Sunday, March 25, 2012

How Did a Regency Heroine Stay in Shape?

In the majority of romance novels, our heroines have trim bodies. Some are thinner than others, some are lithe. But how, without the use of a gym, Zumba classes and running shoes would a heroine stay in shape?

Here is what I'm thinking...

  • She walks daily. Even if its just from room to room in her house or in her own gardens. A lot of ladies would also walk the parks, walk while shopping.
  • She dances at least once or twice a week (if not much more!). There are dancing lessons as well as balls.
  • She rides a horse several times a week--a good workout for the hips, buttocks, thighs, and her arms.
  • She takes the stairs. She would walk up and down the stairs several times a day.
  • There was no access to sodas, candy bars and extremely refined products. Most sweets were made using more "whole" products (but even these would give a girl a few more unwanted pounds if eaten in the extreme). And speaking of whole foods--she wouldn't eat the processed foods we consume today.
  • She was taught from an early age to eat smaller amount so food--it was more lady like.
  • The portion sizes were smaller.
  • She drank tea, which has been linked with a faster metabolism.
  • She got plenty of sleep. Not sleeping enough has been linked with a thicker middle.
  • She was able to relax more during the day. Stress has been linked to weight gain.

In conclusion, even without a pilates video and a stability ball, she could keep herself in relatively good shape.

Any other ideas?


Shelley Munro said...

Fun post, Eliza. Those stays would stop a lady from eating too much as well.

The walking and horse riding would help a lot. They'd probably exercise way more than some of us today. All that dancing too.

Wendy Soliman said...

She tightened her corsets a little more! Think Scarlet O'Hara.

Krista D. Ball said...

Considering the sheer amount of cake they ate (I've made a few...whew! Those suckers are heavy), it's quite possible that the walking combined with youthful metabolism helped keep her thin.

'Cause they sure stopped being thin as they got older. Just like most of us ;)