Today, it could be argued that it is actually more difficult to stay in shape than ever before. The Washington Post reports that amid the pandemic, factors like remote home and gym closures have caused the average adult to gain around 29lbs. Online gaming has also contributed to these issues.
Games like Among Us and Animal Crossing skyrocketed in popularity. Meanwhile, Poker.org suggests that poker remains one of the world’s most popular pastimes — especially in its online form. These games serve as a simple, accessible way for people to not only entertain themselves from home but also enjoy some social activity in the process. However, it can’t be denied that in all of these cases, the extra hours seated in front of a screen necessitate more exercise.
So without further ado, here are some helpful tips that can help regular gamers stay fit.
Limit your food intake
We at Table for Change previously wrote that eating 3,500 calories more than your age group’s recommended daily calorie intake can see you gaining a pound of fat. Conversely, eating 3,500 calories less will help you lose one. That’s why reducing your daily calorie intake can help with weight loss without the need for exercise. A few ways you can do so includes counting your calories and eating small meals frequently throughout the day. This will curb your cravings and prevent you from eating more than necessary. Of course, the most effective method to lose weight is still exercise — and we have some strategies for you to get started.
Exercise While Gaming
You don’t need to give up a good game to make way for exercise. From investing in a standing desk to purchasing exercise equipment that can fit under your desk, there are plenty of ways to keep your legs moving and heart pumping while you’re playing away. If you’re on a budget, take advantage of load screens to sneak in exercises like squats or push-ups. Any exercise and movement is better than being stationary –– so even stealing a few minutes every hour or between matches can make a huge difference.
Play Exercise-Centered Titles
There are plenty of games that encourage you to move about. Your might may immediately go to Wii Sports to Just Dance, but there are also more recent ones like Nintendo Switch’s Ring Fit. This utilizes a resistance band and a pair of Joy Con remotes. Each movement provides extra experience points, effectively gamifying exercise to advance the overarching story. Polygon.com even reports that a Wii Sports sequel is coming to the Switch. As motion controls get better with each new generation, there will be a dancing, jumping, or exercise game out there that can help you shed a few pounds while still getting your game on.
Gamify Your Session
If you’re deep in a quest or have been practicing a certain character or loadout for your favorite competitive online game, it can be tempting to stay seated the entire time. One way to encourage yourself to move is a risk-reward system for your session. If you’re playing competitively, have consequences for each loss. This could be a few push ups, squats, jumping jacks, or even some ab exercises. As an added bonus, this might even encourage you to maintain a better win-loss record.
Try out some of these strategies, and you’ll immediately make gaming a healthier habit. You might even put a dent in some of that pandemic weight gain!