Up until the Boomers starting reaching their thirties (the point where you can't take your lean body for granted anymore), keeping fit in America meant only having one pack of cigarettes after supper. There's a great line in Anchorman where Ron Burgundy doesn't even know how to pronounce "jogging", wondering if it's a soft "j".
But "old age" only partially explains the fitness assault that swept this country. There was a huge cultural shift in the latter part of the seventies, where the hippy mentality was completely jettisoned in favor of a narcissistic and egocentric perspective. It has become a cliche to say the hippies sold out in the Reagan years; and within every cliche there's a kernel of truth.
So, what you have is a perfect storm of Boomers with a slowing metabolism and a collective amnesia regarding their anti-materialist ideals. So, they traded in their paisleys and picket signs for a pair of pastel leotards... and that's where this post comes in.
A wonderful result of the fitness boom was the workout attire - specifically the ladies' aerobics outfits: typically a leotard accessorized with some leg warmers and a headband. I mean, what was the point of working out, if you couldn't look dynamite while doing it? This is the 1980's at its finest. Enjoy.
Well, I've got a million more, but this post is getting image heavy; so, maybe a part two is in the foreseeable future.