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18 Celebrity Workout Videos You Might Not Know Existed

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You already know Jane Fonda has a fitness empire, but there are a slew of other celebrity exercise videos lurking out there—some of which might surprise you. Give one a shot; at the very least, you'll be entertained while you work out.

1. ANGELA LANSBURY

Thanks to her roles as Mrs. Potts, Jessica Fletcher, and Auntie Mame, Angela Lansbury has Tony Awards, Golden Globes, a Grammy, and an honorary Academy Award under her belt. She's also got a workout video, released in 1988: Angela Lansbury’s Positive Moves: A Personal Plan for Fitness and Well-Being at Any Age.

2. MARK WAHLBERG

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Want abs like Mark Wahlberg? Well, as he points out in the video, you might not ever have them. But you can give it a shot with his 1993 video Form... Focus... Fitness.

3. ESTELLE GETTY

Estelle Getty made a workout video. What else do you need to know?

4. CHER

Want the confidence to wear Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" outfit? You can start with her workout videos. The singer and actress released her first video, CherFitness: A New Attitude, in 1991. It was a big hit, so in 1992, she released another one: CherFitness: Body Confidence.

5. REGIS PHILBIN

There's no doubt about it—for a guy in his mid-80s, Regis looks amazing. And he wants you to know how he did it! This 1993 gem is notable for its guest appearances alone (Kathie Lee and Gelman)!

6. ALYSSA MILANO

Capitalizing on her Who's the Boss fame, then-teen sensation Alyssa Milano filmed a 1988 workout video called Teen Steam. "It was during the time when they started to pull all funding out of schools for [physical education], so there was a need for it," the actress said in 2015. Milano also sang the theme song for the video.

7. DIXIE CARTER

Julia Sugarbaker can help you limber up with her Unworkout. Even if you're not into her brand of yoga (check out "The Lion"), you have to admit that any type of exercise is more charming when accompanied by a Southern accent.

8. MILTON BERLE

Uncle Miltie may have been one of the funniest comedians in Hollywood, but losing mobility and flexibility as you age is no laughing matter. That's why he released this 1994 video that combines humor (kind of) with a low-impact workout.

9. PAULA ABDUL

Following the success of her remix album Shut Up and Dance, Paula Abdul made her Get Up and Dance workout video in 1995—and it was popular enough to be re-released as a DVD in 2005.

10. LATOYA JACKSON

The early '90s were a goldmine for celebrity workout videos. Step Up Workout with LaToya Jackson was released in 1993—and the three people who have reviewed it on Amazon give it positively glowing reviews.

11. FABIO

You may never have Fabio's luscious locks, but if you follow along with his 1993 video, you could get his rippling muscles. OK, probably not.

12. HEATHER LOCKLEAR

The 1990 video Heather Locklear Presents Your Personal Workout was filmed after she found fame on T.J. Hooker and Dynasty, but before her turn as Amanda Woodward on Melrose Place. "I had never taken aerobics before and I was doing an aerobics video,” Locklear told Conan O'Brien in 2013. “They have a little earpiece in your ear, and they’re like, 'Alright two to the right, two to the left.'"

13. CELEBRITY PARENTS

Among Richard Simmons' impressive lineup of workout videos is a gem called Richard Simmons and the Silver Foxes, geared, obviously, at fitness for seniors. His guinea pigs? Celebrity parents. Among the illustrious moms and dads are Sylvester Stallone and Farrah Fawcett's moms and Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino's dads. Watch Richard and a few of his Silver Foxes promote the new video on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986 above.

14. MARY TYLER MOORE

She can turn the world on with her 1994 low-impact workout, Every Woman's Workout.

15. ZSA ZSA GABOR

When you're Zsa Zsa Gabor, you don't actually have to work out. You just hire "two muscley friends" in tank tops to move your body around in various exercise positions for you while you purr "Dahhhhling."

16. GEORGE FOREMAN

You might expect a video by a boxing champion to involve boxing, but you would be wrong. George Foreman's workout is geared more toward the everyman and invites you to just Walk It Off With George. He adds a little jab here and there, and does something dubbed "the Foreman Shuffle," but for the most part keeps it pretty low-key.

17. SALLY STRUTHERS

The former star of All in the Family made a video in 1988 extolling the virtues of walking using the "Balboa Fitness Walking Technique," a type of speedwalking.

18. SHIRLEY MACLAINE

The actress channeled her interest in spiritualism and metaphysics into this 1989 video, Shirley MacLaine's Inner Workout. (Don't miss Part 2.)

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Live Smarter
Scientists May Have Pinpointed How Much Exercise Your Heart Needs to Stay Healthy
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There’s really no limit to the benefits of exercise, from cognitive improvement to increased cardiovascular capacity to more energy. But one of the biggest reasons to maintain a fitness regimen is to ward off chronic conditions. For example, exercise helps keep arteries from stiffening as we age, which lowers our risk of heart disease.

"Get some exercise," however, isn't exactly specific advice. Is twice a week good enough? Three times a week? Five? And for how long each time?

