girl growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, my grandfather smoked Chesterfields and my mother smoked Salems and my dad smoked Camels.  Of course, everybody smoked everywhere.  In the house, in the car, before, during and after meals, in movie theaters, airplanes, buses and department stores and probably even at death-bed vigils.

Men used to hold cigarettes on the side of their mouths and smoke them hands free while they mowed the lawn or pumped gas. (It was the 50’s version of multi-tasking.)  If there wasn’t an ashtray people would just drop their cigarettes on the ground and step on them.

Drinking and Driving

When I was a kid I thought nothing of it when my dad would drive around with a can of beer between his legs. He drank Olympia beer.  I remember once when I was really little  going for a drive with my dad in the country.  He was driving with a can of beer between his legs, and his shotgun right beside him at the ready.  (I was also in the front seat.)  Every once in a while my dad would slow way down,  reach over,  grab his shotgun and then shoot at a pheasant from the car window.  This was a perfectly normal and natural part of everyday life. (He always missed by the way!)

Olympia Beer always claimed it was “the water” that made their beer so good, but I suspect it was the alcohol.

Helmets and Seat belts

When I was growing up, the only people who wore helmets were human cannon balls. They were the only people to wear capes too now that I think about it.

“Golly, I hope this wind doesn’t put out my cigarette!”

And seat belts?  Forget about it!  When they started making cars with seat belts everyone totally ignored them or tucked them into the seat so they wouldn’t be in the way.  I don’t even think the astronauts wore seat belts. (Probably because it would have restricted their cigarette smoking.)


When I was a kid the term fast food meant somebody dropped a watermelon down a hill and it was rolling too fast to catch it.  Of course, I lived in a small town of a thousand people and there certainly weren’t any fast food places in that town.

My mother cooked every meal everyday and on Sunday afternoon, she would fix a big Sunday dinner.  Of course, all the stores were closed on Sundays, so if she forgot to buy an ingredient, she would have to borrow it from the neighbors or make do without.

My mother kept a coffee can of bacon grease to cook with in the cupboard above the stove. I distinctly remember this because one time when she reached to get it down, she spilled it all over herself and the stove. Boy was she mad . . . I think it might have put out her cigarette!
Until next time Dear Readers . . . I love you