Tuesday, December 23, 2014
The Road to Being a Healthier Gamer: Tools, Apps and Friends, Oh My!
Okay, no, the picture above doesn't really pertain at all to becoming healthier...but it was funny, and I had to use it.
So as a quick follow-up to my last article, I wanted to share what I'm using to help keep me on track.
Just as there are tools, tricks and various things that help in our miniature endeavors, there are various tools, apps and other methods and techniques to help accomplish the goad of breaking the mold, and becoming a healthier gamer.
I'm personally using the Garmin Vivosmart. I like the link to my phone, the app tied into works well enough, tracks my sleep, is water resistant up to 50m, buzzes and alerts you to move if you've been sedentary for too long, ties into many smart notifications via my phone, steps, distance, calories burned… It's a solid device that runs about $170. I had a fair amount of time and research into picking the fitness tracker I wanted to use, and there are definitely others out there that caught my attention like the various Fitbit offerings, Jawbone and more. This was just my preference among them all. If you're going to buy one, buy on you like, is comfortable, and make the commitment to be in it for the long haul.
Bicycle and Recumbent Bike
If it's nice out and the weather permits, I hop on my bike and go for a ride. Not a leisurely one either, but one meant to push me just like any exercise is meant to do. If weather doesn't permit, I have a recumbent bike that I can spin out some miles in the comfort of my home.
Tae Kwon Do
I mentioned last article that I'm studying Tae Kwon Do with my son. This has really helped me get some exercises down, get me focused and help keep me disciplined to keep working on this goal. I won't lie, it does help that I'm paying for this training and I refuse to let that money go to waste!
I take the same warm-up exercises that we practice at Tae Kwon Do and work out in the mornings for 15-20 minutes. Right now I'm just trying to get down a certain amount of sets in that time. Once I do that, I'll push myself further an begin to not just accomplish those sets, but see just how many and how much I can do in a set amount of time.
Meal Replacement Shakes
I won't lie, I've got a problem with over-eating. I really enjoy food. So I've taken to drinking meal replacement shakes for breakfast and lunch during the work week, and I give myself the weekend off of them. This won't go on forever, but it's a good way to get a handle on portion control, appetite and temptation control early on.
My Fitness Pal
This is a great app for tracking caloric intake, exercises, water, etc. It has a seriously huge database of foods, and I have had no trouble finding what I'm eating in it. And if you can't, then you can always create your own recipe within the app.
This is the app that works with my Garmin Vivosmart, so I'm most definitely using it. I like it's interface, and the fact that it syncs with My Fitness Pall makes it worthwhile
Friends and Family:
Probably the biggest contributor to any life-altering change is the support of friends and family. I can't tell you how many folks have asked me about how I'm doing with my diet and exercise since i've started to make this change. I also can't even begin to tell you how much it means to me, nor how much it really does matter to the success of it all. Just as poor words, treatment and non-support can depress and truly degrade a person, so can positive reinforcement and accountability lift them up.
There you have it folks, my toolkit for what I'm doing right now. I'm still up for anyone who wants to track with me, and the My FItness Pal app allows you to connect with folks too, so if you 'd like to connect there, shoot me at email and we'll push onward!
I promise that we'll get back to our regularly scheduled post subjects next!