January is the biggest month of the year for new gym memberships, and the #1 resolution – especially in this increasingly unhealthy society – revolves around personal fitness.

And of course, one of the biggest negative stigmas revolving around the gaming community is that those who love the hobby are also out of shape, and rarely see sunlight. And although the Wii and the emergence of PlayStation Move and Microsoft's Kinect will get more gamers off the sofa, this hobby remains a mostly sedentary pastime. Therefore, if you're one of those avid gamers who plan to get in shape in 2011, here are a few tips from someone who takes health quite seriously.

Saying you don't have time is a lazy cop-out

While I do acknowledge that some people really don't have the time, 99% of anybody who makes this claim is simply making a lame excuse. If you budget your time correctly, anybody who works less than 60 hours a week can find time to exercise during the week. Even 20 minutes could be highly beneficial, especially if you're just starting out. Also, as a sub-rule to this tip, you really won't get far with the "weekend warrior" routine. You'll always be sore because you're not letting your body get accustomed to exercise, and you'll likely just end up with a lot of minor – yet still painful and annoying – injuries. You'll have to make it work during the week.

Fast food isn't food

It isn't. Nobody is really sure what it is and I'm telling you, it's inevitable that over-indulgence will absolutely destroy your insides in a dozen different ways. In all honesty, I would recommend staying away from it entirely. The argument that it's cheap is another cop-out, as none of it is cheaper than a bag of rice or any number of decent things you can pick up at any supermarket. The sheer amount of cholesterol, saturated fat, salt and oh yes, calories, involved in the fast food sh** that has absolutely decimated our country is out of control , and likely even more dangerous than you know. You can get away with it when you're young but I would advise abstaining forever. Seriously.

Weight and abdominal training don't burn calories

Okay, they do, but not anywhere near enough. If you're overweight and you buy one of the trillion ab-building machines, it won't matter if you use it two hours a day. You'll form those abdominal muscles, sure…but they will remain buried and invisible beneath the fat . Even a pretty hefty lifting session won't burn enough calories to matter much if you need to lose weight. It might work the heart, but not for endurance purposes. Therefore, it's best to do both: cardiovascular and strength training. It's harder but unsurprisingly, the hard way is the best way. So for instance, run every other day and on the in-between days, lift. You will also give the relevant muscles 48 hours to rest, which is good.

Side note about weightlifting – Novices should not use free weights if they're alone. Machines are the best way to go; they're designed specifically so novices can't hurt themselves. You need a lot of discipline with free weights, and without proper instruction, you can really hurt yourself.

Cost is rarely a barrier

Eating healthy and exercising is not only for the rich. It's true that those with money tend to be in better shape because they have more time (and cash), and can therefore exercise more and spend more money to get better food. Better food comes in smaller quantities from better restaurants, and typically include good things your body can actually use. But you don't need to eat at the five-star restaurant and have a personal trainer to be healthy. Running is free. A whole lot of cardiovascular stuff is basically free (basketball, soccer, tennis, etc.), and even a relatively expensive gym membership isn't beyond the means of most. You will have to make the good food on your own if you don't want to pay for the prepared versions, but that's a sacrifice you'll have to make.

Gaming and exercising can co-exist

It's actually a lot easier than you think. Say you game for an average of 3 hours a day. Take 1 of those hours away and spend that time bettering yourself…not difficult. Also, when Aristotle extolled the virtues of…well, virtue, he was talking about balance. The middle is where you want to be; i.e., if you spent a few days playing many hours of the latest big game, you can compensate by laying off for a few days and focusing on health. It's best to get into a give-and-take routine with your body, though. Lastly, diets are pointless. You need to change the way you live and it needs to be permanent, and the only way to do it properly is the natural way.

It can take time. You'll get sore. You'll sweat and be uncomfortable. But believe it or not, it won't take long before you'll want to do it, because your body craves it. I feel like crap if I miss a rowing session, and it annoys me when I miss a weightlifting session. You don't have to do what I do (5-6 days a week, about an hour a day). You really don't. Just about any effort, provided it's a continual effort, pays off. 🙂

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PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
9 years ago

Or do what I do. Work with pigs. It's a great workout. I'm 6'1" weighing 200lbs. I don't ever workout because my job brings keeps me in shape.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

What are ya doin to those pigs?

PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
9 years ago

Chasing them around the pens to get 'em sorted to load 'em out. They like to fight and its a challenge some days.

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
9 years ago

I work with pigs as well, someone brings in doughnuts and it's feeding time at the trough. I should record it one day and put it on youtube.

PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
9 years ago

@GuernicaReborn
Do you work in farrowing, a nursery, or a finisher?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Guernica talking about cops?

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
9 years ago

lol Retail manager. My coworkers are large, hungry people. Just takin a dig at em. I did work with horses for a summer, about 10 years ago. That was fun.


