FitnessHealth

Jane Fonda proves she’s still a fitness icon at 84

Long before Instagram was flooded with personal trainers and athleisure clothing dominated fashion, Jane Fonda sparked an at-home exercise revolution and became the original exercise icon.

Released in 1982, Jane Fonda’s Workout was a top-selling VHS video for years – with 17 million copies sold by the mid-nineties.

The series is credited with opening up the previously male-dominated world of fitness to women as a slew of copycat videos hit the market and aerobics classes boomed.

Jane Fonda leading an exercise class at Jane Fonda's Workout in Beverly Hills, 1980 (Alamy/PA)
Jane Fonda leading an exercise class at Jane Fonda’s Workout in Beverly Hills, 1980 (Alamy/PA)

Then aged 44 and with two best actress Oscars under her belt, the lycra-clad Hollywood star popularised the phrase ‘Feel the burn!’ and sent legwarmer sales through the roof.

Now 84, the actor and activist is once more encouraging people to don their workout gear, having teamed up with high street giant H&M on global campaign.

Much like Fonda brought aerobics to the masses in the 1980s, H&M Move aims to offer a more inclusive vision of exercise, focusing on movement rather than sport, with the retailer launching ‘movewear’ collections for men, women and children.

JaQuel Knight and Jane Fonda in the H&M Move campaign video (H&M/PA)
JaQuel Knight and Jane Fonda in the H&M Move campaign video (H&M/PA)

“I’ve spent a lot of my own life getting people to move and was naturally drawn to the mission of H&M Move to get the whole world moving,” Fonda says.

“I also really like their philopsophy of ‘movewear’ over ‘sportswear’. To me, it’s not about sports or being the most athletic. It’s about giving your body the kind of movement it needs to stay healthy so it can take care of you.”

The Grace and Frankie star features alongside American choreographer JaQuel Knight – the man behind Beyoncé’s Single Ladies dance routine – the pair appearing together in an exercise studio in a clip to launch the campaign.

Reprising the role of fitness instructor in a trendy black and grey mongrammed outfit, Fonda harks back to her home video heyday in the film, which highlights activities including swimming, rowing and basketball alongside everyday movement such as hoovering, carrying groceries and running up stairs.

It’s refreshing to see a brand acknowledging that being fit isn’t all about high octane exercise and that movement can be incorporated into your lifestyle no matter what your age or ability.

You don’t have to run an ultra marathon, lift weights in the gym or join a team to benefit your health and happiness – everyday activities can raise your heart rate and work your muscles too.

Whether you’re eight or 80, it’s about going at your own pace and, most importantly, having fun.

H&M Move launches on August 4 in stores and online.

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