Is It Finally Cool to Exercise?

Credit: Ali Samieivafa, Flickr
Credit: Ali Samieivafa, Flickr

It’s weird. When I was growing up, “exercise” wasn’t something I remember people really liking to do. It was a means to an end (losing weight, looking a certain way), not really a way of life or something that was considered “cool.” Exercise was more synonymous with dread and a have-to instead of excitement and a want-to. Heck, even in 2008 when we started FBG, Zumba was just starting to get really mainstream, The Biggest Loser hadn’t been around long and doing something like a half or — gasp — a full marathon was something just for fitness freaks. But in the last year or two, I think that’s changed. And is continuing to change.

Guys, I think working out might actually be seen as “cool” now. (Winner, winner kale-and-chicken dinner!)

I mean, I still see the funny I-hate-to-exercise cartoons that seem to pop up on email chains and Facebook feeds, but I’m more likely to see people posting how many steps they logged on their FitBit or how they’re doing the Couch to 5K or how they need an ugly sweater for a run or how they’re making a healthy recipe they saw on Pinterest. I’m seeing people of all ages, sizes and fitness levels having fun with healthy living. They’re dressing up for races, bragging about PRs, getting excited about new running shoes, talking about their favorite WODs and swapping their favorite smoothie ingredients.

These do not seem to be the days of yesteryear when healthy food meant cardboard and exercise meant boring torture. Granted, I run a fitness blog and surround myself with a lot of fit peeps, but still. I feel like the tide is turning. And that now it’s not just socially acceptable to work out, but it’s also pretty darn rad to get sweaty and give it your all. Working out is en vogue. Trendy. Super cool. Way fashionable. (And hopefully not in that fad type of way where you look back at photos of your hair from 10 years ago and wonder, “What the heck was I thinking?” … )

So my question to you is: Do you agree? Is it finally cool to exercise? Or am I just running in circles that make it seem like that? —Jenn

Categories: FBGs, From Jenn, MotivationTags: ,

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  1. I would love to think that everyone is becoming more physically active. From what I see, more and more people are exercising and working to make healthier food choices. Yet…..all the research and statistics point toward our nation becoming more and more sedentary and overweight. All of us need to help inspire, motivate, and keep that motivation going in ourselves and for the people we meet!

  2. Well, it seems like it’s at least cool to TALK about exercising and DRESS like someone who exercises… but I notice, especially when on the road and out of my own health-nut ghetto, that there are a lot of folks who could still use a little help on the follow through. 🙂

  3. Exercise has a social component, a way of meeting like minded people. Exercise is low cost and breaks through socio economic barriers. The clothes (yoga) are comfortable. I personally view pinterest health boards for motivation/encouragement. I don’t embrace the word exercise, for me it is a natural part of my lifestyle.

  4. I’ve definitely found exercise to be cool. In my group of friend’s and even my mom’s group of friends, all the women workout and expect everyone else to (I’m not sure if that’s cool…). Exercise is looked at as a way of taking care of yourself and just as vital as showering. I think it’s gone so far as to say there’s a stigma if you DON”T exercise (unless I just so happen to be associated with some fitness loving gals).

  5. Being an avid martial artist, exercise has always just been a way of life for me. It never was to lose weight or be healthy or anything like that. It’s pretty much a necessity for me. There isn’t even a being too tired to exercise or anything like that for me. It’s I’m tired because of the exercise. I guess it’s lucky for me!

  6. I think that more fun and inventive ways to exercise and be fit are being created more and more and because of the internet and social media, we are able to share these. Thus, making working out and exercising more desirable.

  7. Yes, yes, YES!!! I love the thought that exercise could be “trending.” That would be wonderful, and (in my experience) a change from generations past! When I first graduated from PT school I worked with a largely geriatric population, and my patients always looked at me like I was CRAZY when I showed them exercises that could help them heal. Most of them did not grow up in a fitness-minded culture. Their thought was that rest (alone) would make them heal and getting them to move more was sometimes a difficult battle.

    That said, prior generations got a lot more exercise just through DAILY LIVING (more manual labor, yard and garden work, walking to the store, etc.) than our current, sedentary, technology-driving generation… But since we ARE — in general — a sedentary society, thank the LORD that we’re starting to see the value of exercise to counteract all of the time we spend on our bottoms. 🙂

  8. I think it is! Even if it isn’t, there is definitely a culture surrounding it, and when you see pictures of beautiful & fit people, it’s like looking at the popular kids in high school and we are secretly think to ourselves, “I want to be in that crowd” and that positively influences us to get off our butts and start doing something better for ourselves. I think it’s great. If we can influence others to make small, manageable, healthy changes to their daily habits, more power to it! Our country needs positiveness and encouragement to get moving and get healthy.

    As a LMP and Crohn’s disease sufferer, I see people every day whose lives could be made better with small changes, and I’ve seen in my own life how important it is. Keep up the good work!