How refreshing that we have evolved to value smart as chic! Now, we need to make sweat the new exercise glamour.

Many fitness magazines (both male and female targeted) ascribe to the same glossy presentation as some fashion magazines so portray physical activity through a perfectly coifed, air-brushed lens. No doubt, the display is stunning with each snap perfectly lit for the artistic best in elegance, grace and style – but what a disconnect to the reality of engagement.

Elegance ISN’T what I’m thinking as sweat pools at my feet on the elliptical or when all of a sudden I’m hit with the whiff of an ‘interesting’ smell. Grace ISN’T what I’m feeling when exertion doing the last bicep curl rep causes an unfortunate burst of air to escape from a part of me not meant for the public. Stylish DOESN’T come to mind when I’m doing crunches with my knees splayed wide apart to strengthen my lower core – now that’s pretty!

So let’s change it. SWEAT needs to become the new exercise glamour because ‘glossy exercise’ does a number on our motivation. First, its tendency to focus on the (unrealistic) expectation of body transformation only ushers disappointment when it doesn’t occur. Second, it fails to capture the tactile aspect of doing activity – which doesn’t give our activity psyche anything to sink its teeth into. Pretty pictures are pretty pictures. Glossy exercise is more about what it looks like to do, than actually doing it, like playing AT the game rather than playing the game. Video golf can be fun, and video downhill skiing can be exciting, but neither can draw the same emotional response as feeling the club strike the ball or the chill of the snow. More, glamour can be appealing for its opulent trappings – expensive jewelry, exotic vacation locales, private jets, personal assistants, but real life for most of us is more about the back of the plane than the front so appreciation doesn’t equate to motivation.

Net/net, glossy exercise doesn’t do much to inspire those who are active to remain active and decreases the likelihood of those inactive from becoming active. Yikes!!

Sweat is tangible which stirs the emotion that motivates sustained activity. It’s one thing we can ‘see’ that come from our effort, which inspires energy feeding self-pride, satisfaction and confidence. And rest assured, exercise glamour as sweat doesn’t have to mean bio hazard or coaching shorts circa 1980 – it’s not to say you can’t sweat in an elegant, graceful and stylish manner!

There you have it. Sweat is the new glamour. After all, we can appreciate a pretty picture, but what good is a museum full of pretty pictures if we aren’t healthy enough to walk its halls?