Running, walking, hiking, biking, cross-fit, rowing, swimming, dancing, lifting; you name it, and gay guys are doing it! It doesn’t have to lead to you having chiseled arms and pecs, or leave you dripping with sweat but raising your heart rate in a way that feels good can have some surprising benefits.

Across the world, health organizations and practitioners are recommending exercise as a helpful addition to healthcare practices. But what does that mean? It means that exercise and working toward your own fitness goals can do more than just build muscle and change how we look. By increasing circulation, burning excess energy and building muscle strength, exercise and fitness can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, while fighting symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. And all of these benefits can be reached, even if body weight stays the same. Exercise is not a replacement for mental health medication, but many studies have shown that combining exercise and certain medication can create a highly effective treatment plan that supports multiple forms of health.

A fitness plan is something you can make at any age, by yourself, with your community and/or with an expert. What is important, is that you get to decide what makes activities work for your body and what activities match your lifestyle and preferences.

How it can help:
  • Decreases symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.
  • Increases resilience and ability for the body to heal and recover from injury and illness.
  • Improves sleep.
  • Developing your own fitness plan can help support the development of higher self-esteem.
  • Choose activities that are fun, and keep you physically active.
  • Seek support from your friends, partner(s) and family to find the motivation you need to build an exercise plan and healthy lifestyle.
  • Sleep and rest give your body time to recover and heal.