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|Health: 5 ways to imrpove your health in 2013|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|January 04, 2013 00:00|
Exercise improves your fitness, helps maintain healthy body weight and can also impact on your mood and confidence. Atlanta offers many gay-inclusive gyms; also, remember working out isn’t your only option. LGBT sports teams can help you make friends and get exercise at the same time.
As the Mayo Clinic notes, “friendships can have a major impact on your health and well-being,” helping you avoid unhealthy habits, cope with trauma, reduce stress, boost happiness, and much more. Atlanta offers dozens of LGBT-inclusive spiritual, networking, social and support organizations that can help you connect with like-minded folks.
Some 20 percent of Americans with HIV don’t know they are infected with the virus, preventing them from seeking medical care to protect their health and also possibly putting their sexual partners at risk. Atlanta offers multiple venues for free HIV testing, from LGBT-led nonprofits like Positive Impact and AID Atlanta to public health departments.
Get (a) physical
HIV is often the biggest focus of LGBT health messages, for good reason. But even if you get tested for HIV at a clinic, don’t neglect to get a routine annual physical as well. For women and female-to-male transmen, don’t forget an annual gynecological exam as well. Many health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and many cancers, can be treated if detected early. The Health Initiative can provide referrals to LGBT-supportive physicians and maintains a health fund if payment is problematic.
Sometimes the hardest part of making any health change — from any of these steps to stopping smoking or stemming other addictions — is the temptation to put it off to some other time. We overeat at the holidays by promising ourselves we will work out as our New Year’s resolution. We have one more cigarette tonight by pledging to quit tomorrow. Instead, take steps now and forgive yourself if you aren’t perfect. Lean on your friends for support, and support them in their health endeavors too.
Looking for LGBT sports, health, social and spiritual organizations to join? Check out our Organization listings under the Community tab on this page or at www.thegavoice.com
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