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La Crosse city government reporter

Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering local government and city issues for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218.

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, and yet I have found myself attempting some lifestyle changes as 2018 moves in.

The timing is a coincidence. My lovely boyfriend, Mitch, got me a Fitbit Charge 2 for Christmas. You might be wondering how I can still call him both “lovely” and “my boyfriend” after he got me something that might imply I could drop a few pounds, but I did ask for it, so he didn’t need to worry about offending me.

I wanted one mostly because I’m a sucker for new technology and wasn’t able to talk myself out of giving in to my urge to follow the trend. It’s supposed to help me be healthier! I can’t say no to that. My Fitbit monitors everything from my steps to my heart rate to how many times I wake up per night (which is way more than anyone should).

The combination of shiny new tech and it being a gift has inspired me to use it for its intended purpose so far. As soon as it charged up Christmas Day, on my wrist it went, and I’ve not only used it to tell the time but also let it guilt me into using the calorie counter, putting in my water intake and trying to get 250 steps each hour. (I usually fail. It’s hard to get 250 steps in while you’re trying to get stories written for the next day’s paper.)

However, in my quest for a healthier new year, I do have to draw the line somewhere. Thankfully, Business Insider has given me a great place to start that line.

The news outlet reported Wednesday that a New York gym chain called Hanson Fitness would debut a new full body conditioning class Friday in Soho.

According to the story, the classes will be led by Harry Hanson, who says he’s the favorite trainer of Rihanna and has also worked with Sandra Bullock and Tyra Banks. The classes are designed to make attendees use their body weight as resistance to work glutes, butt, legs and core. Nothing unusual there. But then we get to the dress code.

It requires participants to be naked.

According to the Facebook event advertising the first class, “Working out without clothes provides a number of benefits to your exercise including skin breathing, the release of endorphins due to Vitamin D from sunlight and complete body awareness so you can see if you’re cheating on your exercise routines.”

Guys, trust me. As someone who has never once in her life been called “athletic,” someone who was forced into physical education classes and someone who, for reasons unknown even to her, volunteered for middle school sports teams, I absolutely know when I’m cheating on my exercise routines. I don’t need to be naked to find out.

Hanson Fitness expanded on the benefits in a statement to Business Insider, explaining that exposed skin gathers more sunlight, which increases the body’s vitamin D production, increases body awareness and makes for unrestricted movement.

“While naked, there’s nothing at all holding you back. The only limitations are your own, not because you can’t move in a certain angle in your cute workout clothes,” according to the gym.

Hanson’s final benefit was self-explanatory and pretty simple: less laundry.

OK, you almost have me sold there, but the sheer awkwardness of the situation is leaving me one giant vote in the “no” column.

Look, Rihanna, Sandra Bullock and Tyra Banks are all beautiful women, no doubt about it. They have not actually signed up for these classes. Even if they did, I still would not want to watch them work out in their birthday suits.

First of all, workout clothes aren’t just cute. They have a very specific function. Women generally have these things called “breasts” which are attached to their front. They need some support if women are going to be jumping, running or generally throwing their weight around.

Second of all, I don’t care if they do have sessions for only men, only women, men and women, and private individuals or couples, the fact is that I do not want a personal trainer to be watching my naked body as I work out. It’s just too weird. I have a hard enough time not feeling self-conscious fully clothed.


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