Do you dread getting old? No matter how hot you are in your youth, nature will catch up to you, and you will succumb to old age symptoms. While working at the gym can’t bring back the beauty of youth, it can help you experience a more fulfilling life. With a proper workout routine, you can still live a healthier, safer, and more mobile life in your 40s, 60, 80s, and even 90s. While you can still work out in your latter years, the type of exercise you can perform as you get older changes as you age. In this article, we will discuss gym tips you can use as a gay man as you age.
Best gym tips for older gay men
What do you have when you no longer have the energy and dreams of youth? Getting old can be scary, more so when you are gay. Unfortunately, we live in an ageist society that has little value for most people as they age. In addition to aging, gay men have the misfortune of also dealing with homophobia, stigmatization, or physical and mental abuse. Working out at the gym is one the best ways to stay in shape mentally and physically as you age, helping you couple with the various changes. So, is there a massive difference between working out as a youth and an older gay man?
Here are valuable tips to help you have fun at the gym as an older gay man:
· Say no to Gymphobia
Does the thought of a sweaty gym make you want to run and hide? Some gay men would rather sit on hot coal or receive a colonoscopy than set foot in a gym. Gyms have been the centerpiece for some of the craziest horror stories, so your gymphobia is understandable. However, your gymphobia is not an excuse to become a couch potato. First, not all gyms have sweaty guys with little or no regard for hygiene, so you can’t use untidiness as an excuse for not working out. If you don’t start working out in your 40s and 50s, when will be the best time? Dead and ten feet below ground? When you are older, your body is racing against time to look good, so hurry up and join a workout program, preferably in a gym.
The trick to overcoming your dislike of gyms is to choose one that suits your needs as an older man. You don’t need to compete with teen boys and men in their 20s for muscle-enhancing machines. Go to a gym that provides a comfortable layout for men that train to achieve a particular lifestyle. Ideally, choose a gym that promotes comfort over prestige so that you can exercise effortlessly. Avoid congested or overcrowded gyms because they might make you feel too self-conscious to do anything meaningful.
· Ease into your workout routine
Don’t underestimate the value of taking things slow and easy when exercising. When you are older, your body is more prone to exercise injuries, so there is a high likelihood that you can damage your body at the gym. Once you reach a certain age, you can’t just roll into the gym and do your reps like you never stopped from the last time you were there. Ideally, talk to your physician before you step into the gym. Your doctor can check all your organs, including your heart, to ensure you are in shape for some exerting exercises. Once you get clearance from your physician, ease your way into a fitness lifestyle.
Regardless of how easy or fast your workout program is, never start exercising without stretching your muscles. Stretching before a workout helps to warm your muscles, making them loosen, which helps in enhancing your performance. Stretching also increases blood flow into your body, making it easier to recover after a workout. You can start with a slow or moderate run on the treadmill with other simple aerobics exercises once or twice a week. Gradually increase the frequency of your workout with time and include other exercises.
· Motivate yourself
You are your greatest source of motivation. Whether you are hitting the gym to snap back into shape, aesthetics, pass time, or improve your mental health, you are your biggest cheerleader. Gym exercises demand time, energy, and money, so it takes a dedicated person to maintain consistency. The older you get, the harder it becomes to push yourself to perform strenuous tasks, so you must have an iron will to work out consistently. The best way to motivate yourself is to write your exercise goals on paper and use them to push yourself to work harder. Once you start seeing the results of your work, it becomes easier to motivate yourself.
· Go for weights, resistance, and mobility exercises
The older you get, the harder it is to increase your body’s muscle strength. Weight and resistance training are essential in helping you build body strength and maintain muscle mass. If you were into long cardio exercises in your 20s and 30s, consider ditching them or shortening them to a maximum of 30-40 minutes max. Resistance training improves muscle strength and bone density, giving you the strength to perform everyday tasks effortlessly.
Go for simple exercises that focus on building muscles in your core muscles. For instance, lifting weights or running on a treadmill can help you counter aging symptoms, such as increasing your mobility. Don’t forget to include muscles that target your joints, glutes, back, and thighs. These exercises encourage muscle movements, helping you become more flexible.
· It’s okay to ask for help
Asking for help becomes harder as you age. Whether it’s because of personal pride, self-consciousness, or old age stigma, men, especially gay men, find it challenging to ask for help. First of all, a gym contains all sorts of characters. What if you ask for help from a homophobic or ageist person? A simple miscalculation can ruin your gym experience. Asking for help means putting your well-being into another person’s hands, which can either work for or against you.
Secondly, some older gay men perceive asking for help as showing weakness as males. Because of toxic masculinity, gay men can be a little bit insecure about their maleness. Gang y men can perceive asking for help at the gym-the most hyper-masculine environment as a strike against their masculinity. The best way to overcome this mental blockade is to always focus on your goals. You will spend countless hours at the gym as you age, so you must find a way to quiet your self-doubts.
Don’t be a grumpy gym goer. Socializing with other gay men that share your interest can significantly enhance your gym experience. Gyms provide a relaxed environment for people to socialize, which can be a great way to make friends. If you are having problems with your workouts at the gym, talking to men in your age bracket can give you pointers to improve your experience. Think about it. It’s easier to talk about joint and back pains with someone experiencing the same pains than with someone that has never set foot in a gym. Your gym buddies can give you pointers on the best time to work out, machines to use, and correct posture.
Socializing with other gymgoers also keeps you motivated. For an older man, going to a gym can be more painful than pleasurable, especially if it’s your first time. Having gym buddies to teach, tease, and guide you keeps you motivated. Most importantly, going to the gym can help you build life-long friends that will become invaluable in and outside the gym.
· Pay attention to your body
Too much of something is poisonous, and that is true even in the gym. Sometimes the pressure of capturing the beauty of youth can push you to the extent that you end up damaging your body.The older you get, the more fragile your body becomes and more vulnerable to injuries. Fortunately, your body is pretty vocal and has ways to warn you when you are pushing too much.
Pain is one of the biggest indicators that you are pushing your body too much. Just because your workout guide tells you to do ten sets of exercises doesn’t mean you should. Listen to your body and work with what feels good and comfortable. Learn to adjust your routine and training if you have recurring injuries.
· Set enough time for recovery
It’s important to remember that you are not a machine, so you can’t keep hitting the gym without taking the time to recover. The older you get, the harder it is to recover after working out. Rather than going to the gym daily, consider switching to less demanding exercises every other day. For instance, you can hit the gym three days a week and go for nature walks the rest of the week. Timeout from the gym aids in muscle recovery and helps in reducing soreness.
Getting older isn’t an excuse for staying out of shape. You can go to your local gym for simple, safe, practical exercises to counter natural aging. A workout program helps maintain muscle mass, ease joint pain, and improve mobility, enabling you to live a fulfilling life.