Researchers in Dallas, Texas may have found an answer. According to Newsweek, a study by staff at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine and area hospitals looked at 102 people, aged 60 and over, who self-identified as either sedentary, casual, committed, or master-level exercisers. They worked out anywhere from almost never to daily. The researchers found that casual exercise (two to three times weekly, 30 minutes each session) was associated with keeping the mid-sized arteries, like those found in the head and neck, from aging prematurely. But four to five sessions per week helped stabilize the larger central arteries, which send blood to the chest and abdomen. The research was published in the Journal of Physiology.

The study did not look at the type of exercise performed or other lifestyle choices that may have affected the participants' arterial health. But when it comes to moving your body to keep your arteries limber, it seems safe to say that more is better.

[h/t Newsweek]

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Essential Science
What Is a Calorie?
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The word calorie carries a lot of weight. We know we're supposed to avoid too many of them, but things get more complicated after that. What, exactly, are calories, and how do I burn them?

THE SCIENCE OF THE CALORIE

A calorie is a unit of heat energy that fuels your body, making it possible to move, breathe, think, sleep—and even digest food to make more energy.

While there is some disagreement about who first coined the term calorie, we know the French chemist Antoine Lavoisier used it in experiments he conducted during the winter of 1782–1783. He used a device called a calorimeter to measure how much ice melted in a metal container due to the heat emitted by guinea pigs housed inside it. Over time, that measurement was refined by other scientists to mean the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of a kilogram of water by 1°C—what's known as a kilocalorie.

The food calorie and a kilocalorie (kcal) are technically the same thing, but we use the term calorie rather than kilocalorie because of an American chemist named Wilbur Olin Atwater. In the late 1880s, Atwater traveled to Germany to study at physiologist Carl Voit's laboratory, where Voit was researching the nutritional value of food and animal feed. Inspired by that research, Atwater took measurements of different foods with a bomb calorimeter—a device that essentially measures the heat in food when burned—by having study participants eat, and then measuring and subtracting [PDF] the amount of heat leaving their bodies through respiration and waste. He used a respiration calorimeter to measure their breath and a bomb calorimeter to burn their poop, and from that calculated just how many calories were left in their bodies to be used. When writing about his research, Atwater used the word calorie (kcal wouldn't be used in America until 1894, when it was published in a physiology textbook).

Based on his experiments, Atwater created a system for calculating the calories that human bodies can get from our food. There are three types of food nutrients that deliver caloric energy—fats, proteins, and carbohydrates—and Atwater arrived at a caloric measurement of each: A fat gram has nine calories, while a gram of protein and a gram of carbohydrates each have four. That system was modified [PDF] by USDA scientists in 1973, but it's otherwise still the basis for how calories are calculated today.

WHAT HAPPENS TO A CALORIE IN YOUR BODY

When you eat, enzymes in the mouth, stomach, and intestine break down nutrients by turning fats into fatty acids, sugars into simple sugars, and proteins into amino acids. Then, using oxygen cells throughout your body, these components are broken down into energy—a process known as metabolism.

Most of the calories we burn each and every day are used just to keep our body functioning, with about half going toward powering our major organs—the brain, liver, kidneys, and heart. We use the rest for physical activity and the process of converting food to energy. Anything not used by the body is then stored, first in the liver and eventually as fat cells.

Some foods, like honey (carbohydrates), are easily digestible, whereas nuts (a mix of carbohydrates, fat, and protein) can't actually be fully digested at all. There are also digestibility differences within the same type of food. For example, in plants, older leaves tend to be sturdier (and therefore harder to digest) and less caloric than younger ones. Most significantly, especially in terms of human evolution, whenever we cook or process food, the body can get more calories as compared to that same food eaten raw. All of this has an impact on the amount of calories we can actually use.

There's no food you can eat to speed up the rate at which you burn calories (changes from foods like spicy peppers are fleeting), but factors like age and rapid, drastic weight loss can slow it down.

Building more muscle can increase your metabolic rate (although how much is debatable), since muscle requires more energy to function than fat does. And while cardiovascular exercise might not permanently boost your metabolism, it does burn calories; just how much depends on your weight and how vigorously you exercise.

Examples of higher calorie burning exercises include cycling and running, but almost every activity burns something, so you could potentially burn more calories throughout the day by consistently doing low-energy activities like gardening or pacing during a conference call than you would during 30 minutes of fast cycling.

CALORIES: A SCIENCE IN FLUX

We still use the Atwater system for calculating food calories, but it's far from perfect. For one thing, a USDA study found that people absorbed fewer calories from nuts than had been estimated under Atwater's system—a serving of almonds, for example, provided not 170 calories, but 129. There's some evidence that people tend to digest food at all sorts of different rates too, depending on the individual makeup of our gut bacteria, meaning that the absorption of calories may differ from person to person.

Scientists now believe the numbers on food labels are more of an estimate than a precise measurement. While companies are required to provide caloric information on food labels, the FDA doesn't specify exactly how those calories should be calculated. Some companies, like McDonald's, send their food to a lab for measurement, while others estimate the total by adding up the calorie count for each food component from the USDA's massive food composition database. As scientists continue to refine how we calculate calories, we'll come to have a better idea of the energy we can actually get from these different foods.

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