Is It Sinful For A Man To Exercise Without A Shirt On?


I have been exercising outdoors without a shirt on for a few years now, but it has only recently hit me that doing so might constitute immodesty on my part.

There are a few reasons why I’ve been doing this:

1.) Health: I want to absorb more vitamin D from the sun, especially as someone who doesn’t regularly consume dairy products. I’m not sure if having a shirt on would make much of a difference, but I just naturally assumed that more skin exposure = more absorption.

2.) Feeling: It simply feels better to exercise without having a big, sweaty shirt on.

Now on to the more controversial reasons:

3.) Aesthetic appeal: I’ve always found a natural tan to be attractive, but a farmers tan to be weird looking.

Is this vanity? At what point do we separate being aesthetically appealing from inciting others to lust?

4.) Business: In the past I posted shirtless pictures of myself in order to prove the effectiveness of an exercise product which I used to sell (kind of like those “before and after” pics you always see).

It was never my intention to be “eye candy,” and I never got any comments suggesting such a thing. But I still wonder if even that was sinful or enticing others to sin on my part.

Anyway, it’s the summer time and I see guys mowing their lawns outside without a shirt on all the time. I don’t think the thought of attracting women even crosses most of their minds, but I don’t doubt it happens anyway.

Should we men be more modest with our choice of attire even when it seems reasonable to dress down, or am I just be scrupulous?


But refuse - profane - and old wives’ - fables,
and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
For bodily exercise profiteth little:
but godliness is profitable unto all things,

1st Timothy 4 - 7


It is NOT sinful to exercise outside with your shirt off.


In college I would run five miles every morning. I lived in St Louis, and in summertime the humidity is unbelievable, like you are a lobster in a pot of boiling water. Wearing a shirt in those conditions gave new meaning to the word ‘uncomfortable’. If other people have an issue, they need to practice custody of the eyes.


For him…Yeah.



1750 The morality of human acts depends on:

  • the object chosen;
  • the end in view or the intention;
  • the circumstances of the action.

The object, the intention, and the circumstances make up the “sources,” or constitutive elements, of the morality of human acts.


I think it is good to consider such things. I think it is mostly fine to exercise without a shirt on. There could be some obvious exceptions. I don’t think it would be good if you were say running through the campus of a girls school or religious school. But other than unlikely situations like that I think it is fine.


Really? how about showering without clothes on?


As a woman, I appreciate it when men wear shirts outdoors. I get hot and sweaty too when I go run, but I still wear a shirt. :wink: That said, there is a cultural convention for men being outdoors shirtless, so I wouldn’t say it’s sinful. But it’s nice that you are thinking about it. There have been quite a few improvements in clothing technology.

You actually don’t need a ton of outdoor exposure for vitamin D (again, I wear a shirt and sunscreen and still get sufficient amounts in a northern climate.) I do take a multivitamin and a D supplement in the winter per my doctor’s advice.

So, not sinful, I don’t think, but I think you could sufficiently address your concerns and wear a shirt.

Showering is not typically done in full view of the opposite sex. :stuck_out_tongue:


For a woman to exercise outdoors without a top is a sin
Would it not be the same for a man?

Of course it’s a sin, against modesty

Caritate non ficta


I don’t think it’s a sin per say. Back in high school, when I ran cross country and practice was in the 100 degree range, and the guys had to run farther and faster than the girls I understood them taking their shirts off. I did find it awkward just for me because if you accidently make eye contact with someone when they run past you and they’re shirtless you’re like, “oh no what if he thought I was staring” :joy: as a rule of thumb I’d keep a shirt on unless the heat index is over 100, if I was a guy. But as I am not, I’m stuck suffocating in cotton T-shirt’s for the sake of modesty. Tsk.


None of your thoughts would make going shirtless a sin. Exercise, get vitamin D, and do whatever it takes to live a happy and healthy life.


I tend to agree. I may be overly modest but I haven’t been outdoors without a shirt since I was a young kid and the sight of shirtless men I find very distasteful, though I don’t judge them on this. I don’t care for swimming and rarely go outdoors anyway. Okay, I’m bordering on pride here so I’ll let it go. :slight_smile:


…and if the poster were to be a woman ?


Is it a sin to change clothes or shower in a locker room if there’s someone with homosexual SSA?

One would go crazy trying to prevent and be responsible for others’ sins.


Totally sinful.

When I walk into a gym, I want to hear the booming chorus of all the flapping burkas.


It’s fine, man. And if you cause some middle-aged woman some small thrill, what’s the harm?


Exercise is not sinful. That’s ridiculous. We have an obligation to maintain our health.


She’d be exposing her breasts, which men don’t have…?

One of these things is not like the other.


My comment might open up a can of worms, but I’m a believer in “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”…and I just realized how apt that saying is in this case!

I, as a woman, want to be able to go to the beach in a sensible bathing suit and relax and feel comfortable and participate in beach activities without wardrobe getting in the way.

I, as a woman, want to be able to wear sensible clothes on a hot day and not a burka so I am not getting heat rash, which I am prone to.

I, as a woman, want to be able to wear sensible clothes at the gym .

Same applies for men. If I am wearing clothes with the specific intention of making men stumble then the sin is mine for trying to harm another. If I am just trying to be comfortable for the activity I am participating in then the problem is THEIRS, not mine. Yes, I should do what I can to avoid CAUSING it by not going over the top with it or being unnecessarily sexual (I won’t wear a bikini!), but it’s Jesus who said to “pluck out your own eye” not “Scream at the man with his shirt off”. :slight_smile:


There is nothing inherently wrong with such an act.

So if it is is sinful, it would be with the intention, not merely exercising with a shirt on.

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