Three reasons to get active for every gay man

A guest post by Paul, who is the curator for the @urbangay twitter this week, follow him, interact and talk to him on twitter until Sunday!

This week I’m taking over the @urbangay twitter account for a week. My interest is mainly in being healthy and active, and I think it is something really important. Not just because of the obvious and well-known health reasons (and making for better sex!). But there are three more reasons why it is especially important for gay men. Here they are:

1) It’s great to make you feel good
Engaging in sports and eating a healthy diet to help you fuel your activities has an unbelievably great influence on how you feel about yourself and your life. Simply engaging in regular exercise has the same effect on you as taking antidepressants, but with only positive side-effects. With gay men much more likely than straight folks to have mental health issues for many reasons, exercise can be a key to make us happier and healthier. Of course, you don’t have to feel down, or even start an overwhelming exercise program: even small steps will have a great effect, at least when you do them regularly. So start and get active today and within a week you will see how much better you feel!

2) It will improve your body image
Not just your mood and how you feel about yourself and others around you will improve: but your body image will also become much better. Body image problems are endemic in the gay community. I used to hate my body when I was a teenager, and even into my twenties. Only when I started exercising regularly did I start to love me and my body. And I’m not saying this because I became muscular and looking like a sex god (I didn’t!). But because exercise influences how you feel about your body!

3) You can make so many new friends!
Finally, I found that exercise is a big benefit for a great social life. It binds together like nothing else. I love joining in with LGBT-sports groups or events, and I bet you’d love it, too! If you live in or near a bigger city see if there are any gay sports organisations you can join. There are lots of these around and many organisations have something for every taste: from yoga to rugby. And don’t forget outdoor sports away from the big cities like skiing and hiking, too! You won’t believe how it changes your social life!

Let me know what you think about sport, being active and healthy and gay! Tweet to me and follow my tweets @urbangay all this week!

Day 15: Exercise

Exercise is natural botox and viagra in one. Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Schedule and plan for regular exercise.

Want to feel better? Have more energy? Be sexier? Have longer, more powerful erections? Or just want to be healthier? Happier? There is one thing that can do that all. For real. It’s exercise. In fact there are two powerful things your body needs: Exercise and relaxation. We have already discussed ways of relaxing five days ago. For today we will focus on exercise, a natural way to make you have more energy, be more happy and productive all in one.

You probably already know all about the great benefits of exercise, so I won’t bore you again with all of them. But the main thing is: exercise are rocket fuel when it comes to self-love. So…

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here

30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
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Running routes in Lisbon

Lisbon is famously hilly… which is great news if you are into hill training. Unfortunately, for runners favouring a more gentle run, running in Lisbon can be a bit of a challenge. But there are some great running routes – so don’t despair! Here is a summary of my favourites:

Riverside: Baixa/Cais do Sodré to Belém
This is probably the most popular route for anyone visiting Lisbon: Running along the river Tejo/Tagus. It is completely flat, and the route is easy to follow much Praça do Comércio all the way to Belém and beyond. Most of the street works in the area are completed, which makes this route easy to follow – and you’ll be rewarded with some of the most amazing sights: From the breathtaking start in Praça do Comércio, along the port and reclaimed docks and passing April 25th Bridge, MAAT and finishing in Belém.
The full route to Torre de Belém is a little over 7 km – so a neat 15 km run for the weekend if you run around the Praça once or twice. For a shorter run, an alternative is to take public transport out to Belém – and return one way.

Riverside: Parque das Nações and Vasco da Gama Bridge
This is a much more modern scenery around the riverside on the other side of Lisbon: You can get to Oriente station, and run along the riverside (again, flat) to Vasco da Gama Bridge, then back up, and run to the other end of Parque das Nações – and back again to Oriente. The run is a bit shorter than the one to Belém: around 6km one way, 12 km by the time you return to Oriente.
The main attraction here: Modern Lisbon at it’s very best.

Town running: São Sebastião to Praça de Comércio
This is a pretty nice route for a relaxed run: Take public transport to São Sebastião (El Corte Ingles). You need to get up the hill at the start (to the oversized Portuguese flag) – but from there on it is an easy run almost straight down to Praça de Comércio along Avenida and Baixa. Amazing architecture, grand buildings and regular stops at intersections make this a perfect run for an easy start.
One way is 3.5 km.

This is far more hilly … but the rewards are great views over Lisbon. If you are serious about training up hill – this is probably for you. You can make up different routes as you go along. Overall, you could spend a long time running around here – or just run across the mountain: one way is around 5 km.
The highlight: The derelict old restaurant with the most spectacular view over Lisbon.

