Tuesday, February 7, 2012
My friend lent her CD to me when I told her I needed to exercise. She said it was good because the exercises were doable, and more importantly, the instructors were dressed decently. The women were wearing jogging pants and shirts with sleeves--none of those midriff bearing little things--and the men were in t-shirts and pants. Of course, rubber shoes for all.
What I notice about the fitness culture is how closely intertwined it is with looking good. Certainly, you work out because you want to look great--and you do, because it makes you healthy and strong. But the "looking good" I'm talking about now is that seeming need for us to "look good playing the game."
Want to be a cyclist? It's not anymore just a matter getting a bike and safety paraphernalia; somehow you are convinced that you need to wear sporty spandex and reflective goggle things. Jogging is not anymore merely putting on a pair of rubber shoes and hitting the pavement, suddenly you need state-of-the-art running shoes that help you burn more calories and some kind of state-of-the-art music player to keep you entertained (distracted?) while running. Yoga gives you a run for your money with yoga-bras, yoga-pants, or if you don't like pants, yoga-bikini bottoms. (I say, just wear leggings, a t-shirt that fits just right, and your normal underwear.)
Anyway, that just makes exercise a more expensive affair, when in fact exercise should be free and attainable by all. The best outfit for exercise is something that you can move in that's neither too tight nor too loose. If you want to look truly good, you have to make an effort to be decently dressed. Why? The most flattering effect of exercise is the glow on your face after a sprint... would anyone notice that if they're looking at your bare midriff or short shorts?