Tuesday: Health and Fitness

Do Sweat It

When I go to the gym (especially in New York City) I see all types of things: giant, muscle-bound meat heads in too-small tank tops; fashionable gay men working out with their sunglasses on; impossibly well-coiffed skinny girls chatting on the phone between stretches and sips of their green juices. Once, I kid you not, I saw a woman stretching with a discman (a discman!!!) strapped to her body. I see all manner of dress, body type, and activity. I see it all.

But there’s one thing I rarely see: sweat. You know, our body’s way of cooling us down when we work hard? Like that corny inspirational poster – “sweat is weakness leaving the body.” Or perhaps you like this one better: “Sweat is fat crying.” Whatever – sweat is an indicator that you are working hard, making the most of your gym time, improving your skills and your fitness. But I rarely see it.

Why are so many gym goers afraid of a little hard work? Are you scared you won’t look as enticing to the opposite sex when you’re covered in sweat? Perhaps you think sweat is unladylike. Perhaps you’re just lazy and you don’t want it (it: fitness, the perfect body, glory, Ryan Gosling) bad enough. I will not judge you (much) for your decision to wear leg warmers, or do an aerobics class which seems only to involve touching two sticks together over your head to dance remixes of Britney Spears – but I will judge you for your dry shirt.

When I go to the gym, I don’t leave until my face is flushed, my heart rate is up, and I am thoroughly, disgustingly sweaty. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have done anything amazing; for some people, 20 pushups breaks a sweat; for others, it takes an hour run. But whatever you do, and however you do it, if you aren’t sweating, you’re wasting your time. And if there’s one thing I know New Yorkers hate, it’s having their time wasted.¬†



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