Black folks and the gym (or lack thereof)
Exercise, along with eating healthy food are two fundamental practices that lead to healthy lifestyles. I am willing to bet that on a whole that Black folk could be doing a lot more to improve our diet. Of course, part of this is problem is due to not having access to grocery stores like Whole Foods but this post is about the lack of people I see at the gym. Ladies first…
If I had a dime for every time I saw a Black woman at the gym, I wouldn’t have enough money to get a meal from the Mc Donald’s Dollar Menu. Of course, just because I haven’t observed something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist but let’s keep it real, Black women on the whole just don’t like the gym. But there has to be something deeper than Black women wanting to maintain their hair because I know Black women who have perms and still keep a regular workout schedule. I often hear that Black women don’t like men looking at them and would prefer to workout by themselves. But this can be by-passed by going to gyms that have gender-specific days so that you don’t have to worry about impressing members of the opposite sex.
And while I applaud Black women who prefer to workout using exercise DVDs, it is too easy to cheat yourself by just turning off the tape. More importantly, many gyms have equipment that focus on specific areas of the body.
In essence, I am very worried that because Black women don’t feel comfortable going to the gym, their health will invariably suffer as a result. So how can we get more Black women (and women of color) excited about exercising and joining the gym?
Don’t worry fellas, you are not off the hook because even though we will take time to play basketball and occasionally lift weights, we eat like crap. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen guys work out and then pig out on pizza or fast-food. Then these same guys wonder why they can bench press 275lb but have a beer belly. And how can you smoke and try to force yourself to play eight games of basketball? Nevertheless, the main reason men workout is to try to impress women but we have to get to a point where our inspiration for exercising is not solely dependent on women.
It’s all about balance and exercising is an important aspect for gaining a certain measure of inner-peace. But I’d like to know what inspired you to maintain a healthy lifestyle and how have you tried to inspire others?
Stay up fam,