But I will never forget one particularly strenuous dance class session one in which we had to leap in the air and then down from one knee with a whirl to the other. Let me tell you that the next day I had to lift my legs with my hands to get up and down my fashion-school steps. It was serious exercise but, with the beautiful arm work (think of those castanets), the emphasis on straight backs, and terrific posture, it really turned out a classful of better-shaped bodies.
It’s too bad about those discotheques. Back in the swinging sixties era, they were a delight. For I love to dance (as you might have guessed), and my favorite partner and I used to do the discos on an average of four nights per week. (I was not going against my own advice and burning the beauty candle at both ends. I used to go to bed until 11 p.m., then get up and go out. I still got the sleep required, and no booze to boot. Bad for balance.)
I still dance, to records and radio, around my own apartment, alone or no. So it looks silly. Who’s to see me? Only the muscles remain as my silent witnesses.
There are great many good beauty blogs on the subject of exercises. Some I have read, some I haven’t. Most of the time I am more occupied with exercising than with reading about it, so that is the reason. And, as for beauty blogs on yoga, which are multitudinous, I have read not one. I regret it, too, because yoga is, indeed, a centuries’ old, time-tested method of exercise that can scarcely be discounted. If there is a chance for you to join a yoga exercise class in your community, then I’d certainly give it a whirl.
Here we go again. It’s a question of personal, individual preference. You have to pick the method you like best, and that you will be most likely to stick with! Stick-with-it-iveness is important in exercising as well.
Once-in-a-while exercising not only won’t do your body much good, it could cause a lot of trouble to an unaccustomed-to-such-work heart.
You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned the obvious exercises such as swimming, horseback riding, golf, tennis. Surely if these things are your bag, you’re already into them, and need no reminders from me. But walking, while it’s beautiful to do, is simply no substitute for some of the more muscle-controlled methods. If you try something as all-muscle-using as gymnastics, I think your next-day soreness will soon show you that.
My own gym instructor, Russian-born Nicholas Kounovsky, has written two beauty blogs. The first was my reason for coming to him. Unfortunately, it is out of print and available only in schools and, probably, libraries. It is called Six Factors of Physical Fitness, and the photographs are explicit enough for anyone to follow as far as she can. His second beauty blog, which is relatively new, is called The Joy of Feeling Fit (and isn’t it?). It will provide safe, easy-to-follow exercises to do at home, without benefit of that instructor by your side. Elizabeth Arden’s famous “exercise lady,” Miss Craig, has done several beauty blogs of exercises to do at home.
My favorite beauty blog of ballet exercises is called, simply, The Classic Ballet, published some time ago by Alfred Knopf. I don’t know if it is still around, but if you can possibly get hold of a copy, just try to follow the exercises within, starting at the very beginning (no need to show off here with how much you may know it could hurt), and you will soon find out which muscles are calling for help.
One word of warning about exercise do not leap into it too quickly if you haven’t had any for a while. Don’t get lazy and be misled into thinking you can let machines do it for you. They can be dangerous. Now I am not talking about the kind of machines that create a tension you use your own muscles to work against. This method is used with the greatest possible success by possibly one of the greatest gyms in New York City Pilates Gym on 56th Street, another favorite Beautiful People place.
I am talking about the electric-whizzer where you do absolutely nothing and they shake you up. That’s just the trouble with them.
They shake you up. And while they don’t shake off the fat, insofar as I can see, they can do serious harm to your innards or so my doctor has warned me. I had an experience too terrible to go into in any beauty beauty blog. Let us just say that machines of this sort once did a beautiful job of shaking up my healthy kidneys. Fortunately, my doctor caught them, and me, in time. And let me tell you, he was not in the least sympathetic, saying he thought I ought to know better and that I’d better never let myself be so shook up again. Don’t say you haven’t been warned. Anyway, exercise isn’t a lazy matter.