Listen up geeks! It’s time to get up, get out, and get moving! YOU HEAR ME?
You can’t just sit on your keister, filling out spreadsheets, compiling code, and writing reports all day! You’ve got to EXERCISE to stay healthy!
*cough* excuse me… I had some deer jerky stuck in my throat…Anyway…
This stuff is easy. There are literally MILLIONS of studies out there confirming that regular exercise makes you a healthier person…from protecting against cancer, to fighting dementia, and even rehabilitating your body after coronary heart disease.
So with all this data, why is it so hard to get geeks to exercise?
“Well, it’s because…”
Who cares why? Let’s change the paradigm and show everyone how well geeks can do it!!
Here’s how to get started:
1) Plan it!
Geeks love creating “master plans.” From world domination, to Zelda 64, geeks can plan the most complicated schemes in the world and HAVE FUN doing it.
So here’s the plan:
- Set a goal that would indicate to you that you are “healthy”
HOWEVER! Don’t set a “weight loss” goal!! You can do that later, but trust me, you want to set an EXERCISE goal…the weight loss will come along with it.
- Gauge your own personal health, and figure out a goal that will take you 3 months of training to achieve.
Whether it’s a 10 mile run or 2 mile run, a 50 mile bike ride or a 10 minute swim, give yourself a goal that will REQUIRE planning to reach.
- Make use of the Internet!
Websites like CoolRunning, DailyBurn, BeginnerTriathlete, and others to find a pre-made workout plan that fits your needs…make a dozen copies and stick them EVERYWHERE…and STICK TO IT!
2) Pwn n00bs at losing weight
Geeks love competition! Whether it’s scoring headshots, or rolling 20′s, we geeks love to play games and WIN.
Race you across Azeroth? Ready? GO!
Use this desire to your advantage, and compete against others on social workout sites like The Daily Burn, where you can track your progress against others. Jump in and show them how much dedication you had to find every last energy orb in Crackdown!
Of course, Im being slightly facetious… competition is certainly optional, and in reality teamwork is going to be a far more effective tool than competition. But you know yourself better than I do; if competition is what you need to get you motivated, here’s your chance.
3) Put on your robe and wizard hat
I’m not sure if I invented this particular method of motivation, but I like to think I did. Oftentimes, getting the motivation to START exercising is the hardest part. Trick yourself into exercising by just simply telling your brain that you’re only going to put on your exercise clothes, but not actually exercise. Once you’ve got the “costume” on, you’ll change your mind. Trust me.
The pants, the shirt, the shoes, the helmet, the sunglasses… tell me that’s not a “costume”
And if you’re a fashion geek (Charlie), then buying the costume can be all the motivation you need! When I bought my new running shoes last year around my birthday, I didn’t even care about my actual birthday presents. (Don’t tell my fiancee)
4) Digitize It
It’s 2010, and we geeks like to capture EVERYTHING. So why not use that same technology to assist our exercise?
GPS watches and tools like the Nike+ can be used to finely tune your workouts so that precision paces and distances can be achieved at any time. Pair this with a good, solid workout plan, and you’re working like the pro’s.
I used a workout plan from CoolRunning and the Nike+ in 2008 to train for a half-marathon in 3 months, and I never ONCE had a blister on my feet, because I followed the schedule and slowly worked up my pace, thereby avoiding injury.
5) Get technical
Anyone who has ever exercised with a group knows what I’m talking about when I say that people like to pretend they have the “killer method/item/idea” to maximize a workout. Whether it’s running barefoot, or building a 5,000$ carbon fiber bike with disc brakes and a belt-driven gear system… all forms of exercise are intricately connected with complicated biology and physics.
Study-up on which biking position reduces your aerodynamic drag… Find out how to strike the ground with your foot to reduce joint fatigue and increase the mechanical efficiency of your stride. No matter what exercise you choose, you’re guaranteed to have many aspects of the art to “geek out” about!
6) Tweet your successes (and your failures)
Take this one with a grain of salt. If you’re already a heavy social-media user, adding in exercise status updates might mesh well with your current lifestyle. Some people feel more motivated to complete a workout schedule if they are held accountable by their peers. Others claim “success” merely by telling people that they have worked out (even if they haven’t). This is a bit of a double-edged sword, so evaluate your own life and friends before attempting to create an audience for your exercise.
7) Form a club!
On the other hand, social teamwork is an INCREDIBLY effective motivational tool. And hey, nothing’s geekier than a club, right!?
If you are currently in school, or work someplace where semi-happy people work… I guarantee you that there is a biking club, running club, swimming club, etc… that you could join. These groups are GREAT for getting motivated to stay healthy, with the added benefit of socializing and networking. And trust me on this… exercise clubs almost always know how to party! Beer and pizza is not off-limits when you’ve just finished a 50 mile bike ride that morning!
Though preferably not a bowling club…
8 ) Eat like a game character, not like a gamer!
Ok, there’s a small possibility that you won’t know what I’m talking about here, so let me explain…
You know how in certain RPG games (World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls, Fallout 3) you have to feed your character to survive, or to regain health? What kinds of “virtual food” items does your character consume? Is it pizza and potato chips? Or is it meat and apples?
Mario knew how to eat healthy!
Chances are, you know what’s good for you and what’s not, and if not, there are tons of websites out there that can advise you on what to eat to stay healthy.
But here’s my un-professional advice: Eat healthy 90% of the time, and allow yourself occasional indulgences. A dollar-menu cheeseburger is NEVER going to be a healthy choice, but if you just HAVE to have some stuffed-crust BBQ chicken pizza with extra cheese, make yourself work up to it. Make yourself eat at least THREE HEALTHY MEALS for every ONE unhealthy meal you eat. Count the calories and try to exercise to offset it. Dont worry about fat, sugars, etc… For now, just try slight improvements and you can work on the specifics after you’re feeling good about the way things are going.
9) Be Smart!
Jacob’s Dictionary defines “geek” as:
An intellectual who finds peace and happiness in being educated on specific and detailed subjects.
There is so much to learn about health and your body that no geek in the world could ever fully understand it all. As a consequence, there’s probably more FALSE health advice that REAL health advice. Dieting alone can’t make you lose weight AND keep it off… A magical berry isn’t going to burn off all of your fat… a sit-up machine is not going to turn your beer-gut into a six-pack.
REAL fitness websites like those I’ve listed in this post are where you should get your information, and it’s guaranteed to be simple and unadorned. No magic cures or fixes, just advice on how to work hard and change your life.
Face it. In the end, geeks always win. Why? Because we think about shit. Eventually we’re going to all realize that exercise is geeky too, and before you know it we’ll all be tweeting directly from the treadmill while our body stats are plotted in Power Spectral Density charts in front of us, while we attempt to match our optimal heart-rates…and that’s when we’ll take over the world.
So go out there and start getting geeky with yourself and your health. And make sure to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how you’re doing! (Or to ask me any questions! Im not a pro, but I know more than most. Running is my specialty, but I can guide you on biking and swimming too)
P.S. Would anyone like to start a Science Sort Of group on DailyBurn?