Go You Chicken Fat – #JusJoJan 2023

Welcome to day twenty-nine of Just Jot It January for 2023. Today’s word is exercise.

When I saw the prompt, I wondered when I first heard the word exercise. In grade school we always had recess, but not really formal exercise classes.

I thought it might have been on either Romper Room or Captain Kangaroo I first heard the ‘Chicken Fat” song. That could easily be a skewed memory. Regardless, I still hear Robert Preston’s voice singing the “Chicken Fat” song with small children exercising to the song much like the following video. Leave me a comment if you remember this song.

Somewhere in the early sixties, we all became aware of The President’s Council on Physical Fitness. I seem to remember forms that explained all the exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, 50-yard dash, and others.

In later grade school years we always had a field day or two. It was a full day spent outside competing in races, broad jump, relays, etc. They awarded ribbons for first, second, and third place, but back in our day we did not all get ribbons just for participating.

Then somewhere along the way, isometric exercise became a thing. I have vague memories of it somehow being related to the Canadian military, but I don’t trust my memory on this one.

I remember going to the gym with my aunt when I was 13 or so. They had those vibrating exercise belts and the wooden roller bar machines, both of which you can see in the video below.

In high school we had organized Phys-ed classes. In our school we did so many different activities: Gymnastics, tumbling, archery, dance, swimming, basketball, track and field, and straight-up exercise.

I was also in the band and all summer we either practiced (which included duck-walking the football field when we messed up a routine) or competing in parades and competitions all over the east coast.

Meanwhile at home we had a machine similar to the flex-a-lounge you can see here near the bottom of the page. It wasn’t called that but I remember using it frequently. But honestly, most of the time we played flag football or badminton in the front or side yard.

With television and VCR came exercise videos and television programming. Everything from Jane Fonda to Susan Powter to Richard Simmons and Billy Blanks. I did them all!

Now most of my exercise is physical therapy or going to my local gym whenever my doctor allows it. My how things have changed!

Written as part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan.

Prompt word today (exercise) submitted by Wendy from Wendy’s Waffle.


26 thoughts on “Go You Chicken Fat – #JusJoJan 2023”

  1. I remember that Chicken Fat song. Hated it! We had to do that in PE class. We had to do all that other exercise too. Well, I hated every single thing about PE. My friend and I would do everything but what we were supposed to do. Made Fs and didn’t care.
    haha That video of the machines … the one lady exercising in high heels! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well I had never heard of William Preston or the chicken fat song! Those machines look like medieval torture,! And please what are those women wearing, higheels and Jumpers.. bless it was fun!! 💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had never even heard of the song before. At school we had compulsory gym class until I was 16. From the ages of 5-11 we also had outdoor exercise class in the school yard. (In good weather) Now I just walk my dog, but I walk him a long way! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m struggling to remember why we all seem to remember this must have been played for us in school.

      I always enjoyed most of our gym classes, with the exception of the hideous gym clothes we were required to wear.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh — what fun! I remember the chicken fat song…my sweet disabled sister Lisa had an exercise class for mobility impaired children and that was their favorite song! Lisa had the record and it played endlessssssssssly in our house and I’d completely forgot about it until your post! And the Susan Powter memory — oh my. Yes — I remember her — her energy, her hair! Thanks, Maggie! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The song is easy to remember and a fun way to motivate children. I can see why your sister liked it so much.

      The bombardment of exercise advertisement is something else. I was surprised what memories came flooding back. I even had a belly dancing video at one time. Geesh!


    1. The leaders of our country became more interested in their well being than that of the general population. I could go on and on but I shall spare you and let you enjoy your Sunday. Thanks, Peter. ☺️

      Liked by 2 people

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