Being a geek isn’t just about loving video games or science fiction; it’s about being passionate, smart, and dedicated. Geeks can and should bring this energy to all aspects of their lives. With so many studies confirming the importance of physical fitness, it’s important for us all to incorporate healthy living into our own, geeky lives. With the new year often comes resolutions to get healthy, but it can be really difficult to keep these resolutions as the year goes on. Making a healthy change in your life can be tough, but I believe that geeks are uniquely positioned to use their passion and brains to stick with it and make a real change in their health. If you want fitness to be a new, permanent part of your life, here’s some ways to embrace who you are and find the right routine for you.
1. Embrace your uniqueness
In fitness, as in all things, you must embrace who you are and not try to be anyone other than that. If you join a gym where you feel like you don’t fit in, try somewhere new. If you try a fitness routine that doesn’t make you comfortable, go out and find something that does work for you. There is no one-size-fits-all fitness program that will work for everyone. You need to find the right path for you by experimentation and being focused.
2. Find the right motivation
A general desire to be healthy isn’t enough. Think about exactly why you want to make these changes and be specific. Is there a form-fitting costume you’ve always wanted to wear? Would you like to climb a mountain in New Zealand during your Lord of the Rings tour? Do you want to be able to learn to sword fight before next year’s WyrdCon? Having concrete goals, both long and short term, can really help to keep up your motivation.
3. Have fun
If exercise feels like work, you’ll be much less likely to stick with it. Fun for you may be a particular movement, a specialized class, working out with friends, outdoor exercise, or something else physical like LARPing. It may be geek-themed workouts where you’re fighting Orks, escaping from dinosaurs, or blowing up the Death Star. I promise, exercise can be fun, as long as you find the right activity for you.
4. Fitness isn’t always found in a gym
Joining a gym is easy, but it’s also not always the best way to stay fit in the long run. Using the same machines and weights every time can start to feel monotonous over time. If you’re not feeling at home in a traditional gym, go out try classes like yoga, Pilates, cross-fit, cycling, or combat classes. If you’re a fan of the outdoors; try hiking, running, archery, or even LARPing. These are all ways of getting in exercise without the constraints of a typical gym.
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5. Try getting fit at home
If you’re an introvert or just feel more comfortable alone, you can put together a rigorous, structured routine at home. There are countless videos on YouTube that can fit your interests, equipment, time constraints, and fitness level. You can download apps that will help you track your exercise, calories, and even give you fitness routines to try at home. Plenty of workouts can be done with very little equipment, but you may want to consider getting some simple items like free weights, a resistance band, and a yoga mat. As you progress; you may want to invest in items like a weight bench, barbells, or a pull-up bar.
6. Dress for the part
Wherever you decide to exercise, feel comfortable. For many of us, this can mean channeling our inner superhero by dressing the part. Mermaid leggings, Doctor Who tank tops, Star Trek yoga pants, and Captain American headbands are all readily available for purchase online and can help you to feel empowered and have fun,
7. Make sure you have support
Many people find that it’s easier to stick with fitness and healthy eating if they have an active support system. Feeling accountable to others and supported by the important people in your life can make a big difference. Sit down with your friends and family and talk to them about why this is important to you and how they can help. Seek out others online that share similar interests and ask for help when you need it.
8. Seek out geeky resources
Many geeks are turning their focus to fitness and online and in-person resources are becoming more common. Nerd-themed gyms like Nerdstrong and Yogaquest are becoming bonafide phenomenons within their local communities. If you don’t live in one of these areas, you can follow websites like NerdFitness that help to build communities online and offer at home geek-themed workouts. There are also fitness videos online from geek-superstars like Zach Anner and his classic Workout Wednesdays videos that will motivate you and make you laugh.
Featured Image Credit: Megan Levens
Integrating fitness into your life is a step towards a new way of thinking and feeling more comfortable in your own skin. Be strong, be smart, and be you. I’d love to hear about your own fitness journeys in the comments.