Last Updated on September 15, 2021 by Michael Brockbank
As a gamer, what would you think is your most important body organ? I’ll give you a hint; it’s not your thumbs. Today, I’ll break down how fitness boosts the potential of gamers and why you’d want to spend more time doing cardio.
And no, it has nothing to do with the stereotype of being rotund sitting in your mom’s basement glued to the Xbox or Playstation.
Though, it is kind of sad that 42.4% of adults in the US were considered obese back in 2017.
In reality, I know more gamers who are underweight than over, though.
But, there is something to be said about getting in more of a workout to boost your abilities to play games.
Does Fitness Really Matter to Gamers?
I kind of push gamifying fitness quite a bit on the blog. That’s because of the sheer number of benefits that come with exercising on a regular basis.
While you don’t need to strive to look like an underwear model or hot tub streamer, a good workout can do wonders over the long term.
Cardio Boosts Brain Power
As a gamer, processing information, memory, and focus all contribute to how well you’ll play any game. Cardio activity vastly improves these elements while also giving you the ability to handle stress better.
In fact, exercise, in general, will have a wide range of health benefits ranging from fat loss to reducing cancer risks.
It all comes down to improving blood flow to the brain while releasing specific hormones. This means the more you sweat, the better your brain will perform.
So, if you want to get an edge as gamers, putting more effort into fitness can easily help. Remember, how your brain functions will help you outthink the opponent, whether it’s a human or a computer.
From Kinect to VR
The entire purpose of buying myself the Xbox 360 back in the day was because of the Kinect. I was looking for a better way to lose weight and the Wii was too easy to cheat for activity.
I mean, seriously, you could play any game on the Wii from the couch.
But the Kinect made me and the kids get up and start moving. Today, I’ve lost more than 80 pounds playing the Kinect, and I still play it to this day.
Virtual Reality technology has advanced enough to offer a similar experience. In fact, you’ve probably either played or have heard of Beat Saber.
What these companies are delivering is a way to gamify fitness to make it fun for most gamers. That’s because manufacturers want to capitalize on the health and fitness industry, which makes billions per year.
In any case, these systems offer an easy and engaging way to incorporate more fitness in your daily lifestyle.
Speaking from experience, fitness does more than just help gamers think while playing. In fact, I am far more productive at work after playing about 30 minutes or so on the Kinect in the morning.
It’s all about working up a sweat!
Every Sport Benefits from Exercise, Even Gaming
I’ve talked before about fitness benefiting eSports and what it can do from a competitive standpoint. And based on science and research, it’s still a viable point.
Think about it; every sport has a fitness regimen. Why wouldn’t competitive gaming? Sure, there’s a huge difference between the punching power of Conor McGregor and smashing a button on the PS5 controller.
But, exercise is just as vital to gaming as it is in the octagon.
Now, you’re not trying to get bulging biceps and working on the ability to bench press a truck. However, strengthening the brain in any regard will make you that much better of a competitor.
This doesn’t mean that running a mile today will instantly make you a high-ranking competitor. You’ll still have to rely on your skill at playing the game.
What exercise does is improve your capacity to develop those thinking skills.
Eating Healthy to Boost Brain Power
Working out is only half of maintaining fitness as gamers. You also should look into eating healthier to improve the brain.
Foods can do an incredible amount of good for the body in general, that’s pretty obvious. But have you ever considered how berries can boost your memory?
In reality, there are a lot of foods that can help you forge a more powerful mind while playing your favorite games.
Sure, a lot of gamers will jump on the Mt Dew bandwagon. Though, why not give yourself a bit more of an edge through healthy eating as well?
Personally, I’m more inclined to snack on nuts and berries while playing games. With a low carb count, I don’t have to worry about glucose packing onto my ass as much if I don’t get up and move around.
How Much Cardio Do You Need?
When it comes to improving brain power through fitness, gamers should focus more attention on cardio workouts. This is because weight training doesn’t offer the same level of elevating your heart rate.
That’s one of the key elements to helping your brain – blood flow.
Don’t get me wrong, you can still do weight training if you wish. Just make sure you get in a decent amount of cardio each week. You’ll burn nearly 2.5x more calories doing a HIIT cardio workout than you will with weights.
According to the US Department of Health, getting in at least 150 minutes per week is ideal. That’s only 30 minutes per day, which I easily surpass because I walk so much and play the Kinect almost every day.
An easy way to hit 150 minutes per week is through walking. Go for a fast-paced 15-minute walk in the morning and then one in the afternoon. I say, “fast-paced” because the speed in which you move contributes to elevating the heart rate.
Someone who walks at 4mph for 15 minutes will reach a higher BPM (beats per minute) than someone who strolls along at 2mph for the same amount of time.
Get More Out of Fitness as Gamers
If you follow the science, which I tend to do, adding a fitness routine to your weekly gameplay will boost cognitive function. This, in turn, will contribute to making you a better player overall.
It won’t happen overnight, but it will greatly benefit your brain and how you process information.
Find a way to make fitness fun. There are all kinds of ways you can gamify fitness to keep your mind engaged.
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