Last edited by GuernicaReborn on 1/14/2011 10:33:00 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

You can chase pigs in Zelda Windwaker.
The greatest pig chasing game of all time

PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
9 years ago

Wow, can't believe I didn't pick up on that.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I never could reach that place where athletics enthusiast say that it feels really good and you get all sorts of endorphins and whatnot. So working out just sucks. At least I haven't had fast food in over five years.

Oh well, never mind all that, I need to go on a gaming diet this year. Lots and lots of things to do that supercede gaming so I'm gonna slim down on what I play and what I pay day 1 prices for. So don't get on my case if I'm a bit late to the Killzone 3 party k? 😉

HighLife
HighLife
9 years ago

Great read and very true. At 42 I wake up up and go to they gym every morning at 5:30 before work so I can spend the evenings with my family. I fit gaming in when I can and because of that my backlog is really bad.

I work in a pharmacy and most people we deal with are overweight and take several meds because of there weight. It saddens me to see all the young children in our nation overweight and the parents not caring about what they are doing to there kids.

This is brief but I could go on, but will not bore everyone.

matt99
matt99
9 years ago

Please do go on, we should all go on and let people know that being overweight is not just a vanity issue, it can cause serious health problems. And I think the same thing every time I'm in the supermarket and I see parents loading their carts with sugar and fat filled foods for their kids, it makes me want to yell at them, but I am Canadian and therefore too nice to do so.

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
9 years ago

Running is the best hobby in the world 🙂

I run at least 5 times a week. I also eat terrible. They balance themselves out. If I ate a healthy diet, I would be 150 pounds. I'm 185 and 5' 10" which is a little heavy for my height but my cholesterol level is 54… which is awesome.

Norrin Radd
Norrin Radd
9 years ago

While weight lifting may not burn a lot of calories, it does increase muscle mass and in turn that new mass requires fuel, i.e., your body's metabolism will increase and you will burn calories more efficiently. That is why for quicker weight loss, including weight training and building that muscle mass is extremely helpful. Yeah, you can get to the same place just doing cardio, but it will take a lot longer. In my experience, the quicker people can see results, the more likely they will be inspired to stick with the program.

Agree with all you said Ben. Nice work!


Last edited by Norrin Radd on 1/14/2011 10:20:49 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

One thing you have to remember- weightlifting without cardio can also be dangerous, because lifting is a lot like sprinting with the heart. And if the heart isn't healthy enough…

Norrin Radd
Norrin Radd
9 years ago

Absolutely! Weight training should always be supplemental to cardio. You definitely need good cardio conditioning to lift – do a few sets of squats and you'll know what I mean! Yep – if you can exercise only one way – make it cardio.

Shams
Shams
9 years ago

If you can't put up with boring cardio, stick to a sport you'll enjoy (like b-ball, swimming, etc).

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

That's still cardio, Shams. 😉

Shams
Shams
9 years ago

Yep, just not as boring (as treadmill, jogging, etc…).

A hidden secret about b-ball: It's great for abs.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Don't forget Blitz Ball =p

kevinater321
kevinater321
9 years ago

i'm 6'1 and 120 pounds. I'm a lanky son of a b*tch and no matter how much i work out i won't gain a single weight. It's a terrible curse.


Last edited by kevinater321 on 1/14/2011 10:20:53 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

You sir, should eat more fast food.

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
9 years ago

That just sounds painful. I think I was 120 when I was in 6th grade.

ZettaiSeigi
ZettaiSeigi
9 years ago

At least I'm not the only one who hardly gain any weight. So nice to know! LOL

Bugzbunny109
Bugzbunny109
9 years ago

I know what you mean… I stuff myself with various foods everyday, and I end up losing weight! I have even tried junk foods but to no
avail. Its ridiculous. I am tired of people telling me how skinny I am.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Bugz: Won't last forever. When you get older and your metabolism slows, you can't eat like that.

Bugzbunny109
Bugzbunny109
9 years ago

I hope……

Shams
Shams
9 years ago

Ben's relaying to you a guaranteed truth, kinda like death and taxes.

Basically, after a certain age, the only people who remain helplessly skinny, are the malnourished, the ill, and drug addicts.

kevinater321
kevinater321
9 years ago

It's definitely not the way i eat. I tried junk food too but alas, no more weight. The only thing i can do i wait for my metabolism to slow. The same thing happened to my father when he was my age. The only problem is it took him till he was 25 to gain some weight. Oh geeze i have a long time to wait.

spiderboi
spiderboi
9 years ago

I can relate, kevinater. Although not gaining weight, mine stay relatively the same. I've been more or less 140lbs since high school albeit during college I got into health and fitness and gym'ed up. After college, work happened. While I still am 140, its because I regulate what I eat, and the lack of exercise transcended to my now-semi bulging stomach.. *sigh*

Move, I have great plans for you this year that's why I invented on you. Don't you and Move games let me down, OK?


