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CityLab – The Urban Fitness Revolution

… But there are some more insidious elements inside the urban fitness revolution. For one, the obsessive focus on staying fit reflects the growing pressure that many urban professionals face to look young and in shape. Exercise can also be a method of generating the physical stamina and mental focus required for long hours of knowledge work. As such, it is bound up with the relentless trends of the knowledge economy, which creates a lifestyle of continuous improvement, and the commodification of human capacities. Indeed, this is built into the very mantra of many urban fitness studios. Many of them pledge not just to change your body, but to “change your life” and help you “find your soul.”

Make no mistake: Good health is among most important things in life, and time devoted to keeping fit is rarely time wasted, wherever and however you choose to exercise. But as you head out to your preferred gym or fitness studio this New Year, it’s worth keeping in mind that your workout is not only about helping you look and feel better; like it or not, it enables you to be a productive cog in the knowledge economy machine.  Full post

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