Serious running:
If you want to run (nearly) a marathon, the easiest way is to run from the Vasco da Gama Bridge all the way to Algés – and back. A less ambitious version: Take the metro to Moscavide and then run along the riverside one way, taking the train back from Algés. The full run is roughly 20km – and you get to see all of the stunning riverside of Lisbon (and a few more “up and coming places”) on the way.

Happy running… For more ideas about runs and different routes (although some going up steep hills), you can also check out the Nike Run LX facebook page. They post maps of their forever changing runs mostly starting at the Nike store in Chiado (Sadly only in Portuguese).
Have you got a favourite run in Lisbon? Please share your favourite running locations below!


The 2017 Fitness Challenge

Are you ready to get fit in 2017? If so… then here is the 2017 Fitness Challenge for you! OK… it is a small challenge with a gentle start. The basic premise is to build up to running the Lisbon Half Marathon in March, although you obviously don’t have to run the actual race in Lisbon to be part of the challenge (although it is a pretty neat ‘excuse’ to visit Lisbon, in case you need an excuse!).

The challenge is a simple three days a week running – and twice fitness to take care of the rest. Two rest days: For me the rest days are Sunday and Monday. Running days are for short runs: Tuesdays, Thursdays – long(er) runs on Saturday. Of course, being flexible is a good idea when it comes to days – but sticking to three runs and two gym sessions is the key here.

My start day will be the 27 December (Tuesday)… just after the Christmas feasts, which will hopefully result in enough motivation!

The actual training plan with all runs/gym/restdays looks like this:

1 26/12/16 Restday 5 Gym 5 Gym 10 Restday
2 02/01/17 Restday 5 Gym 5 Gym 10 Restday
3 09/01/17 Restday 5 Gym 5 Gym 10 Restday
4 16/01/17 Restday 5 Gym 5 Gym 10 Restday
5 23/01/17 Restday 5 Gym 5 Gym 10 Restday
6 30/01/17 Restday 6 Gym 6 Gym 12 Restday
7 06/02/17 Restday 7 Gym 7 Gym 14 Restday
8 13/02/17 Restday 8 Gym 8 Gym 16 Restday
9 20/02/17 Restday 9 Gym 9 Gym 18 Restday
10 27/02/17 Restday 10 Gym 10 Gym 20 Restday
11 06/03/17 Restday 6 Gym 6 Gym 12 Restday
12 13/03/17 Restday 6 Gym 6 Gym 3 Lisbon Half

All the above runs are in kilometers – not at least because I’m a slow and gentle runner 😉 …

If you don’t want to be training alone, but fancy a virtual training buddy … please remember to add me on Runkeeper – if we get a few virtual training buddies together, we can create a virtual running group there. My Runkeeper profile can be found here. Don’t forget to connect by sending me a tweet and say hello here: @urbangay  or follow/DM on instagram. And if you are running the Lisbon half… let’s make sure to say hi!

LGBT Sports in Lisbon

In this recent post I lamented (or maybe just ignorantly assumed) that the list of LGBT+ sports clubs in Lisbon is “short”. Well… let me come clean: I was wrong, there are a few. So trying to bring them together, here are the ones I have found out about so far.

Basically from what I could find out, there are two main “groups” offering sports: BJWHF (Boys Just Wanna Have Fun) and ILGA. Each of these offer a variety of different sports options … so here is a handy list, listed by day, sports type and link to further information/address.

Day Sport Organiser Address
Monday Volleyball BJWHF
Football BJWHF
Tuesday Rugby BJWHF
Dance (Tango) BJWHF
Wednesday Running BJWHF
Swimming BJWHF
Yoga (Lunch time) ILGA
Thursday Football BJWHF
Dance (Kizomba) ILGA
Running ILGA
Friday Rugby BJWHF
Volleyball BJWHF
Saturday Running ILGA
Swimming ILGA
Sunday Tennis ILGA
Football ILGA
Swimming BJWHF


As always: If you know of any other sports clubs/meetings… please share it below! Many thanks!
P.S. Thanks to @BJWHF for reaching out and updating some of the dates in the earlier version!


Lisbon by Half

What is better than one half? Three halfs! Or at least that is how many half marathons I could find for the next year taking place in Lisbon… All seem to have quite a different flavour – and routes, so it shouldn’t be boring going for all three…. Here is a quick overview:

Lisbon by half (marathons)

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Continue reading “Lisbon by Half”

I’m missing it.

running that is. Because of an injury, together with being insanely busy and the injury being a convenient excuse not to get off my bum and run, I haven’t really stuck to any running routine at all so far this year. While, luckily, that hasn’t resulted in a major increase of my waistline (although a little bit more is there, I think) I really have to take this up again – and stop making excuses about why I can’t.

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Last weekend I went with my ex (BF1) to cheer him on while he ran another Half. Yes, while he has always been quite hit and miss with regards to running during the week (largely Continue reading “I’m missing it.”