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Maintaining A Healthy Body And A Healthy Gaming Addiction

Feb 15, 2008
For most of us gamers, staying active is a distraction from the real important task - gaming. It can be really hard to motivate yourself to put down that controller and get moving. That's why I've come up with 4 ways to add a dash of fitness to your gaming routine. Keep reading to learn how.

1. Opt for an "active" game. Almost every gaming console offers some type of active game - whether it's wailing on a virtual guitar, following a series of intricate dance steps in a dance revolution, playing tennis with an imaginary racket, or singing your heart out at karaoke. So, if you're looking to add a mini-workout to your gaming time, pick a game that's going to get you out of the chair and moving.

2. Add some weights. Donning a pair of wrist weights before your next gaming marathon will build muscle, increase calorie burn, create resistance and, basically, pump you up. No, you're not going to become a body builder, but you will see some definite tone and remember, muscle increases your sedentary calorie burn. So, the more muscle you build, the more fat you burn - even when you're just sitting around.

3. Stand up. Alternate standing up and sitting down while you play. Beat a level? Play the next one standing up. While doing this, you'll work different muscles, give your back a much needed break and, most importantly, get your butt out of that chair.

4. Nix the snacks. Banning snacks from your game area is probably the fastest and best way to shed a few pounds. Leave the soda, chips, and candy at the door and you'll see miracles happen. Admittedly, this tactic may not be "fun" or "easy," but it is a surefire way to 'lighten your load.' If you're hung up on a snack habit, try replacing your fatty chips and sugary pop with plain popcorn and water or juice. Not only will you feel better, but you'll also have more gaming energy.

5. Stretch It Out. Use level breaks and game loading times to do a little bit of stretching or squeeze in a mini-workout. After winning a race, take a second to stand up and move your legs and arms around. Shake it all out, get the blood moving, and you'll feel a lot better. Also take that time to stretch out your arms and neck - which can both get very sore and cramped after a long gaming session. My favorite stretch is a 'palm stretch' - put your hands together (palm-to-palm) then turn them under so the inside of your wrists are about 15 cm below your chin. You'll feel a nice stretch through your hands, wrists, and forearms.

These strategies aren't going to turn you into a fitness nut and they're not going to transform your body from flab to fab in just two weeks, but they will get your blood pumping and they will inject some much needed activity into your gaming lifestyle.
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