If you want to have fun and get fit at the same time, this article has you covered. I’m going to show you how you can turn your video games into a workout and make it a habit. Whether you’re into VR gaming, classic video games or just chatting with your online buddies, there’s a way to get moving while playing. So pick up your favorite controller and let’s get fit with video games!
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Habit pairing is a great way to make lasting changes in your life. It’s a method of combining two different habits together so that one habit reinforces the other. In this case the habit that we want to form is to exercise more often, we are going to pair it with our existing habit of video gaming. The goal here is to make exercise feel like less of a chore and make it more enjoyable and sustainable.
1. Greasing the Groove – Fit with video games
Greasing the groove means that you do a small amount of exercise every few minutes, instead of doing a lot at once. For example, you can do one set of push-ups and then take a 20-minute break to play your favorite game. By the end of your gaming session, you will have done many sets of push-ups and improved your fitness.
Single player gamers can just pause the game after every quest or mission you complete.
Online gamers can do a set while in the queue for a match, or when you are dead and waiting to respawn.
MMO degenerates like myself have so much opportunity, there’s queue times or afk periods where you just click and watch your character complete a task.
I would recommend picking a few basic body weight exercises or stretches that you want to focus on. Pick the exercise based on your current physical level and work your way up through the various progressions as you get stronger
Lower body: lunges, squats, jump squats, pistol squats
Upper body: push ups, pull ups, shoulder press
Cardio: skipping, star jumps, boxing or shadow boxing
Workout while playing league of legends
Lets say you get home at 6pm, you’ve had a bad day at the office and all you feel like doing is playing 5 hours of league of legends and ordering delivery food.
Firstly, I think you and I could be friends.
But Secondly while that’s gonna feel pretty good at the time, come midnight and you’re 4th loss in a row you know you’re gonna feel like crap and be filled with regret.
So now let me play out a different situation where you still get to play 10 ARAMs, maybe order something slightly healthier. But when the queue pops you select your character you have basically 60 seconds before the game starts.
Here you could do as many push ups as you can and then once you’ve reached your limit you sit in a deep squat until the game starts.
By the end of the night, you will have completed 10 hard sets of chest, that might mean over 300 push ups and a few minutes in a deep squat which helps with ankle, knee, hip and back mobility – which so important for gamers that spend so much time seated.
You’ll be able to go to bed in a much better headspace.
2. VR Gaming for fitness
You are reading The VR Coach, so maybe I’m slightly biased here but I truly believe that VR gaming is one of the best ways to get fit and stay active. Not only will any VR game outperform its traditional counterpart but you can also really turn the needle up by selecting boxing, rhythm, or dedicated fitness games. you can check out our top 10 VR fitness games to get started with.
3. Augmented reality games for sunlight
Another a great way to get fit and stay active. Popular mobile games such as Pokemon Go have made it easy for people to incorporate exercise into their daily routines while playing video games. Unlike traditional video games, augmented reality (AR) games require physical movement in order to play – making them perfect for outdoor walking cardio.
Dr. Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist who has studied the effects of exercise, sunlight, and outdoor activities on mental health.
He found that exposure to natural light essentially going outside and touching grass can help regulate melatonin production which can further aid in restful nights of sleep as well as improved alertness during waking hours.
4. Low level cardio while watching streams
Backseat gaming has risen in popularity with the rise of streaming platforms like twitch and discord. Sometimes you don’t feel like playing yourself but still want to watch and talk crap with your friends or chat.
I don’t do this as much as the others, but one of my close friends starting doing this and I think its really cool. What she will do is get on a cheap exercise bike from Kmart or Amazon. As soon as we queue into a TFT double up game, she sets herself the challenge of biking continuously until we are knocked out.
If you don’t have any equipment or any friends then you could watch your favorite streamer and set yourself a little goal to stay shadow boxing for a set amount of time.
5. The final method is just to get it out of the way
For some people its better just to go the the gym/do your home workout before you start gaming for the day. Hard limiting yourself to not pick up a controller until you’ve checked this off. Doing 30 minutes to and hour of exercise in the morning can not only provide a physical workout, but it can also help improve your mental state by releasing endorphins and reducing the chance of you running it down in your games.
Bonus – Challenge yourself
Why not create a challenge for yourself where you have to try and burn a certain amount of calories in a certain amount of days using one of the methods above.