Are you looking to lose some weight, build muscle or just get into a healthier shape? Skip the mundane standards and try some geeky exercise! These 11 kinds of nerdy fitness activities will help you keep going towards a better you and have fun while doing so.
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Just Dance, Dance Dance Revolution, Ring Fit Adventure and other Video Games
My first foray into the world of video games as exercise came in the form of Dance Dance Revolution. Since it was a video game, I was inspired to beat previous scores and keep going. I upgraded to the thick foam pads so they would last longer (get them on eBay) and really worked up a sweat. When we moved into a second-story condo, however, I decided to sell it all for the sake of my downstairs neighbor. I also played Wii Fit sometimes. That game can be rather snarky at times. It kept telling me to go to bed when I checked in later at night, among other things. For the most part, it’s not very strenuous, but it is a good way to get some movement at least. You can find celebrity Miis that people have made and they will pop up in the game. Fun! When I moved on from DDR, I met Just Dance and fell in love. Many of my favorite songs have appeared in the different versions (this is the edition I like best) I even had the honor of being on Ubisoft’s first Just Sweat Dream Team.
My new favorite? Ring Fit Adventure. Oh my goodness, it’s the best fitness video game that I have tried so far. It’s an RPG-style game, so that keeps me trucking along to further progress in the story. You defeat monsters by doing various exercises targeting arms, abs, legs, and yoga as you jog through the different worlds. Who knew a game could get me to willingly do a lot of squats and more and keep pushing to do more? Since they show you on the screen how to do the exercises and make it generally accessible without having to read, even little Leia enjoys playing it a lot. If you’re going to venture into the world of fitness gaming, this is the place to start.
Miss ZZ and I are big fans of the Pokemon Go app. I’ve managed to teach her the names of many of the different species and she can even catch them herself (geek mom ftw!). It’s a bit harder to get any walking in sometimes (I confess to driving to Pokestops and the like when I need to refill my balls, etc) during the winter when the weather can be so miserable, but the thought of hatching an egg or getting another Buddy candy helps sometimes to get a little extra exercise in. When I do 5K races this summer, I can hatch some from the race alone.
The first rule in Zombieland is Cardio. It makes sense, after all; when you have mindlessly slavering monsters running after you, you better have the ability to outrun them and find a beloved Twinkie. Zombies, Run! is an app that combines a zombie apocalypse with fitness. Your job in the game is to go out and “collect” supplies by moving around. Sometimes you will get notified that zombies are coming after you, meaning you need to speed on up. I need to get some new tennis shoes because I have been wanting to try this for years, but my shoe size changed after the bebes.
Geeky 5Ks and Other Races
There are advantages to living in the geekiest/nerdiest state – Utah! I found out in the past year that there are geeky 5Ks and other races here to have fun exercising and supporting worthy causes. Geek’d Out Events puts on several of these each year, along with fun activities like a Harry Potter style Yule Ball. Don’t worry if you are too far away to come in person; they allow you to run it virtually and still get an awesome shirt and medal. A similar organization is the Hogwarts Running Club, which has cool medals like one celebrating Mad-Eye Moody with a moving eyeball. Disneyland and Disney World hold various races with a Disney or Star Wars theme. I plan on doing several of these geeky 5Ks myself this year. The Gamer Dash and Glow races sound especially fun.
Muggles have brought this sport from the Harry Potter universe into real life. You won’t be flying around on broomsticks, unfortunately, but many other elements are present like hoops on poles and a Golden Snitch. In fact, there is even a non-profit called US Quidditch that helps create the official rules and organize games around the world. My friend Jessica from Two Married Geeks told me that there is a league here in Utah, so I need to look into it soon. 100 points to Ravenclaw!
LARP and SCA
LARP (Live Action Role Play) is often portrayed just as a bunch of nerds dressing up in silly costumes and pretending to be fictional characters. However, it can actually be a great way to do some geeky exercise! Think about it…usually, events like this include chases, fighting, and other active movements. Similar activity can be found through SCA events. The Society for Creative Anachronism is a group that strives to accurately recreate history through dress, food, activities and more. Want to see what life as a medieval person was like? Check them out!
Star Wars Yoga
Yoga seems like a natural exercise to pair with Star Wars since it is about becoming in tune with your body, mind and the world around you, like a Jedi being One with the Force. If you are trying to get your kids to do more physical activity, give the Star Wars episode of Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventure! a try together. They also have a lot of other fun episodes available, all on YouTube.
Several other versions of Star Wars yoga have been created over the year. Want to try Downward Facing Wookie? Check out the video above featuring Matthew Latkiewicz of You Will Not Believe. Rob Osbourne has created some lovely illustrated versions featuring different characters in various poses.
Neila Rey’s Workouts
Over at Darebee, there are hundreds of different workout routines that you can do, both geeky and standard. They even made YouTube videos that you can watch to see the whole workout in action. Examples include:
When I was in college, I ended up hanging out with the Juggling Club since several friends belonged. While I still haven’t managed to juggle balls (what am I doing wrong??), I did teach myself how to do fire devil sticks. I was even paid as part of a gig, so can technically say I am a professional juggler. If you know how to juggle (or want to learn), you could try joggling to work your legs too. As you might guess, joggling is a funny sport where you juggle while jogging. Hats off to you if you can manage! I could do it at a nice parade march pace, perhaps.
Before there was Pokemon or any of the other apps like Ingress, there was geocaching. Participants use a GPS or smart phone to locate little hidden caches throughout the world. Sometimes you just get the joy of finding it and leaving your signature in a notebook to prove that you were there. At other locations, the container holds items that you can trade. A third type is simply virtual and you can snap a picture as proof that you were successful.
ICAROS Virtual Reality Machine
Have you ever wished that you could fly? Strap on the VR goggles that come with the ICAROS machine and take off! Muscles throughout your body will be honed as you twist and turn on the gyroscope-based platform in response to the screen. You KNOW that there has to be a Harry Potter version someday. Can you imagine zooming through the air after the Golden Snitch? I would love to do that! Maybe there would be a superhero version also.