Ever since I was a teen I’ve been involved in some type of fitness regime. Yoga, Pilates, Jazzercise, spinning, jogging, power walking, kick boxing or just hitting the gym every day, fitness is part of what I do. Inevitably the question is asked, which do you prefer for workouts, pants or shorts? Through the thirty-some years of my fitness career, my answer remains the sameshorts. No matter where I am, what the activity or what the weather, you’ll always find me clad in shorts. Even in the New England winters, jogging down an icy sidewalk rimmed with snow banks, I still wore skimpy Lycra shorts. Yeah, I turned a few heads and caused a few fender benders, but certainly that wasn’t my fault.
Shorts have a way of liberating me, exposing my flesh to whatever it is I’m involved in. For activities that are leg-intensive, like jogging, spinning or power walking, shorts leave my legs feeling unhindered. I focus less on the effort exerted on my calves and thighs, and more on the harmonious movements of the body as a whole. There is no discomfort of bunched up material, or sweat-soaked lumps of fabric. My legs can breathe, even as my lungs breathe.
I’ve also discovered there is safety in wearing shorts, especially at the gym. More than once my Lycra workout pants have snagged on various pieces of gym equipment, causing me to trip or stumble. Not a fun prospect when you’re carrying a pair of twenty-five pound free weights!
Another thing I enjoy about wearing shorts during my workouts is I can see the bulge of my muscles (or lack thereof). I can admire the result of all my sweat and pain, or, sadly, notice there are no results. I can also easily see the muscle group I’m working. This is useful when, for example, I’m using a machine to work my quadriceps. As I lift, I can observe the intended muscle group, and make adjustments to my path of motion if necessary. Pants don’t allow one to inspect the very important outline and definitions of the muscles being worked.
It would be difficult to discuss working out without mentioning sweat. With an average of about 2.6 million sweat glands in our skin, it appears that sweating is not only quite natural, but welcome. Especially when you consider the importance of sweating during a workoutit’s the body’s way of cooling itself. Without sweat glands we’d all die. Personally I enjoy feeling the warm trickle of sweat on my body as I’m working out. It proves to me that I’m in the cardio-zone. And it is so cleansing. Pants hinder that sensation. Sweat collects in the waist band, crotch and thighs, and distracts me from my main purposean angst-free workout.
In conclusion, shorts are my one and only choice for workout clothing. That’s a no-brainer. However, if you were to ask me what fabric I prefer for my shorts, like Antron or Lycra, Spandex or cotton-polyester-spandex, Coolmax or Supplex, well that’s a totally different question…one best left for another article.