Gamer’s Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle

Treadmill. Elliptical. Weights. Sounds like a lot of work. You may prefer grinding levels on your new new WoW Classic toon, even without the double XP bonus. We hear you.

Alas, exercising is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And even though the thought of sweating is enough to stop you in your tracks, we encourage you to throw on some old workout clothes, grab your running shoes, and make sure your wireless ear buds are charged. Because exercising without music is a Class A Felony in 48 states and 2 territories.

Exercise (by xkcd)

So how do I even start? Good news! You already have. You’re thinking about it by reading this post. You’ve taken the proverbial first step. Let us help you figure out how to take steps 2, 3, and anything you want after that.

I recommend you follow these 3 guidelines. They’re not rules mind you – rather individual check mark boxes that if you can actually check off, you’re on to something pretty great. A new high score.

Start Exercising

I want to put something else as the first “You can do it!” step. But the truth is simply starting to exercise is the best thing you can do.

Start small and build up. Don’t ever work out? Walk 1 mile a day before work or after dinner. Once that 1 mile becomes easy – move on to 1 mile before AND after dinner. Once that’s a cake walk, move up to 1.5 or 2 miles. Or run 1 mile.

Or do 10 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical. Then move up to 12. Then 15. Then 20. Twice a week. Then 3 times a week. Baby steps. No need to rush.

Want to lift weights? Find a routine that you are comfortable with, and then – wait for it – DON’T push it past that for the first month or two. Then casually increase weights or try new exercises. The goal is get used to something before you move on to the next. Not go from a little to 5 days a week and only eating lean chicken breasts for protein.

Eat Healthier

There’s a metric buttload of nutritional science here, but I don’t really follow it all that much. Here’s what I recommend, and it’s what I do.

Eat a healthy breakfast. I eat a protein smoothie that includes the following items:
1. A little ice
2. Some type of berry or a little spinach
3. 1 banana
4. 1 scoop of chocolate Optimum Nutrition protein powder
5. Coconut water (has electrolytes and won’t bloat like dairy
*Blend and drink with a straw (like a boss)

Snack it up before lunch with a One Bar or something like that. I like One Bars because they have basically no sugar. I’m pretty wired from my like 40 oz of coffee I guzzle before about 10 A.M.

Eat lunch when you’re hungry for lunch. I limit carbs because carbs make me go night-night right in the middle of my work day. Sometimes I eat a fun sandwich that includes meat and cheese. Sometimes I get a salad. Whatever I do, I stay away from carbs and pizza and stuff that will not help me be productive.

Look but don’t touch!

Snack it up before dinner. This is where I grab a low to no fat and sugar cup of Greek yogurt. Chobani is my go-to brand. My coworkers point out that I’m eating yogurt. It’s a daily ritual and honestly I enjoy the ribbing. Truthfully it’s just really frikkin’ filling so it helps me not eat before breakfast.

By the time I get to dinner I’m so tired (I have a toddler at home) that I just eat what’s around. We keep pretty healthy food at home, but I’ll find a way to snack through dinner while eating something. If I eat well all day and this is where it falls a part a little bit, I give myself some grace. I’m a writer, not a perfect physical specimen.

Oh, and on the weekends, I do my best to not eat horribly. I do though sometimes. Beer and a burger at a local brewery is sweet nectar. I’ve earned it.

Limit Alcohol

I can workout pretty easily, and I’ve gotten better at eating healthy (arugula can go to straight to hell though). Limiting alcohol is the hard one. I like beer. I like scotch and bourbon. I’ll even bromosa it up on weekends.

Truth be told, we all have our weaknesses. I don’t mind skipping nachos or fast food. I can eat sushi and a salad on a Saturday night. But I’m not putting down my pint of beer, or subsequent pints, to get down to a lower BMI. I mean I will on weekdays because I do have a day job, and I love my teammates and the work we do. But if I’m not working – well – I’m gaming and having a beer. And I’m ok with that.



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