Sweatin’ to the Smithsonian: Exercise With Folkways

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Autumn is upon us, which means we must once again turn our thoughts to the Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas triumvirate of culinary evil. No matter how much goodwill you show to your friends, family and neighbors, it won't save your waistline from the smorgasbord of rich foods that you traditionally encounter this time of year. That said, let's turn our thoughts to a bygone era, that of the 1980s, that age where you could don shoulder pads large enough to create the illusion of having a slimmer midsection that than what you actually had. Also, it was an age of star-studded aerobic exercise, be it with Jane Fonda in pastel leggings helping you look your Barbarella best or Richard Simmons encouraging you to sweat to the oldies (or start a grass roots Rockette troupe—I could never really tell.) Not to be outdone, Smithsonian Folkways has in its collections a handy dandy workout record of its own from 1982: Aerobics for Everyone. No, you don't get the benefit of working along with a video and watching someone do the moves with you—although, per the cover, the vocal and included written instructions are easy enough to follow—you do get to drop a stone or two to the tune of world music classics like "Hava Nagila," "The Mexican Hat Dance" and the "Tarantella." (If you can work out to the latter while tossing pizza dough, you're an exercise ace.)

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