Exercise is good for gamers too!

By Zach Cooper FBI, 9 years ago
People often come up to me and say "My goodness Zenquen, you sexy paragon of male masculinity, how do you maintain such a beautiful physique while building such a high gamerscore?" To answer them I just shrug and flex my Olympian muscles to appease their ravenous lust. Most recently when I heard this I realized. "Hey now, this could make a really great article for TrueAchievements and I have been slacking on my article duties so let us make with the article writing." Zenquen will now give you some tips to maintain a healthy body while you are playing your games!

Now first off you may ask "Hey now Zenquen, I am happy with just being lazy while I play my games, why should I get some exercise?" Well, as hard is it may be for you to believe, having a healthy body and a healthy mind will actually make you better at games. When your mind and body are out of shape, lack focus and development; things slow down and you lose that fighting spirit that grants you 1337 skills. The muscles in your hands are not magical things which become highly tuned through your intense controller exercise. The muscles in your hands are connected to your arms, shoulders, neck and even your face! Those are a lot of muscles that are involved in pushing the A button and not exercising them is putting you at a disadvantage as far as speed, control and coordination is concerned. Being able to push buttons twice as fast as the next guy and all in the correct order is a great thing indeed, especially for all you guitar hero people.

Don't forget your brain either, your mind is where all the magic happens and if the information you are processing gets stuck in there and your reaction time is suffering for it you are again at a disadvantage. While games in themselves are a great mental exercise, as humans we thrive on different types of stimulus and therefore should seek out different types of mental exercises in visual, spatial, technical and even sensual terms. The more you push your mind, the faster it works and when you see some guy shooting at you in call of duty, every second counts so you want your brain to react as fast as possible. As well physical exercise also improves your brain's functions, a healthy and active body keeps your nervous system healthy, active and your muscles begin to respond better to the commands you brain gives them. So overall if you are not so hot on the mental exercises, physical exercise is still a great asset.

So this article is supposed to be about exercising while you are gaming. So I might want to get around to that now. I guess I will smack down with the major point first, whenever you're not doing anything in a game, that is prime time for you to move around. If you are spectating in a game for whatever reason (mine is usually because someone in gears of war introduced me to their chainsaw) and you are just sitting there watching the screen, you might as well exercise. During long, cut scenes you are watching for the 8th time, exercise. Waiting for friends or players to join your game lobby, exercise! Really angry at a game and want to throw your controller at the television, exercise! Except maybe not by throwing or punching things. Game has obnoxiously long loading times? EXERCISE!

If you really think about it games tend to leave us sitting around a lot not actually doing anything. So by taking those free moments to exercise you are making greater use of your time, since time really is a limited resource and from my perspective you want to get as much out of the time in your life as possible. Squeeze that delicious lemon of life while it is ripe and juicy, forging through life unafraid of getting the juice in your eyes because you only have one lemon so you are going to squeeze that baby for all it's worth and getting that juice in your eyes is better than it landing on the floor and going to waste! You may also encounter games that just really aren't that great for letting you sit around and do other things. So in those cases you have to take responsibility and take breaks yourself so you can refocus and exercise. In an RPG I exercise for 10 minutes every time I gain a level or two. In a lot of games if I fail an objective multiple times depending on how hard it is and how long it takes I will make myself exercise in a way as further punishment for failing my objective which makes me try even harder the next time I play. For many games I also simply say to myself "Every half an hour you will stop playing and exercise for 10 minutes."

Now a fair question is "How do you Exercise while in front of your television?" I realize many of us have different living conditions or are in different places physically but still I will put this out here right away, don't be afraid to go outside (well some neighbourhoods that isn't such a good idea but you get the idea.) Now I often do push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, jump rope, weights, dancing, practice martial arts or just run around my bedroom running and jumping like a freak on fire. Yes, sexy fire, sexy masculine fire of supreme excellence. I am sure many of you are pondering just how one runs and jumps in their own bedroom, especially like a freak immolated with sexy masculine fire of supreme excellence. I assure you it is possible and quite fulfilling. I also at times pause my game and just run around the block a few times or run to a local grocery store and buy my lunch, then run home again. A lot of exercises can also be done while sitting on your couch or laying on your bed or floor as well. Plenty of different exercises on that there internet, go look em up!

