It is no secret that many table-top gamers are, let us say, big boned. Husky. Jabba-esque.
Fat. There, I said it.
I’m not judging, I’m about 100lbs north of my ideal weight my ownself. It isn’t hard to see how it happens. Sitting around, shovelling in junk food, and gaming til all hours does not lend itself to a high level of fitness. And ff you are a 40+ gamer like me you also have a metabolism that is starting to wind down, so your ability to sock away the cola-and-cheezies with impunity is dwindling.
What can you do? There are two main areas you can change to counter the “RPG spread”: activity and eating. I’ll look at both in more detail in later posts, because they really are huge topics. But everyone needs to begins somewhere, gamers, so here are three easy things you can do to get started:
- Take your game books for a walk – Throw your gamebooks in a knapsack (or if you switched to .pdfs, use bricks) and take them for a 20 minute walk every day. Ten minutes out and ten minutes back to the house will go a long way to getting your metabolism back on track. Just skip “rewarding” yourself with a cola after; try water. And when 20 minutes gets easy, add 10 minutes to the walk.
- Stand during combat – Whether you are playing or game mastering this is a good one. Not only does it add some activity to a normally sedentary hobby, but I find it helps my focus; I am less likely to derail the combat with tangents while I’m standing, if only because I want to sit down sooner. And with the latest studies questioning the health risks of sitting, there may be other reasons why staying on your feet is a good idea.
- Balance your television watching – Spend a few hours a night in front of the flat screen? Buy a Swiss ball (yoga ball, exercise ball), and sit on it while you watch your favourite show(s). This will engage the muscles in your core (abdominals and back muscles) because they will have to work to balance you. Start with a half-hour sit-com, and work your way up to the Dune mini-series. Make sure to sit up straight with both feet on the ground; slouching defeats the purpose. If you don’t want to invest in a Swiss Ball quite yet, start with a stool or sitting on the edge of a straight-back chair.
Let me know if those work for you. Have some ideas of your own? Share them in the comments section below…