Balancing Gaming and Healthy Living – You Can Do It!

Balancing Gaming and Fitness 1Gamer nerds, in general, are considered to be generally non-athletic and un-healthy.

What if I were to tell you that doesn’t have to be the case and give you the tools to find a manageable balance between your geek lifestyle and healthy living / being active?

Well that is exactly what I am going to do, because I am living proof that you can be a giant nerd of Potsie-like proportions and still be in shape and lead a healthy life!

Throw away your pre-conceived notions!

If you get those out of your head, and set the excuses aside, I promise I can help you!

All through High School I gamed and read comic books.

I was an art nerd, and pretty damned skinny.  Don’t get me wrong, I was active back then – I ran cross-country (slowly) because a few friends did, I wrestled (very poorly) and I skateboarded (also pretty poorly) every spring and summer.

What I didn’t understand back then though was that being healthy and in-shape did not mean being super muscular or a gym-rat!

Over the years it became clearer and clearer (especially once middle age set in) that being in-shape and healthy didn’t mean being ripped with muscle or being able to run a marathon.  Those images that were in my head were just as false and unproductive as the image of a stereotypical gamer geek were to the jocks of the world.

The topic of stereotypes is one I will tackle in a future article, but the reality is that we all know they exist whether we agree with them or not…

“Being fit and healthy does not mean being super muscular or ultra-thin!”

So how do you blend your gaming interests with an healthy lifestyle?

The biggest hurdle for people wanting to make change in their life is finding the time, eating healthy and the motivation.

Oft-times people say they want something, but then their actions seem contradictory.  One of my biggest revelations from my many years of teaching martial arts, and just observing people, was my realization that people are inherently lazy.

This isn’t a judgement, I promise!

Am I lazy by nature?  Totes McGotes!  (“I Love You Man”?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Dammit…) I think anyone who participates in physical activity will tell you that if the activity was not mentally stimulating to them in some way, that they would A) not enjoy it and B) probably not do it for very long.

So what’s the solution?

I believe it is finding a hobby/activity that already matches your existing interest.  Like I said, we are all lazy by nature.  So every obstacle we a remove between us and our supposed goals just makes them that much easier.

One of the major obstacles to starting a new hobby is the question “Will I really enjoy this?

If you already know you enjoy a facet of an activity that question is addressed before even taking your first foray into that new endeavor.  So what exactly am I talking about?  Let me give you a few examples:

  • You play a lot of console fighting games – Go join a martial arts school.  Learning to throw, choke and kick people in the spleen is quite satisfying and it will give you a greater appreciation for the crazy moves you make Yoshimitsu pull off while playing Tekken.
  • You pwn newbs playing FPS shooters on your PC –  Go paint-balling when the weather permits.  BOOM!HEADSHOTing people and then ridiculing them is fun over TeamSpeak or Ventrilo, but it is infinitely more satisfying in person when you see a paintball explode on their mask on the field.
  • You play a ton of RPGs – Take up fencing, or go join your local chapter of the SCA .  Actually learn to use a sword, or research some medieval zweihander manual and club some poor fool like a baby seal.  The workout is great and you can be more descriptive next time you are fighting a horde of goblins with your friends when playing D&D.

The other obstacle the subversive lazy part of your brain will throw up is going to be the excuse that you don’t know how to start, or that you won’t know what you are doing and therefore will make a fool out of yourself.

That is something I plan on tackling in-depth in an ongoing series in the near future, but for now let me assure you that 90% of the time the real world is more accepting of failure and mistakes than the geek world believe it or not.  I can’t remember the last time someone ran over and tea-bagged me on the paintball field while insulting my mother (maybe because I blocked it out, but I think you get my point).

Whatever it is you decide on doing, go out and do it and experience some healthy living.  You won’t be sorry!

Thoughts, comments or “your mom” jokes anyone?




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13 replies
  1. Steve Eason
    Steve Eason says:

    I really like your suggestions on getting out. I personally find that when I do get out and get active I actually have a lot more fun than I do sitting inside staring at the screen. My body appreciates it more and I feel a whole lot better.

    Since we moved to North Carolina, our neighbors have introduced us to Ultimate Frisbee and Frisbee Golf. What a great way to get out and enjoy the weather, exercise and socialize with new people.

    • TheJerd
      TheJerd says:

      Trust me; I love my laptop/iPad/Xbox but man can it be a drain on your body. Stepping away and just *moving* is soooo important.

      I have a lot of friends who swear by Ultimate Frisbee… maybe I will give it a shot one day! Thanks for stopping by!

      • Lisa
        Lisa says:

        We have the special weighted discs for disc golf/Frisbee golf if you ever want to try it. There is a course right near our house. Just sayin’.


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