Jane Fonda's back to the business of fitness. She will turn 73 on Dec. 21, and she appears to be more toned and fit than ever.
The '80s exercise icon lost a bit of fitness street cred with some fans when she admitted to an eating disorder during part of her reign as the queen of the workout video; in more recent years, she has admitted to having plastic surgery.
But one of the most satisfying things about her new workout DVD Prime Time: Fit & Strong (Lions Gate, $14.98) is the authenticity with which she talks about her age, her body and her health. This DVD (and her other new release, Walk Out), are for exercisers over 50. Throughout the Fit & Strong workouts (there are two -- a 20-minute beginner and a 25-minute advanced routine) Fonda reports research and statistics about the benefits of exercise in later years. She admits there are things she can't do anymore because of knee and hip replacements -- but seems grateful for the things she still can do. She jokes about her own loss of balance, and we even see her wobble on balance exercises.
But she's still the Jane Fonda that exercisers in the '80s came to know and love; we got a little nostalgic when she said things like, "Remember how I used to say, 'Go for the burn?'"
As for the routines themselves, they're full-body, low-impact weight-bearing workouts done using light weights, a towel for stretching and a chair (mostly for balance, but there are some seated exercises, too). The workouts are exactly right for the target "prime time" audience, even those with somewhat limited mobility. They include lots of stretches and an emphasis on posture.
However, people at more advanced fitness levels will get bored quickly.
-- Stephanie Allmon