Tips for Staying Active as a Gamer

Posted April 24, 2020 by Nate Cowen

Hey, I’m Nate, also known as hawkeye or allHawkeye. I help out with marketing, photography, video, web, and a bit of whatever else is needed at the LAN.

Between a hectic job, family, tasks for the LAN, and daily life, it’s often hard to stay motivated to maintain my physical activity. Let’s face it, when life is hectic, the last thing I want to do is burn my last bit of energy at the gym or on a run. Despite this, I often end up forcing myself to go and workout anyway.

There is one problem with forcing myself to go on really bad days; it makes the overall experience less enticing and I end up dreading the whole thing. Ultimately, this leads to me skipping a lot of workouts. How have I been combating this lately? I’ve been combining my normal workout schedule with video games.

Late last year, I was given a cheap treadmill. With a bit of work, I was able to clean it up and set it up in front of my Nintendo Switch. On days I don’t feel like going to the gym, I don’t. I simply come home, turn on my Switch and walk on the treadmill. This lets me enjoy casual games like Stardew Valley or Luigi’s Mansion, while still getting some sort of physical activity. Sure it’s not as grueling as the gym, but the mental downtime from the game and the light activity from walking on the treadmill has helped me to get back into a consistent workout schedule.

After a few weeks of this, I found myself looking for ways to expand my experience of gaming and working out. This led me to purchase Ring Fit. Ring Fit is a way to use the Nintendo Switch to get a full body workout. The game has a ring and a leg strap accessory that the Nintendo JoyCons slide into. This allows the system to track player movements and translate them into different exercise routines. This alone is neat, but the real interesting part is that the game has a turn based adventure mode.

The adventure mode has a moderately compelling story, but the real magic is the gamification of completing workouts and minigames. This gamification encourages players to level up their character and gear, unlock additional exercises, and get in a decent workout. How are the workouts? Surprisingly, they can be quite challenging and cause me to work up a sweat. While I don’t use Ring Fit everyday, it has become a part of my weekly workout schedule.

Hopefully, this post has encouraged you to find ways to stay active. Sure, you might not have a treadmill or Switch. Since you are on this site, chances are that you have some way to game. Games like “Just Dance” can be played on almost any system using your mobile phone as a controller. Used systems like Nintendo Wii and Wii Fitness can be found for cheap. Virtual Reality Headsets can also make staying active easier. The point is, find whatever works best for you and helps you stay healthy!