Want to get fit while playing video games? Wondering how that's possible? The answer isn't to buy an exercise game like Wii Fit, or Nike+ Kinect Training (although that is a legitimate option). There are plenty of opportunities while you game where you can be improving your health, you just might not have considered it before. During every load screen, matchmaking queue, cut scene or whenever you aren't using the controller you can do a short, intense, physical activity that will keep you active without disrupting your gaming.
YOU ARE THE CONTROLLEROne of the best opportunities where you can work out while you game is during online multiplayer matchmaking, like in Halo, Call of Duty, or Gears of War. On average, you might spend a minute or two waiting for the next game to start. You can get an effective exercise done during that time. Then as the match is about to start you can easily pick up the controller and resume play. When the match is over, do it again. All those breaks between matches and minutes will add up, especially if you play a long game session.
THINK ONE MINUTE ISN'T ENOUGH?
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GET IN SHAPE, NO ACCESSORIES NEEDED
Buying a new pair of running shoes isn't going to make you jog every day; you have to make the commitment to run on your own and build up the strength and endurance to a point where it becomes comfortable and fun. The same goes with Wii Fit Plus or Nike+ Kinect; you still have to turn those games on every day and make that commitment in order to see results. Simply buying them isn't going to make you active. And when I load up my Xbox 360 and I see that fitness game surrounded by BioShock Infinite, Batman: Arkham City or Halo 4, which one do you think I am more likely to choose?
BUILD UP YOUR MUSCLES AND YOUR CSR
Think about what areas you would like to improve on, whether it be your cardio or upper body strength, and choose exercises that would compliment that. Body weight exercises are some of the best type of exercises you can do in general, such as push-ups, planks, or squats. If you have some weights lying around, keep them by you while you game. There are dozens of free weight workouts, like bicep curls, triceps extensions, chest flys, and the shoulder press. If you work out every day with some weights while you game, you will notice the change within a couple of weeks.
It's not magic; it's basic science. The more you work out a muscle, the more it'll grow. If you are looking to build strength, muscle definition, and endurance, short workouts with multiple reps is the best way to do that. You'd be doing something very similar to what people do at the gym, just spread out a little differently to accommodate your gaming. Because gaming comes first! It doesn't matter where you exercise or how you do it, the results will be same.
ALWAYS CHALLENGE YOURSELF
That's right, hard work. It ain't easy to rank up, and you have to work hard to get there. But because game designers make it fun to do so, we don't realize how much time and energy we are putting in. In modern games, you are constantly being reminded about the progress you make: how many kills you get with a certain weapon, how many victories you earn, how many special items you use, etc. Always we get reminded of the incremental progress with some sort of status bar or counter, and without realizing it, we are triggering a natural impulse to complete that progress bar or counter. 1,000 flag captures might sound daunting initially, but after a few days when the game is showing you little by little you are getting closer, you don't think about how long it's going to take, you are relishing in the fact that you are achieving parts of that goal now, and you feel rewarded.
YOU'VE UNLOCKED NEW REWARDS!
FEEL BETTER, BE BETTER
Don't you just love that picture at the top? I know I do. That's an original drawing by artist Katja Bach. Check out her website here. Or request her talented services over on Fiverr.