Pride month is a time of celebration for many LGBTQIA+ ;people and their allies.
For some it can also be mentally and emotionally taxing as it can trigger upsetting memories of facing adversity or accepting who they are.
Peloton fitness trainer Cody Rigsby shares how he prioritizes his physical and mental health during celebration season.
Peloton trainer Cody Rigsby is one of the fitness app's brightest minds. Every day millions of users around the world tune in to his popular home cycling and fitness classes.
It's a big platform and it was important for Rigsby who identifies as gay to create a safe space to verify and centralize the identities of those who ride his rides especially those belonging to the larger LGBTQIA+ ;community people.
June is especially important to him which he always says "feels like the holidays".
That's because pride is his "favorite time of year."
"It's rooted in the great history of great action by trans women of color of our gay ancestors who truly fought for our rights. It's always been rooted in that," Rigsby explained the celebration of the LGBTQIA+ ;awareness campaign and The basis of the seasons of history.
While Rigsby said there are many reasons to celebrate Pride month which can be a joyous time of year he noted that "it can also be a challenging time both mentally and emotionally as we're reminded of how much work we still have to do. Do and how many rights are vulnerable rights Now. "
He understands that the celebrations that come with pride can also be stressful. That's why he said it's important for LGBTQIA+ ;people and their allies to take care of their mental health and wellness during the season.
Rigsby sits down with Healthline to discuss how to stay calm and focus on physical activity during Pride (even if you don't usually have a regular fitness program) and what you can expect to see him on the grill excited for healthy festive food choices this season ;.
Depending on how you celebrate the season Pride can be "mentally and emotionally exhausting," Rigsby said.
If pride is defined by your political actions if you feel like "there's a lot to do you've got a lot of work to do," then it can be especially taxing.
If this is a time to socialize and connect with friends and community the dizzying array of event parades and parties can leave you feeling exhausted and socially overwhelmed.
If it's a moment of personal reflection it can trigger disturbing memories such as stepping out of trouble or accepting one's own identity.
When asked how to deal with the complex emotions that pride season can bring Rigsby suggested that a good start is to make sure you take a little time for yourself each day.
“There are times throughout the month where you not only celebrate but take care of yourself. Maybe it’s meditation maybe it’s exercise maybe it’s not a big celebration it’s spending time with people who really matter,” explained Rigsby Say.
"In those moments where you do want to celebrate you do want to be the best so I think: exercise meditation and [finding] things to nourish yourself," he added.
Sometimes it's easier said than done.
If you're having trouble adjusting to health and wellness activities to stay calm and focused while at Pride Rigsby he says one of his top picks is simple daily meditation.
He emphasizes that his day always starts with 10 minutes of meditation. He made sure to stay away from your phone and avoid the constant distractions from Instagram and TikTok that could "get you hooked and then you forget about taking care of yourself."
Of course "give yourself a little grace," he stressed noting the importance of not putting too much pressure on yourself.
For example he explains if you enjoy working out and are used to a 30-minute to an hour-a-day fitness regimen but can only fit in as little as 15-20 minutes because your schedule is so full that's okay. Let yourself relax a bit.
"Don't let 'perfect' be the enemy of good. Try to find stackable bite-sized workouts you can do," Rigsby says.
He noted that there are many shorter workouts available on the Peloton app ;and he likes not only the convenience but also exercising himself.
"When you have a busy schedule if you're not moving or taking care of yourself as you normally would a small part can go a long way don't beat yourself up give yourself a little tolerance and see when you can," he said .
Dr. Anuradha Seshadri a physician and pediatrician at UCLA Health told Healthline that prioritizing physical and mental health during Pride season is important for LGBTQIA+ ;people because "physical health and mental health go hand in hand hence the term "Psychophysical."
Seshadri who is not affiliated with Rigsby or Peloton said we spend most of our time "sitting still at the computer." This has a domino effect on our overall health and how we feel about ourselves.
"We need to dedicate at least 20 minutes or so of the day to our physical fitness," she explained. "It's about keeping our hearts and minds healthy and our joints and muscles active and stretched."
Seshadri added that regular physical activity has been linked to lower sugar levels cholesterol obesity anxiety depression and stress thereby "extending lifespan."
It's both joyful and exciting for LGBTQIA+ ;people during Pride month. Exercise helps "release hormones like endorphins and dopamine that make us 'feel good,'" she said.
This can then be used as "a coping mechanism" to reduce your stress anger and "hurt" in a "harmless and neutral" way.
"When we're stressed it affects our bodies and can manifest as tension headache problems like fibromyalgia in the gut," she says. "So the inverse may be beneficial -- taking care of the body to help the mind."
For those concerned about the prospect of embracing a fitness regimen Rigsby recommends looking for workouts that are fun and "give you joy."
It could be something as simple as playing upbeat music during a workout or trying a dance cardio class he said.
"I think when you find the fun in it that motivates you to dig deeper you might start with the fun and then if you want more of a challenge you'll find a different workout from there," he says.
Seshadri echoed these ideas. You have to understand and believe that "the importance of fitness in your life" can play she said.
If it's important to you "you'll eventually find a way to do it."
If you're nervous about starting or don't know how to get started try to "make it mentally important." Find a time in your schedule to make it a routine she says.
“Just like we brush our teeth or shower start small and slow. Most people start exercising feeling tired or sore and expecting quick results so it’s important to set realistic expectations,” she explains.
Seshadri gave an example of taking a break from your computer work and walking around the block for 10 to 15 minutes on a Zoom call. This could be during your lunch break or you can wake up a few minutes earlier in the day to do this.
"Then depending on the time you can increase the duration of the walk or increase the intensity and keep it for the same amount of time. You're jogging slowly and then running. Make it fun," she says. "Change your routine with 'Leg Day' 'Arm Day' cardio Compared to resistance training days. "
Holding yourself accountable can be a challenge so asking a friend or family member to join you may help Seshadri says. Sometimes numbers have power.
"If you need more help and have the resources there are plenty of trainers and social media resources available," she added. "At the end of the day make sure you're doing something that's safe — the right technique — so you don't hurt yourself or cause Repeated 'wear and tear'. Also stay hydrated. Hydration is important because it addresses fluid loss from exercise. "
Part of refueling can be adopting healthy food alternatives which may not always be easy during Pride month especially if you're busy between celebratory marches and protests.
Rigsby is currently working with Primal Kitchen a company that makes non-dairy condiments and dips especially for summer Pride parties and outdoor barbecues.
Nutrition Helps Properly "nourishing your body" can help you achieve your goals whether it's losing weight or achieving a specific body aesthetic Rigsby says. like when you're trying to get physical or Making changes to your diet safely while getting the nutrients you need is key.
Rigsby points out that making small changes or substitutions to your diet can make a big difference and it's important to plan for moments where you can also simply enjoy whatever you want at a party.
"I'm the type of person I'll enjoy myself. I don't want a low-fat potato salad," he jokes. "I want to enjoy this meal. No matter what your schedule is [about what you're eating]. "
Most importantly Rigsby encourages everyone to remember that pride is a moment to celebrate yourself and it means who you are now.
"Now you've had enough," he said noting that it's easy to overlook that during Pride season.
"You deserve to be celebrated no matter what your background is or how you look you deserve to be celebrated in this moment," Rigsby said. "The journey you take will lead you to be the best version of yourself but also give yourself grace and celebrate yourself and the people in your life immediately. "