QX fitness guru Mark Hughes discusses the importance of togetherness.

The festive season is upon us. Mariah Carey’s iconic tunes are back, and it’s time for togetherness! For those joining us for the first time, I’m Mark, the founder and coach of Workout with Pride—a fitness and wellness community for the LGBTQIA+ community. Explore our weekly schedule featuring strength, spin, and social events. Use code ‘QXFriend’ to claim your free class! Let’s celebrate health and happiness together.

In this column, I believe it’s important to discuss the importance of togetherness. For queer individuals, turning 30 is significant not just because of the ageing process but also because it often marks a major shift in our social circles. Personally, and for many others, it was around this age when my straight friends began to settle down, start families, or move away from London. For queer people like myself, staying in London has always been about safety and being immersed in the city’s vibrant culture, arts, and nightlife, so leaving London and all its offerings was never on my to-do list. So, what did I do when I hit my 30s? Well, you could say that I hit the ground running, so without further ado, here are my top wellness tips for navigating your 30s-40s

1. Find Your Tribe:

Meeting new people can be very daunting – I know. I’m extremely shy when meeting people, so rather than go out feeling shy or awkward, I thought I’d start a group where people can come and join me. That moment was when I began “Workout with Pride,” – a group founded on my values and hobbies. Through Workout with Pride, I have met many amazing people and friends… Sometimes I have to pinch myself! So, if you struggle to make new friends, join a club, start your own one – find your people! When a group shares your passion, it’s exhilarating. You get to connect with others who align with your interests. This is where true friendship blossoms.

Starting a group or club can be as simple as starting a Facebook page and inviting people or creating events using Eventbrite and meet up. Figure out what you plan to do, then simply go for it. When I first started Workout with Pride, I had four people attending. Some weeks, I had just one person!

Don’t be disheartened. Stay with it and believe in what you do! Today Workout with Pride has been running for seven years strong, and we plan to continue to do so in the future.

2. Stay Playful:

Although I may look like an old geezer on the outside, inside, I’m just as silly and playful as a child. Engaging in fun activities can bring out your inner child, which totally keeps me feeling young. If you speak with any of my friends, they will tell you I’m silly, playful, and always messing around.

Tip for releasing the inner child! Try Activities like GO APE ( link below), an adventure playground in Battersea Park. Another great thing to partake in is go-karting or anything that challenges your seriousness!

A great activity that Workout with Pride has booked yearly is Zorbing football. It is the stupidest activity I’ve ever done and yet the best!

3. Wellness That Fits:

Remember, the gym isn’t for everyone, and I can’t stress this enough. Many people ask me what they should do at the gym because they don’t enjoy it. Well, if you don’t like it, don’t go! It’s that simple. Find something you enjoy doing, and stop punishing yourself with workouts that don’t bring you joy.

For those who like a fitness challenge, try our festive workout below. Think of it as a sweaty version of the 12-day countdown to Xmas.

Perform three rounds with a 2-minute rest after each round. For an added challenge, complete all three rounds without any rest.


Remember to warm up before diving into your workout! Share your fitness journey with us on Instagram by tagging @workoutwithpride, and you might just snag a free week’s worth of classes. Let’s break a sweat together! 








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