FITNESS: Minimal Fitness for the Gamer That “Aint Got Time For That”

I know we can all attest to not having enough hours in the day at times, but what about having enough time to do other things that we love, and not necessarily having the drive to get up and go workout? It sounds like the last thing you want to do after dwelling into a new game, or when your after work ritual is getting online to play multiplayer games with your friends. Who has the time to get up and go to the gym?

Either way, we have some definite solutions that may help you get that extra burn in. Normally my advice is centered towards getting people “Ripped” but that isn’t always the goal for everyone, especially within nerd culture. Some just want to feel better about themselves or make it up a flight of stairs without heavily breathing. We got you all covered, regardless.


Intentional Workouts: Seated Ab Isolation/ Calve Raises/ Push Ups 

Recommended:  8 sets of 30 second ab isolation/ 3 sets of 20 calve raises (standing) / 4 sets of 25 push-ups (or more reps, as long as it equals 100)

Seated ab isolation workouts are to a crunch/plank except you’re sitting down, your legs are straight, and you’re leaned back in your chair on the edge. As you do these, the goal is to feel the tightness of core. Don’t hold onto anything while this is going on. Challenge yourself to do 30 seconds of this as you’re playing a game. You can move your legs up and down lightly for a mild shift of core, but most of the work is truly engaging the ab muscles.  CLENCH, hold your controller, and game on once your 30 seconds are up.

Calve raises can be done pretty much wherever you are. While standing up, raise your feet at the tip, and bring them back down. Continue until you’re at 20 reps. Add weight if you want a little extra resistance or if 20 reps is a little too easy for you.

Lastly, push ups are the token upper body workout. 100 reps is ideal. You can break these up into 3, 4, or 5 sets, as long as the end goal is 100.

Unintentional Fitness from Games Involving Physical Movement: 

The surge to Pokemon-Go was mostly from its addictive format and the necessity to “Get Out There” to capture all of the Pokemon you can, earn prizes and level up/fight gyms. Separately from the game play, the most important aspect of the game was that it got people outside and active, not in a routine, cliche “gotta get in shape” kind of way, but it forced you to play in the real world, walk around, and maybe even run/jog to where you are trying to go.

If you play Pokemon Go, grab a fit-bit or use you phone’s fitness app  and track your steps/time. Additionally, keep up with how much you’re walking and try to push yourself to get more steps or miles in.

Other games that require a little bit of cardio are “Dance Dance Revolution” and the “Just Dance” series of dance games that you can do at the privacy of your own home, so if you do suck at dancing, no one has to see it. Another shameless plug would be almost everything on the original Wii sports lineup.

Smarter Snacking: Substitute the Doritos for…. Slightly Healthier Snacks

Moderation is key, but we all know that the gamer diet heavily consists of Doritos and Mountain Dew. Its engraved in the culture at this point. Though we love both of those things, you can binge on much better things while you game that’ll likely keep you from being a complete slob, balancing your caloric intake:

Nuts and seeds: They may be calorie-dense—they contain between 120 and 190 calories per ounce—but they’re high in fiber and good fats, which will make you feel fuller, longer than starchy chips.

Protein bars: Protein bars, like those from Quest, will satisfy and satiate. Choose from chocolate, cookies n’ cream, chocolate peanut butter, blueberry, and many more varieties. The flavors will banish your craving while the protein actually fills you up, something a candy bar could never do.

Sorbet, sherbet, or frozen yogurt: If you have a really stubborn craving, all of these are a healthier alternative to ice cream. Most are fat free, but high in sugar, so indulge in moderation.

Lastly, my favorite out of the bunch: One cup of edamame: Boil shelled or unshelled for 3–5 minutes and sprinkle with sea salt. This snack has 189 calories and 8 grams of fat, but it’s packed with 8 grams of fiber and 17 grams of protein. Edamame is lit.

Was this helpful and will you be implementing some of this to your daily routine? Let us know in the comments!


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