Keeping Fit as a Gamer: Even the Geeks Can Keep Trim, a guest post by Elizabeth Reed.
As my career choice keeps me in a computer chair for 10 hours per day, I don’t get much exercise. Since I pride myself as a semi-advanced gamer, my hobbies keep me in the sitting position as well. I really didn’t see a problem with it until I weighed myself one day. I had begun to creep past the ‘healthy weight’ mark. It was depressing to say the least.
As I am a problem solver, I did some research and explored options in order to maintain my lifestyle while keeping myself below obese levels. By changing a few of my habits and changing my daily scheduling a bit, I feel that I found the perfect combination to keep myself healthier while maintaining my career and gaming hobbies. What did I change?
1. Snacking Habits – For the longest time, my desk trash can would always be full of wrappers from candy bars and other sweet snacks. Since my physical activity is lower than many, those sugars and carbohydrates were doing nothing more than expanding the lower portions of my body. By replacing sugary snacks with healthier alternatives, I have seen a rapid improvement. Instead of these goodies, I include more:
- Beef jerky
- Dried fruits
- String cheese
- Fresh fruits – such as berries or grapes
2. Lunch and Dinner – Portion sizes are an incredibly hard habit to break. Covering your plate with meat and potatoes isn’t a single portion. In fact, most diets call for three ounces of meat as a single serving size. Even a can of pasta is meant for two servings. Altering portion sizes can be difficult for you can still feel hungry afterward when you are first recalibrating your body. However, I have found that making the portions of everything is healthier and less costly in grocery bills. Instead of wolfing down that can of pasta in one sitting, you can turn that into two lunches.
3. Using Game Consoles – As a gamer, I have the Xbox Kinect and a Wii. Every day, I spend at least a half-an-hour playing games that require body movement. Although it is easy to simply sit on the couch to play the Wii, it works better if you convince yourself to stand and engage the system as it was meant to be played. You’d be amazed at the workout some of the smaller games can put you through. Personally, I enjoy the Kinect a little more for it feels like it works your body harder than the Wii does.
4. Schedule Movement – One of the most profound and effortless methods of keeping your body trim is the addition of movement. Keeping your body moving allows you to burn up energy that would otherwise sit idle. A desk job can be quite detrimental to your health if you have no additional movement throughout the day. Schedule yourself to at least spend twenty minutes on your feet actively doing physical activity. Even vigorously cleaning the house is an improvement if you are used to lounging on the couch.
So far, I have lost thirty pounds with these four methods. Because of the
holidays and the good foods that surround them, my weight has been fluctuating a bit, but I feel better than I have in a long time. Without committing to strict dietary plans or using supplements, I can feel myself getting healthier. Don’t succumb to the stereotype of a desk-jockey and find what works for you to keep yourself healthy.
Elizabeth Reed is a freelance writer and a resident blogger at Liveinnanny.org. She particularly enjoys writing about parenting, childcare, health and wellness. In addition, she is an expert consultant on issues related to household management and kids.