I overheard one woman asking the woman next to her to excuse her “grossness” during my Wednesday TurboKick class because she had just come in from running. To be fair, from her point of view, she probably did feel a bit gross and self-conscious because she’d been running outside in a Texas July afternoon and her shirt was absolutely soaked. I, on the other hand, had the urge to tap her on the shoulder and let her know exactly what I think of a sweaty woman.

There are few things more appealing to me than a woman who is not afraid to sweat from exertion. She may not feel attractive at the time, but I often find myself saying nothing for fear of crossing the lines of civility. I think a woman who sweats during exercising is all-around more attractive than those who don’t exercise for fear of “looking bad”. The reasons range from the cosmetic to the I’m-trying-to-keep-this-post-PG.

In terms of cosmetics, I find women who regularly work up a sweat have better complexion whether they’re sweating or not. There’s no doubt of the cleansing effect sweat has on the skin. Nor is there any doubt about the effects of improved circulation on skin tone.

More than it’s long- and short-term effects on appearance, I enjoying watching women working up a sweat because I can see more about her than when she has her “face” on. The personalities that come out usually far overshadow the appearance. Among other things, a woman who is not afraid to sweat is also not afraid to have fun, to enjoy whatever activity she’s doing to the utmost.

One of the reasons I’ve been told some women are afraid to sweat is the smell. The only time sweat “smells” is if it’s left to dry on the skin too long. Is it totally scentless? Not usually. But the scent it carries is rarely unpleasant. In fact, sweating is probably the most efficient way of spreading pheromones, the body chemical that induces attraction in others. To me, fresh sweat has a raw but pleasant scent that’s hard to find anywhere else.

Sweating is healthy, natural, and often desirable. Give me a choice between a perfect 10 in a dress and anyone else sweating in a gym or exercise class and I’ll always prefer the sweating woman. So women, don’t apologize for sweating…especially when exercising. It’s almost like saying “I’m sorry for making myself a better person.”