Natalia Mehlman Petrzela

Woman leading a group of twelve other women in floor exercises.

Fit Nation

A conversation about "the gains and pains of America’s exercise obsession."
Collage of people in "preppy" clothing.

We’re All Preppy Now

How a style steeped in American elitism took over the world.
Strongman Eugen Sandow poses in gladiator sandals and a bejeweled belt, standing on an intricately designed rug and leaning on a classical column, a setting designed to present him as civilized rather than as a “mere breaker of stones.”

Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America's Exercise Obsession

A century ago, physical fitness was part of a strange subculture, where strong bodies were extraordinary and meant to placed on pedestals for people to observe.
Collage of yoga, palm tree, police tape

The Birth of a New Brand of Exercise Fetish

From Bikram yoga to Tae Bo, the 1990s exploded with exoticized consumer fitness products.

The Fitness Craze That Changed the Way Women Exercise

Fifty years after Jazzercise was founded, it is still shaping how Americans work out—for better or for worse.
People working out in bikinis in a mall.

As Swimsuit Season Ends, Pursuit of the ‘Bikini Body’ Endures

The "bikini body" is out. But the pressure to maintain the ideal female physique lives on.

Working, Out

Homophobia at a CrossFit is a good time to remember that gym culture wouldn’t exist without queer people.

Shouldn’t You Be in California?

The western frontiers of national wellness culture.
First grade teacher instructing Spanish pronunciation in Texas.

Helping Latino Kids Succeed in the Classroom Doesn’t Have to be an Ideological War

Conservatives backed bilingual education until it became a progressive cause.