Xbox Fitness: Getting Fit or Throwing a Fit? - Introduction
Posted by Emma H. Pira
An empiric study of the pros and cons of working out with video games
We all lose and gain weight a little bit now and then; sometimes we're happy with what the scale is showing, sometimes we're less so. Personally, I've managed to pack on 20kg in only 6 months. Mostly due to poor health and medication, but also because of other... reasons. I used to work 24/7, was stressed beyond words trying to fit work and life in general into a very small box with very, very limited time space; poor food choices are actually very easy choices when time is running short. And when you are a little more aware of your body, when it feels and reacts differently, then the idea of getting sweaty in a crowded gym isn't too entertaining. Ugggh, just thinking about the gym stereotypes make me cringe a little. Not because of them being fit and me well....not so much...but the attitude and how lost I'd feel in that environment, being a very apologetic and shy Swede. Not even jogs outside seem very appealing. What if it rains? It's also time consuming. And you need to gear up...
Yeah, the excuses are many. But the reasons to do it are so superior in numbers. I think it was MaddeLisk, a professional Star Craft player, who said that in order to be good at sitting still, you need to move. And it's so true. She actually spends hours every week working out in order to be able to feel better sitting at her computer and be better at her game. Her workouts give her focus, energy and a body ready for hours of gaming.
Now I'm not a professional gamer, I play for the fun of it. It's recreation, it's entertainment and it's a social outlet, but I do spend a lot of time sitting. And while I could do with a more focused mind, I'm very much drawn to the energy bit. I used to play football (am. soccer) and do fencing, and I know how good you feel after a week of activities. But eventually my knees said "no!" and I just gave up on it all, slowly turning into the stressed out but comfortable couch potato that I've become. My knees are also both my biggest enemy and motivator when it comes to exercising - I need to lose weight to not put unnecessary pressure on them, but I can't just take up anything in case I hurt them more. I think the last part has become my most comfortable excuse - it's the same as with overprotecting parents ending up not doing anything with their children "in case of..."
So it's time to change that, and instead of feeling like an alien among muscles and fake tans at the gym, I will do it in the safety of my own home. For a month's time I'll be trying out the Xbox Fitness app for Xbox One to get me started. And, if you want to, I'll be taking you with me! Every week I'll publish my progress; how it feels, how it works and the general pros and cons I'm finding as I go along. My goal is "realistic" weight-loss and also working on my stamina.
I've never tried anything like this before - but I've got the Xbox One, I've got Kinect, and I've run out of excuses. If you have any feature you would like to see or read about or have me try out for you, let me know. Maybe you've got your own experiences of this and would like to share them? Or maybe you would like to work out "with me"? Head to the forums and let's encourage each other!
Until next week!