I’ve decided to start working out again to get fit, after remembering my doctor’s advice during my near catastrophic hospital stay. He said something like, “The body and the mind are closely connected to each other, so when one is helathy, the other is as well”.
I’ve also been thinking about why it is that so many geeks are unfit? I think that it’s partly because there is no leveling up when it comes to real life. I mean sure, if you work out everyday you’ll start to see results, but there is no gauge. No window that pops up to tell you that you have reached level 22 fitness, and you now have +2STR, +5STM, +3DXT, etc. With no metrics to keep track off, the would-be-fut geek gets bored and decides to go back to playing GTA San Andreas. At least in the game there’s a bar and stats to keep track of your fat, strenght, sex appeal…
I think the cure to unfit geeks is to simply add some gameplay and game mechanic elements into the process. For example, the simple act of listing down the kinds of exercises that you do and then listing the number of sets and repetitions, then plotting the increase in their number over the next few weeks can reinforce your desire to exercise. Confused? Don’t worry, I made an image.
What you see is a very basic training regimen that almost anyone can type out on a spreadsheet. For the “arnold’s press” week 1, I’ve listed the number of repetitions as 12 and the number of repetitions as 3. For week 2, I’ve upped the repetitions to 13 and maintained the sets to 3. I will keep increasing the number of reps every week, but the important thing is that I’m documenting my progress and reinforcing the idea that I am increasing my repetitions, thus getting more fit. An increased number of reps can be treated as an increase in a stat, be it HP, MP, or AGI.
A true geek might even propose that once he reaches 15 reps and 3 sets, he will have achieved “level 2 fitness”, and he can reward himself in some way, like buying a new game or gadget or something. I use 14 pound (kilo?) dumbells for these exercises, but I suppose you might substitute really big books instead.
Watching your calories and tranfats
You can also make a game out of calculating the amount of calories and fats in the foods that you eat. Before picking up any snack food, check the nutritional information on the back. I don’t normally lok out for calories anymore because caories are something that you can burn through exercise anyway. What i do look out for is the amount of fat, specifically transfat that is contained in the food. It’s easier to work with these figures because they give you the percentage of the daily recommended amount instead of a vague number. For example, if Snack A has 50% transfat in a single srving, that should make you stop and think. With this one snack I’m using up my allotted 50% of transfats for this day. Is it worth it? You’ll have to be the judge.
Regardless, this is at least one other metric you can play around with in your head. In a game, there might be a “fat” bar which, upon reaching dangerous levels, would start to glow red, and your “character” would start to get dizzy, and the controls would be all fucked up. That’s what transfats do to you. Just kidding.
Be aware: Know all the geeky stats and hacks
As a geek, it’s also important to be informed. Stats and hacks such as those found in WIRED magazine. For example, did you know that you can increase your breathing power by keeping water in your mouth and breathing through your nose only? By forcing yourself to breathe through the nose, your breathing muscles will work harder, and will thus work much more efficiently in actual physical exertion.
You can do much more research yourself about information that can spur you on. For example, did you know that Bruce Lee suggested parkng your car a few blocks away from where you work or live in order to force yourself to walk? He also said that avoiding escalators and using the stairs makes people much more fit than they think, and that these simple action can halp make you a fitter, healthier person.
GI Joe had it right ladies and geeks, knowing really is half the battle.
Well I hope you enjoyed my spurt of blogging. I know this is pretty half assed, but hopefully I presented my argument in a semi-coherent manner. Getting fit can be geeky, so all you slackers have no excuse anymore. It’s all about the mindset, and you have to admit, I just made exercising sound like the geekiest thing ever.
To point you in the right direction, here’s a link to the blog of a geek trying to lose some excess poundage. You can do it my friend. Just remember every pound lost equals and increase in AGI.