Roses are red, violets are blue. I hear you love burpees, so I’ve got an invitation for you.
It’s your fitness Cupid here! Mark, founder of Work out with pride, London’s only LGBTQIA fitness group that offers a variety of different classes, we do everything well-being, from personal training, and fitness classes to many wellness events and socials, check us out at one of our many classes, and use the code QXFRIEND on our website. www.workoutwithpride.co.uk
It’s February, that January gym rush is over and we can look ahead to Pancakes, Fashion, History and Love (according to Hallmark). While February is typically surrounded by Valentines Day it’s more a month of self indulgence. We’ve got paid, we can pay off the credit cards, splash some cash, and feel good about what the year has to offer.
Like marmite! you either love Valetines Day (smug couples) or hate it (singles). I’ve always loved it, it’s a time for me to celebrate friendship, family, relationships and, most importantly, me! I treat myself. I indulge in a lil’ shopping, nothing extravagant (I say while looking at my new trainers… but it’s justified!), just a few bits and pieces to reward myself for surviving January.
I take myself for lunch, and then if I don’t have plans, I practice some self-love in the bedroom, believe me when I say no one knows your body better than you, even if you are in a relationship. Don’t let that cupid arrow go to waste and certainly put it to use in hitting the right spot (oh hello).
Show yourself some compassion
Queer people have it tough, we go through our school life in fear of being called out, fear of losing our family and friends, and then as we enter adult life, we have the fear of not getting a job or promotion just because of our sexuality.
This endless cycle causes havoc in our brains and affects our mental health, all this extra pressure can lead to burnout, even as I write this, I am struggling with holding down essentially 2 full-time jobs and having a social life, but when it does get a little too much, I know there’s plenty of places to help me navigate through the tough days.
One place I have visited in the past is Quaker house, on St martin’s lane. Every Monday except bank holidays, they hold a group mediation for Gay, BI and trans men. Hosted by Nick, who has run Evolving minds since 2009 is a great place to centre and retune yourself.
We’ve just mentioned how to support your mental health with some compassion now, let’s get our heart pumping but let’s keep it around 40 to 60% of your maximum heart rate.
What is Liss? LISS is HIITS older (fragile) sister and it stands for Low-Intensity Steady State. While HIIT training has been all the rage (fast workouts in a short time), LISS is making a comeback! LISS exercise is about building a consistent pace, think a 40-60 min jog or cycle. It works great if used as part of your recovery days between your strength training which is the opposite with HIIT, because the movement is not explosive.
Want to perform some LISS and keep it queer? Why not join the group The London Riders, the leading LGBTQ+ cycling community that offers long-distance rides out of London every weekend. Annual membership cost £25
When it’s cold outside it’s really challenging to feel motivated about stepping out for any significant amount of time, but cold weather gives us an opportunity to layer up in our cosy gear and embrace the harshness of winter.
Being around plants is good for us, even NASA says so, and being a fully qualified astronaut and wine connoisseur I would know as well. Plants provide an overload of sensory benefits while churning out some fresh O2.
If your feet are wondering what to do, and you yearn for something tropical, Kew Gardens has a phenomenal orchid display, that will provide you plenty of “Oh, they are nice” moments you can admire and maybe sniff in addition to all that science good stuff.
February is LGBTQ+ History month here in the UK, and while we typically associate celebrations with Pride in the Summer months. February is an opportunity to see the challenges and obstacles we as a community have overcome and what we still need to do going ahead.
Often it feels that these are things outside of our control but a good way to get involved is just by joining in with different groups, if it’s the LDN Gaymers, Pink Singers, A different gay bar… taking yourself along raises the profile and helps nudge things forward.
Not trying to steel a supermarkets catch phase but “Every little helps!” and it was that sense of getting involved and community that made me start Workout with Pride.