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BETTY HERRMANN
June 05, 1961
Fitness bee
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June 05, 1961

Betty Herrmann

Fitness bee

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Once a week in the Garland, Texas community house a group of youngsters and their parents get together for a fitness fest. As in old-fashioned community sings and quilting bees, however, the exercising is done in an atmosphere that makes everyone think it's fun, not work. As the kids show off their best somersaults and flips, the grownups rediscover forgotten muscles with less strenuous exercises. "We're just interested in feeling good," says Mrs. Betty Herrmann, mother of seven, who got the group started.

Mrs. Herrmann, who is shown above encouraging an upside-down cyclist, got the idea for family exercise after hearing repeated criticism of the appalling physical unfitness of Americans. "There was plenty of evidence close to home," she says, "but nobody was doing anything about it." So Betty decided to do it herself. At the first session only two volunteers showed up. Betty was almost ready to quit, but at the next meeting more than 40 people showed. At the latest session of the class there were 31 adults and 31 children. "It's wonderful," says a newly fit Betty, "and with parents and children attending together we've even eliminated the problem of baby-sitting."

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