When your main hobby and your passion in life is a sedentary activity, it can be tough to stay in good physical shape, and it gets even tougher when you decide you’d like to shed a few pounds. Such is the situation that gamers often find themselves in, as they often times get wrapped up in something and don’t always find the time to eat right, much less get their daily dose of exercise. But with a few minor adjustments, gamers can maintain their lifestyle and find a way to lose weight. Here are a few tips that can help make that happen.
A big part of gaming is snacking; so one way to lose weight is to change the snacks you eat during long gaming sessions in order to cut down on calories. Instead of eating a lot of fried foods and carbohydrates as snacks, start eating fruits and vegetables as snacks. (I just got a great small food processor to help slice up carrots to make it a no brainer!) There may be a downgrade in the taste department, but if you keep your focus on the game anyway, it won’t be that noticeable once you get used to it. Eating apples, bananas, or even carrots with a bit of dip can give you the energy boost you need while playing, and they are much healthier than any finger foods you find in the frozen foods section.
Along the same lines of dieting is staying well hydrated. Drinking water is important, especially for those that don’t get a lot of exercise, like gamers. Slowly phase out soda and other sugary beverages from your diet during gaming binges, and replace them with water. It’s a good way to start cutting down on calories, while also giving your body something that it needs to stay healthy.
Another issue that gamers often have is skipping meals. By skipping meals, you’ll just be hungrier later in the day, making you more inclined to consume more and go after less healthy food options. If a meal is going to be skipped at the expense of a gaming binge, make sure that it’s dinner. If you skip dinner, you won’t grow as hungry late into the night before going to bed, especially if you’ve eaten both breakfast and lunch and have had a couple health snacks throughout the day. If you follow this regimen, gaming can actually help you lose weight by assisting you in skipping meals, but only if you skip the right meal and do it in the proper way.
Finally, it’s vital that gamers find a way to incorporate exercise into their regular routine. You don’t have to train for a marathon, but you do have to make sure you get some exercise on a regular basis. The best way is to blend your gaming habits with exercise. There are gaming consoles available, most notably Nintendo Wii, that include games involving physical activity without having to leave the comfort of your living room. Even if these games aren’t your favorite, it doesn’t hurt to dedicate a half hour to an hour of your day to playing these games for the sake of your health. Another method you can use is exercising in short bursts while you have down time throughout the day. For instance, while a game is loading, do a few pushups or sit-ups, or even a little light weight lifting. If you do something every time you have a free minute, everything will gradually add up over the course of the day and you’ll get an adequate amount of exercising done with minimal interference to your gaming.
No one’s claiming that it’s going to be easy, but a few minor alterations can help gamers live a healthier life, maintain a healthy diet, and lose some weight to get themselves in better shape without sacrificing their gaming lifestyle. By committing to it and making a few simple changes, it can be done.
Image Credit: Flickr User TimLewisNM