A guest article by Alex Berrios, an expert on fitness and an avid gamer
Lets start with a little background…
I first got into gaming about 12 years ago. I wasn’t doing much with myself at the time and I spent most of days making money, getting into trouble and making a lot of bad choices in general.
I had just gotten stabbed on what would turn out to be the 2nd of 3 occasions , I almost lost my left arm from the elbow down over it. This wasn’t even the worst thing I’d gone through at this point in my life.
A concerned friend told me about a game that her brother was playing, she said he really enjoyed it and I should give it a try. Maybe it would give me something better to do than get into trouble. The game was Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield.
The beginnings of a gaming fitness journey
One good thing i had going for me was that I happened to be sitting on a decent amount of money and my financial obligations were low. I went to Best Buy, bought myself a copy of the game a PC to play it on and a
ATI Radeon AGP graphics card to get that high end gaming experience. This was also my first experience with DIY PC building, so imagine how puzzled i was when the PC I bought had PCI slots that didn’t work with my
AGP video card. Back to Best Buy! Eventually I did get the PC set up and I did get it working , and then I messed up bad…. I actually played the game. I don’t think I left my apartment for 3 days after. A lot of pizza was delivered.
Time to stop camping
Now I was already pretty overweight at the time , even though I was hitting the gym and playing football with friends, and it was getting worse with how sedentary I was becoming. So I decided to try and reverse things.
First: I went and bought myself a stand up desk
Second: I swapped my mountain dew for water
Third: I started doing exercise between rounds and while waiting for respawns
These were the baby steps on my journey. I’ve swapped my 48 inch gut for a 32 inch 6 pack.
My store bought HP computer has been replaced with a PC I built myself (my latest upgrade was a 1440p 27″ Acer with gsync)
You can do it too
Here’s a tip for between rounds or on load screens:
Start with 5 push ups, 5 squats, 5 jumping jacks and 5 crunches. Every set after add 1 rep to each movement until you’re unable to complete all four exercises. At this point take a short break , ideally from both the game and your exercise, and start the routine over when you begin playing again. It will be easy at first but trust me, it will add up.
- swap your snack food (like chips) for something healthier (like strawberries)
- take the stairs instead of the elevator
- spend 10-15 minutes of activity/ exercise for every hour you spend playing games
- Nintendo offers a ton of active games for the Wii/Wii U (if you have one)
Most Important tip i can give you is this: Do it for yourself and do it immediately. Don’t wait for a good time, don’t start tomorrow…. now. Do it right now. A year from now you will either be happy that you started today or you’ll be wishing you had started today.
You can do it. Be awesome.
Thanks for reading
– Alex Berrios