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Making Time to Be Healthy

 

Scarybooster has a good post up encouraging gamers to break the stereotype of being overweight, unmotivated, and generally thought of as lazy. We all know how un-true this is, but one thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of my gaming buddies don’t find time for exercise in their daily routine. There are the usual excuses of not having time, or space, or money to shell out for a gym membership. I’m here to tell you that they are only excuses.

I’m going to be frank: I hate working out. I do, and I procrastinate with it worse than any regular exerciser you probably know. Worse, I’m embarrassed to be seen doing it. I need privacy or it’s not going to happen. So this gym stuff? Yeah, out of the picture. And yet, every single day I get off my butt and go through a short routine to “maintain.” I’m beyond the point of wanting to impress other men. I went through the weight lifting phase most teen guys do and got myself to the point of being able to match much burlier guys than myself in arm wrestling matches. Needless to say, once you get out of the alpha-male mentality you’re arm wrestling days are pretty much through. Once you hit a certain point, your priority becomes more about not gaining weight rather than making sure you can beat Joe Somebody in a fight.

 

This is all to say that if I can work exercise into my day, anyone can. And it’s important. Spend a lot of time sitting? Deep vein thrombosis might be in your future. This includes desk jobs. Want to live longer? Get up mid-session and stretch your legs. Before you sit down to relax in the evening, take 10-15 minutes and do some crunches.

My routine goes something like this:

  • 25 push-ups – hands close together
  • 75 crab-squats – because no one wants a flabby ass
  • 250-300 crunches – much less than it sounds
  • 25 push-ups – hands apart

All-in-all it’s about 10 minutes, makes me sweat a little (but not enough to require a change of clothes), and gets my heart rate up. I don’t eat the best when my wife isn’t home, so sometimes I gain a few tenths of a pound and have to make it up the next day, but for the last eight years this routine has kept me floating in a weight range I’m comfortable with. My wife and I also like to walk for an hour or so a few times a week; it gives us time to reconnect after the work day and enjoy the fresh air. Here’s another tip, count up how many calories you’re taking in throughout the day. Scale that back progressively over a couple days and don’t exercise. Soon you’ll find out how many calories your body uses in a day without any exercise at all. It will give you some basic knowledge on how your body works and how much you can eat without worrying about packing on the pounds.

All this to say that getting yourself into a routine takes some work and dedication but is one of the best decisions you can make. When I was young, I used to be the fat kid. I got picked on and I hated it. Today though, maybe it was a blessing, because without that I doubt I’d pay as much attention today. Be the guy (or girl) who’s still looking good at your high school reunion. You’ll walk away feeling better about yourself — even if the only person who notices is you. That’s who you’re doing this for.

[I agree with Scary. If you’re a blogger, spread the word and share what you do to take care of yourself. If you’re a reader, leave a comment — here or somewhere else. This is important, and even if only a single person takes our lead, it’s worth the time it takes to share. Help some folks get that extra year or ten with their families.]

10 comments

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  1. Scarybooster

    Your note sums it all up. It is not about hurting a person’s pride, it’s about spending years with family and being able to enjoy it. I don’t know how many people I see sucking oxygen bottles or using walkers to help them move around. It sucks to realize you screwed up taking care of yourself when you can’t even play with your gradkids. Its about pumping your heart to help it clear the arteries out. CVD shouldn’t be the number 1 cause of death when over 70% of heart attacks and strokes are preventable with simple diet changes, exercise, and quitting smoking.

    Ty for supporting this 🙂

    1. Chris

      My pleasure, Scary. I agree with everything in your post.
      Chris recently posted..Making Time to Be Healthy

  2. Doliant

    Agreed. I don’t do the gym, it wouldn’t hold my attention for long at all. However my girlfriend and I do judo for 4 hours a week, walk 4 kilometres each day and do archery in our spare time. Neither of us are looking to become super toned, just fit enough to run away should some zombies come knocking.

    1. Chris

      Judo, now that sounds interesting! I’ll have to ask my wife if she’d be interested in doing something like this.
      Chris recently posted..Making Time to Be Healthy

  3. Moxie

    Agreed!

    Two months ago, I had to watch as my mother-in-law (who I love dearly) had to go through triple bypass surgery. She’s 75 years old, overweight, diabetic, and even though she had these health issues, continued to let her health slide, eating junk food, not exercising, and so on. It’s not about judgement on her for doing that, because up until her surgery, my husband & I were doing the exact same thing.

    TBH, seeing her a couple hours after the surgery, hooked up to tubes and IVs and machines and fighting for her life was a wake-up call for my husband & I. We knew that this would likely be our fate as well if we didn’t get things back under control. Since then we started changing our eating habits (mostly vegetarian now, no processed foods, sweet treats only 1-2 times a week) and have started walking, and the weight has been melting off. We’re thinking about adding in some weight lifting & such, because building muscle is one of the best ways to fight off Type 2 diabetes.

    So, yeah, fit gamers for the win!! Even small changes can make a huge difference, you don’t have to spend hours exercising. Live longer so you can enjoy more gaming. 😉

    1. Chris

      Thanks for sharing this, Moxie. Seeing someone else going through something like that is really hard, but sometimes it’s what finally kicks us to make a change or stay firm in our decision. For me, it’s seeing my step-dad waste away from smoking that’s kept me from the cancer-sticks my whole life. Hopefully our sharing these experiences will encourage other people — heck, even one other person — to make a change.
      Chris recently posted..Making Time to Be Healthy

  4. Ferrel

    What is a crab squat? I do the rest of that stuff but I don’t want a flabby hind end!
    Ferrel recently posted..Trion Memo Re: Raid Boss Design

    1. Chris

      It’s probably the biggest reason why I exercise in private, but it’s much easier on the knees than a normal squat. You get in a position like you were going to do a crab walk, kind of like this, but in a position where you feel firm (keeping your feet together seems to work the muscles more). Then you lower yourself down, like a push-up with your boot-ay and firm your muscles on the way back up. It looks pretty awkward but it works!

      1. Chris

        Yeah, after looking around, I should probably note that *my* version of the crab squat is different than most others. With my knee problems, putting that much strain on the joint is bad, so I modified it by going fully to the ground.

  5. suba suba

    Thanks again for the blog article.Really thank you!

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