Another important aspect is stretching, your back, neck, arms, hands, fingers, toes, whatever, stretching is a very important part of exercise as well and as a important part of your muscle development. Keeping your muscles flexible, stretchy, springy, being able to twitch and fly at any moment will help prevent muscle fatigue and cramping from long or intense play sessions. Stretching tends to make movement easier as well and depending on your level of fitness can eventually become quite relaxing and enjoyable. I don't really have too much to say about stretching, just it's important and do it!

If you are still looking for some other ways to improve your health and your game consider your diet. Most of the foods marketed to or selected by the average gamer are absolute crap. Drinks filled with caffeine and sugar, food with no nutritional value, while many of these foods can be quite enjoyable ultimately they only hold you back, make you slow and tired. Your body is designed to break down foods in a series of different mechanical and chemical processes which many "manufactured" food products ignore. Ultimately I find relying on junk food to sustain yourself with energy will simply lead to your body becoming lazy and tired which will only further your desire for caffeine. I don't drink coffee, energy drinks or carbonated soda, but often people on x-box live are left is awe as they bask in the massive amounts of glorious energy I exude across cyberspace. Don't forget to eat your vegetables either kids, check out that food pyramid yall seem to ignore, it is actually kind of handy.

Finally what may be hardest for many of you and will most likely make you throw a wobbly is often the simplest one of all. Stop playing games so much and get more sleep. The majority of hardcore gamers have all had that time where they have stayed awake for 12 more hours than they should have, just so they can beat a certain objective or get a specific achievement and finally fall asleep when the sun is shining its brightest in the day. Then you wake up in the darkness of night and end up feeling like junk for the next week as you try to fix your sleep cycle. First off sleep is important, helps you heal, keeps you energized, balanced, healthy all that good stuff. Second you really gain nothing by sacrificing so much time to play games. With everything it must be taken in moderation, you may think to yourself "I am going to play this game for 12 hours today and I will become super awesome at it." Truth is most people's brains after 2-3 hours of studying or practicing some skill, stops absorbing most of what you put into it and you begin quickly losing most any benefit you get from all the work/play time you're doing. This again comes back to earlier in the article when I mentioned your mind needs a variety of exercises and experiences to continue to grow. The guy who gets regular sleep and generally only plays 3 hours a day tends to do better than the guy who gets no sleep and plays 12 hours a day.

That is pretty much the nitty gritty of it all, heck even when you're playing a game don't be afraid to get on your feet and put your body in the game. I know the X-Box is not a Wii and I personally have no desire to purchase a Wii, but still it can be quite nice to get off the couch at times and put your whole body into a game. Now I shall make an effort to eliminate many of the replies I am sure this will get I want to say a couple things. First I don't care if you exercise for a living, you're Samuel L Jackson or you work as a bear wrestler and all you want to do when you get home is become a vegetable. That does not fly with Zenquen and I tell you to stop being such a girly-man or if you are worried about me being sexiest stop being such a girly-girl (that doesn't sound any less sexist but get over it I am bowing to the will of you politically correct people enough already as it is.)

Also just so I don't get sued, before starting any sort of new exercise routine or making any kind of major lifestyle changes to your life go talk to you doctor. Also if you really are Samuel L Jackson, I love your movies and I don't care what the critics say. Also I don't think I mentioned enough in the first paragraph how sexy and awesome I am so I just thought I would remind you all that if it were not for the internet buffering you all from my manly sexiness you would not be able to concentrate on this article. Also because I'm in a sentimental mood I want to give a shout out to all my trueachievement homies and be all trueachievemnts is #1. Also I have started every sentence in this paragraph with the word also. Also this is the last sentence for real, I just wanted to fit in one last also.