In a couple of private conversations with friends about exercise and staying limber, I’ve mentioned something interesting that I learned recently from my daughter, who’s doing research into the subject. It’s this: The number of women of middle age or older who are taking yoga classes is quite a bit lower than one would expect. Why? Because having to don a “yoga outfit” is a killer for many women of a certain age. They just don’t want to put on those clothes and appear in public in them, especially if they’ll be side by side with lithe young women for whom yoga pants are a very comfortable second skin.
This hesitation of course could extend to any number of movement activities that we may enjoy and yet deny ourselves simply out of embarrassment. Here’s where the buddy system really, really helps. We all know the feeling from junior high days when every day we dithered about what we were going to wear – and often, courage came from our friends who were wearing outfits very similar to ours. We felt much safer appearing in public wearing paisley tights or a French beret or a pair of go-go boots if our friend was wearing the same thing. Well hello, welcome to the same phenomenon raising its head at this new stage in our lives. If you miss yoga, or wish you felt brave enough to take pilates or a dance class, ask a friend to go with you – or ask your roommate, if you’re living in shared housing. Friend-power is the best empowerment source there is.
Check out what some other women feel about how their workout wear affects their motivation to work out, in an article about it on Fun and Fit, a blog all about healthy aging for “boom chicka boomers.”