Are you having a tough time balancing your love for video games with the maintenance of your health and fitness? We all enjoy escaping into a video game every once in-awhile. but for some of us this escape has separated us from the real world and is now leading to some negative health effects.
We are certainly not suggesting that you have to toss your PlayStation out the window to preserve your health! There is a long list of benefits found to be a result of video game use, including: improved coordination, improved attention and concentration, improved processing speed in the brain, enhanced memory and problem-solving skills, and even the improvement in social skills with some games!
Now before you read this and go full-tilt into a full evening of Fortnite in an effort to improve your problem-solving skills for that big project you have due on Monday, it’s time to remember what Mom always said. “Everything in moderation.”
As usual, Mom was right. Balancing video games with healthy fitness and nutrition habits is the key to getting all of the benefits out of gaming, without any of the consequences that arise from video game addiction (obesity, depression, struggle maintaining relationships, poor daily performance, and decreased quality of sleep.)
But don’t you worry! We’ve come up with an easy little fitness program that can be done from the comfort of your living room and are paired with some nutrition and health strategies that will have you optimizing your well-being with the best of both worlds!
Our suggestion is that you incorporate 3 sets of this quick bodyweight circuit into a routine prior to sitting down for a gaming session.
Bodyweight Squat (x20 repetitions)
The squat is one of our most functional movements as human beings and is the first movement pattern we address at Body Architects. If you struggle to perform a full-depth squat without lifting your heels off the ground, then it is time to PRACTICE!
You’ll see that in the photos Luc first establishes correct posture and foot position before establishing external rotation torque between his feet and the floor, driving his knees laterally, and squeezing his butt real tight! As he begins to lower himself to the floor, Luc continues to maintain the same muscle engagement and not allow himself to shift his weight into his toes. When he has reached full depth (without sacrificing body control) he drives through his feet and returns to a full standing position. This is one repetition.
If you struggle with the squat, you can scale the movement down by using the inside of a doorframe for support!
Push Up (x10 repetitions)
Just like the squat, the push up is a fundamental favorite that everyone should have in their tool belt!
Begin in the High Plank position as shown. Before beginning the push up, establish external rotation torque, this time between your hands and the floor. This will lock your shoulders into a stable position. As Luc begins his push up, he focuses on maintaining torque through his hands, maintaining a tight core, and aligning his elbows approximately 45 degrees from his torso. At full depth he drives through his hands (keeping that tight core) and returns to the starting position for 1 repetition!
To scale back the push up, do not brace from your knees! When we brace from our knees, we lose out on important core control involved in the push up and we get that much farther away from those beach abs. Instead, Brace your hands on an elevated surface like a couch, stairs, or sturdy railing!
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift (x10 repetitions/leg)
We love teaching this move at BA because of its multiple benefits on hinge control, posterior chain activation, hip control, and core strength!
Balance yourself on one leg with the knee only slightly bent (easiest when on a hard surface). With your core and shoulders locked into a stable position, hinge forward at the hip of your stance leg while extending your free leg toward the wall behind you. Free coaching cue, pointing the toes of your free leg toward the floor will help you to maintain square hips throughout the hinge! When you feel the hamstring of your stance leg tighten up this is your end range of motion, squeeze your butt as you push your hips forward to return to a standing position! 1/10 reps done!
Scale this move back by using the inside of your doorframe again for balance as you lower yourself toward the floor.
W-Y Superman (x10 repetitions)
Looks easy… but you’ll see 😉 Great move to work on posterior shoulder control and improve posture!
Start with your chest on the floor, arms out to the side to form a W. Begin this move by pulling your shoulder blades together and lifting your arms and hands off of the ground, pushing your knuckles toward the ceiling (keep your feet in contact with the floor for now). Hold this position for 3-5 seconds before extending your arms straight overhead into a Y shape. Imagine reaching for the wall in front of you while still squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold the Y for another 3-5 seconds before returning to the W and starting again! This is one repetition.
Scale this move back by taking a quick 3-5 second rest between each rep. As you get better, aim to get through all 10 reps without allowing your arms to fall!
Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies
- The Canadian 24-Hour Movement & Activity Guidelines recommend that adults aged 18-64 include a minimum of 2 days involving exercises that incorporate muscle and bone strengthening, in addition to 150min of moderate to vigorous activity each week. This circuit is a terrific tool to easily involve some bodyweight strengthening exercises and movement into your weekly routine. However, we would also suggest that you adopt resistance training into your weekly schedule! This can be done with the weights gathering dust in your basement, or by reaching out to a local trainer for some support in coaching you through effective movement or developing you a full online program that can be done at home!
- Limit your screen time if possible, to 2-3 hours maximum each day. Or invest in blue-light reflective glasses!
- Have a screen time curfew 1-2 hours before you go to bed to improve the quality of your sleep.
- Incorporate healthy nutrition habits into your daily routine such as intermittent fasting, daily greens, a morning smoothie loaded with nutrient-dense goodies (blueberries, blackberries, MCT oil, almond milk, greens, flaxseed, etc.) and so many more options that are available to keep you living longer and happier!
FOR THE FULL WORKOUT INCLUDING PHOTO INSTRUCTIONS, CHECK OUT OUR LATEST EDITION OF YEG FITNESS.
By Luc Mercier – Body Architects