Gay Atlanta serves up places to get fit with a side of tips to get would-be body buffs started.
By Shannon Jenkins
For some gay men, exercise can be intimidating. Longtime Atlanta fitness master Rad Slough offers words of wisdom for beefy beginners who want to get in shape.
Start with what you’re eating. If it’s green and it was once alive, you can eat it. Whether it’s Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, or green beans, or salad. The catch with salads is that’s a salad with dressing, not a dressing with salad. Also, eat your proteins appropriately.
And sorry, cocktailers: Booze is hollow calories. If you’re not doing anything to burn those extra calories off, that’s just weight going to your waistline. If you do continue to drink, it’s going to slow that progress down a lot.
Now for the moment you’re really here for. It’s time for exercise. Slough lays out seven basics that help put getting started in perspective.
Don’t jump into weights. Start with cardio. Build that stamina up a little bit for at least a couple of weeks. Work out three or four times a week.
A simple way to start burning calories is to walk as much as possible.
Don’t go to the grocery store in the car. If you’re within a half mile of the store, get one of those folding carts. If you eat out a lot, walk to the restaurant.
Find an active interest or hobby. Rock climbing, bicycling and hiking North Georgia’s miles of scenic trails are just a few ideas.
When you can’t get to a gym on a given day, online video series usually offer alternative moves based on your fitness. There are a ton of options on YouTube. For those, we recommend videos by Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health and London-based Team Body Project, which offers an array of cardio, resistance and Pilates videos for all fitness levels.
Set realistic goals, accomplish them in small chunks, and reward yourself each time you meet one.
Don’t Overdo It
The best advice is sometimes the simplest: Don’t overdo it.
Don’t start out so hard that you’re so sore that you don’t want to lift again. If you’ve never lifted weights before and do a full-body workout, you’ll have to prop up your arm to brush your teeth. To dry your hair, you’ll be so sore you have to put your towel on the wall and move your head back and forth.
In the Zone
Once you’re working out, ask an expert. Even if you got started off alone, or work out on the road, professionals like the 24 available at local gyms guide you in using the proper form to avoid injury.
Variety is the Spice
Don’t do the same exercise routine for more than approximately a month. Take classes along with your weight workouts to vary what you’re doing so you aren’t bored and your body doesn’t get used to what you’re doing. Keep those muscles guessing.
Get Fit Here
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Lion’ Den Fitness
900 Peachtree St. NE
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500 Amsterdam Ave.