Last edited by spiderboi on 1/15/2011 2:28:02 PM

Teddie9
Teddie9
9 years ago

Yeah I can't seem to gain any weight or muscle either, I'm also 120 but only 5'9

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

Great read and great advice. I have tried almost everything to build muscle, but for some reason, I just can't stick to it. I can do cardio no worries, but when it comes to weights, or even basic exercises like sit-ups and push-ups, I can only last a couple of weeks tops before I throw it in again. It's a problem with myself that I've never been able to solve.

And yeah, fast food is absolutely horrible. I don't understand how some people can have it every day. Chinese food, cool, but McDonalds and all that, no. In general I eat healthily, although probably not enough, and that may go some way towards explaining my lax attitude towards working out.
Peace.

P.S. In case anyone is wondering, I'm actually 5'7" and 46 kilograms, so I think my desire to put on a bit of weight is understandable.

Shams
Shams
9 years ago

Generally speaking, people with fast metabolism have difficulty adding both good and bad weight. But if you're younger, even if you're a mesomorph as opposed to an exomorph (mesos are regular types, exos are the skinny ones, and endos are the heavies), you could still have this issue (which is really just a nonissue).

As one gets older, and the daily life becomes more sedentary, one fondly remembers that problem as a blessing.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
9 years ago

Educational stuff.

Ben's right, Kratos wouldn't be badass if he looked like the average gamer…

We at psxe must become the most badass looking guys and gals out of any v-game community.

And remember guys/gals, pics or it didn't happen 😉

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
9 years ago

Too bad Xboxnerds wasn't still active, we could have a giant battle between the two sites. Kinda like biggest loser or something.

Hell, maybe we could challenge a random xbox site that's about as big as PSXE.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

Oh gods… Is that a 4chan reference? RUN AWAY!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Or just call it the Old versus the Young.

BTNwarrior
BTNwarrior
9 years ago

well you could do what I did and just join the military, that will kick your ass into shape

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
9 years ago

lol my buddy did that, although he joined because he couldn't find a job after he got out of college.

I always tried to get him to run with me, but he never would. He always said he had mild asthma and it hurt his lungs. After he finished basic training, he was running 6 miles a day. I was happy that I could finally run with him. Now, he's stationed in Hawaii. I haven't seen him in 2 years.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I have a great exercise plan for gamers. Make it a goal to match every minute of game playing with a minute of exercise. If this happened, game players would be some of the fittest guys around. The whole social stigma of gamers would go from reclusive nerds to attractive males who get chicks.

matt99
matt99
9 years ago

Don't see many health editorials on gaming websites (or any website really), it's good to see someone cares.

ZettaiSeigi
ZettaiSeigi
9 years ago

Very funny timing. This came out just when I put a note on my to-do list to call the gym and cancel my subscription since I never used it. Yup, I've been paying it for more than a year and never used it for a single second.

Now before I get a telling-to, I should let you know that I travel 2 hours to get to the office and another 2 hours to get home. Yep, it's that bad. LOL

laxpro2001
laxpro2001
9 years ago

Oh man. So much I want to add to this thread but so little time these days 🙁

Riku994
Riku994
9 years ago

Im not out of shape per se, but I do need to get back into running >_<
Fitness class in high school was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Kevin555
Kevin555
9 years ago

Exercise on a gaming site? Wtf are you lads playing at eh? 😉

My job is exercise, i work in age care so i am constantly moving up & down for 9 hours on end at ridiculous times of the day. My sleep pattern is utter shite too so that doesn't help.

Wii-Fit is all the rage where i work as it's a form of indoor exercise when it's raining outdoors, & i tend to try my hardest to stay clear of the Wii in general.

When i first saw this article i automatically thought "What the hell is the deal with a gaming site going all Windsor Pilades on us?" but it was a good read, you won't see anything like this on GameSpot or GameSpy, of that i am almost certain. Don't expect too much change in opinion from the general mainstream however fellows. If they live in a stereotype viewpoint now then they will most likely stay in one no matter what they read.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

I have a bad feeling the guys at GameSpot and GameSpy and IGN are very…stereotypical.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Blimpy boy, Jim Sterling, over at Destructoid should take heed.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Doubtful.

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
9 years ago

I actually started eating healthier this year. I also plan on starting an exercise plan next week. I've also cut out soda and alcohol completely. The alcohol is only for a year at least that's the plan now but after a year who knows. The soda though is for good. So far I have lost 6 pounds. I feel 100% better and have so much more energy. I also have a physical job doing utility (water & sewer infrastructure) repairs and installs.

Alienange
Alienange
9 years ago

How DARE you tell me to reduce my gaming hours! Absolute blasphemy!

Not only reduce it, but by 30% !

This is an outrage. And replace that gaming time with what? Exercise??

Let's face it, exercise is for the weak.