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FITNESS

Then & Now

January 05, 1998|BARBARA THOMAS

The Launch of a Fitness Craze

President Kennedy: "We are under-exercised as a nation; we look instead of play; we ride instead of walk."

The Paunch of a Trying-to-Be-Fit President Clinton

"I don't necessarily consider McDonald's junk food. You know, they have chicken sandwiches, they have salads."

The (Role) Models

Then: Joe Namath

Then: Twiggy

Now: Tiger Woods

Now: Kate Moss

The Diet

Then: Whole grains and vitamin-rich foods are declared "kooky" by establishment.

Now: Whole grains and vitamin-rich foods.

The TV Fitness Guru

Then: Jack LaLanne

Now: Oprah Winfrey

Inert (and Nert) Population

Then: No numbers kept.

Now: More than 60% of adults do not achieve recommended amount of exercise.

* 25% of adults are not active at all.

* Nearly 50% of people ages 12-21 do not vigorously exercise.

Girls in Sports

Then: 294,000 play high high school varsity sports. Many others are cheerleaders.

Now: 2,367,936 play high high school varsity sports.

The Sports Drinks

Then: Water, although water breaks are considered a sign of a weak athlete.

Water, water, water, although professional and amateur athletes are urged to

replenish electrolytes and fluids with such sports drinks as Gatorade, Powerade and 10-K.

The Running Shoe

Leather exterior with a closed cell foam sole that compresses when you run; worn only on the track.

Now: Shock-absorbing, water- resistant, foot-cradling, high-tech, lightweight, yet so fashionable even your mother considers wearing them to church.

*

Sources: Nike; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Sporting Goods Manufacturers Assn.; Los Angeles Times library

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