Working out in front of men can be intimidating, include a women’s area in all gyms | Column | Columns | Opinion | Daily Collegian

Going to the gym has become an important part of my weekly routine.

Because I have all online classes, I promised myself that I’d incorporate working out so I wouldn’t become too lazy and gain weight.

Around 5 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, I meet my friend at the East Parking Deck and we walk to the Intramural Building to start our workout.

But there’s always one thing we notice — the constant stars.

Going from one station to the next can become extremely uncomfortable when there are men who look you up and down. It can get frustrating because I’m already sweaty and tired from the hard work I put in at the gym — the last thing I need is the unwanted attention.

I know my friend and I aren’t the only women who encounter this problem, and we’ve discussed a few solutions. One of them is incorporating an all-women area in gyms.

The main reason most people work out is to enhance their body in some way. To some, that looks like gaining weight and muscle. For others, that may be trying to lose weight or maintain it.

Not everyone — specifically women — may feel confident enough to go as hard in the gym because there’s always the thought in the back of your head that you’re being watched — a thought that may be intimidating.

But I guarantee, if us girls had our own portion in the gym, more of us would feel comfortable working out knowing we’re among other women trying to achieve similar goals.

Where I’m from in Philadelphia, there’s a gym called The Edge Fitness Clubs. The whole upstairs is dedicated to women.

I’ve gone to that gym a few times as a guest with one of my friends, and the women’s area was like no other. The environment was safe and inspiring, and everyone was working out at their own pace and uplifting those around them.

I remember having a conversation with one woman who attended weekly, and she expressed to me that before she got a membership at Edge, she never felt comfortable going to the gym. She didn’t feel confident enough to work out in front of the men — she thought she was overweight, and it was discouraging.

No one should feel this way — especially when they’re taking the steps to get the body they desire.

Oftentimes, women are put in situations where they have no choice but to feel uncomfortable or restrain themselves from coming to the gym.

The only option left is to work out at home in a safe space.

And don’t get me wrong, because there are also plenty of women who don’t think twice about the opinions of men — but let us have a choice.

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