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Health & Fitness: Get inspired

Need motivation to improve your health? Meet four LGBT Georgians who faced challenges and triumphed.

Jim SchumakeThriving with HIV: Jim Shumake

‘This is the best I’ve ever felt’

Jim Shumake, 32, learned he was HIV positive in 2007. Although he knew, as a gay man, he was more at risk than most, he didn’t believe it could happen to him.

“At first you don’t believe it, that it would ever happen to you,” he said.

But Shumake, who is a client of AID Gwinnett/Ric Crawford Clinic, said when he came to grips with the news, he chose to complete a “full 180” on his life and he’s now “100 percent healthy.”

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Health & Fitness: ‘Homophobia is a health hazard’

Atlanta Health Initiative

Discrimination doesn’t just stand in the way of civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. In some cases, it may actually contribute to making us sick.

“I think that we can legitimately call homophobia a health hazard,” said Linda Ellis, executive director of the Health Initiative, the new Atlanta-based organization that aims to be “Georgia’s voice for LGBTQ health.”

“Whether it is because of actual discrimination expressed by an uncaring provider or the internalized dread of what might happen in the vulnerable setting of a doctor’s exam room, LGBT individuals are still less likely to seek healthcare,” she said.

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Health & Fitness: Gear and gadgets to get you moving

Nike training shoes and app

Sure, you don’t need new clothes, shoes, or cool gadgets to work out or improve your health. But shopping for something new and fun can sometimes be just the motivation you need to push forward with your fitness plan.

Here are few items we like to get you workout ready.

Nike+ running shoes and app
Shoes: $90 and up | Sensor: $19 | www.nikeplus.com

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Tips to choose the right gym for you

Have you joined a gym in the past as a New Year’s resolution, then found your enthusiasm waning before spring? Choosing the right gym (even if it isn’t actually a gym at all) will go a long way to helping you keep your fitness resolutions.

Here are five tips to help you pick the right place to work out.

1. Community or convenience?

Do you want a gym that feels like home, or one that you can access even if you are far from home? If you like a community feeling and enjoy supporting local businesses, consider one of Atlanta’s gay-popular gyms like Urban Body or Gravity Fitness.