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The 10-Minute Exercise That Marilyn Monroe Swore By

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There’s no question that Marilyn Monroe had one of the most enviable figures of all the classic starlets in Hollywood. So it’s little surprise that many folks back in the 1950s were pretty curious about Marilyn Monroe’s workout routine. 

The iconic actress revealed in a circa 1952 interview with the now-defunct Pageant magazine that she never used to bother with exercises until she realized there were certain muscles that she wanted to keep firm. According to the archived conversation — which has since been republished on Into the Gloss — the superstar developed her own personal exercise that involved working out with small weights for about 10 minutes each morning. She was confident that these exercises were the right choices for her because she could “feel them putting the proper muscles into play.” See what you think after reading Marilyn Monroe’s workout below.

Each morning after I brush my teeth, wash my face, and shake off the first deep layer of sleep, I lie down on the floor beside my bed and begin my first exercise. It is a simple bust-firming routine which consists of lifting five-pound weights from a spread-eagle arm position to a point directly above my head. I do this 15 times, slowly. I repeat the exercise another 15 times from a position with my arms above my head. Then, with my arms at a 45-degree angle from the floor, I move my weights in circles until I’m tired. I don’t count rhythmically like the exercise people on the radio; I couldn’t stand exercise if I had to feel regimented about it.

Is it just us, or does Marilyn Monroe’s exercise seem a lot more relaxed than modern celebrity workouts? It seems like every day we hear about another star’s intense session at the gym or rigorous running routine — whether the star in question is preparing for a movie role or just trying to get in better shape. 

That said, it’s worth mentioning that Marilyn Monroe’s strange go-to breakfast was relatively low-cal and mostly protein-based, so it’s probably a good thing that she didn’t burn off all the food she ate doing strenuous exercise. We also have to admit that not feeling “regimented” about working out sounds like a pretty nice deal to us.

Remember: Talk to your doctor before trying any new workout routine.

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