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Turn Your Fitness Routine Into A Dungeons And Dragons Campaign

Turn Your Fitness Routine Into A Dungeons And Dragons Campaign

If life were a game, how would you keep score? If that piece of chocolate cost you a point, would you still eat it? If you gained 5 points for working out, would you be more likely to go for a quick run after work? We love playing games for many reasons: the structure, the competition, the challenge. The Whole Life Challenge was created in 2011 with this very idea in mind. Everyone knows that you’ll live a healthier life if you eat well, exercise, get more sleep, and hydrate, but the difficulty always lies in actually adding these healthy habits into our daily lives.

WLC logo

Image credit: The Whole Life Challenge

The Whole Life Challenge (WLC) is 56-day game created by a group of nutrition and fitness experts to help provide structure to those wishing to lead healthier and more balanced lives by creating rules and guidelines around 7 healthy habits (nutrition, exercise, mobility, hydration, sleep, lifestyle habits, and reflection). The rules of the game are fairly simple:

1) Start or join a team (with your gym or just like-minded folks)
2) Choose a level (Performance, Lifestyle, or Kick Start)
3) Take your preliminary measurements (a set workout and body measurements)
4) Play the game for 8 weeks (follow the rules, enter your scores daily, and gain bonus points)
5) Take final measurements and declare a team winner!

To play the game, you need to focus on 7 aspects of your life each and every day. You earn points for doing well and subtract points if you break the rules.

Game RulesImage credit: The Whole Life Challenge

If you’re thinking this sounds a little bit like a D&D campaign, you’re right! The format of the WLC is much like any other game you play and it appeals to geeks and gamers in several ways:

Strategy

There are 4 types of bonuses that you earn by doing well and which give you very real rewards. A crowd favorite is the indulgence bonus which rewards you with an extra nutrition point if you eat well for 4 days. You can also earn bonuses for sleeping well for 6 days or working out for 10 days. The biggest bonus you can earn is the Free Day Bonus which gets you an entire day free in all 7 categories. This bonus is really challenging to earn and few players qualify. Earning bonuses takes forethought, preparation, and focus, much like a challenging tabletop game. Corrin Pierce, a Coach at Nerdstrong Gym and current WLC player says that her “current strategy is to bank as many points as I can to give me room to indulge at some upcoming events. It’s keeping me very mindful”.

Leveling-Up

The game rules allow you to choose what nutrition level to compete at for the course of the challenge. If you choose too high a level, you’re more likely to give up partway through, so it’s important to choose your level wisely. As with most games, it’s usually best to start out at a lower level, learn how to play the game successfully, and then level-up the next time around. Each level takes time and discipline to master.

Nutrition Chart

Image credit: The Whole Life Challenge

Teamwork

Like with a D&D campaign, you must band together with your fellow teammates to battle your fiercest opponents (self-doubt, temptation, fatigue). It’s vital to build up your team and rely on their support to help you get through your own battles. Caryn Drake is a 3-time WLC player and she’s learned that “the accountability with my nerdy peers has kept me striving to make better choices.” Players connect with one another through team pages on the website, cheer each other on daily, and help keep motivation up for the whole group.

Competition

While you can and should rely on your fellow teammates, there is also a large competitive aspect to the game. The website ranks you against your teammates, your team against others, and yourself against everyone else playing in the world. Be warned, your competitive nature just might kick in if you pay too much attention to these rankings . The current game of the WLC has 11,573 players in 1,650 teams worldwide, so it’s certainly the biggest game that many of us have played.Team ScoreImage credit: The Whole Life Challenge

You can and should set your own side quests during the game. This will encourage your creativity and keep you even more engaged in the game. Maybe you’re preparing for a midriff-exposing cosplay at Comic-Con or the Disney Half-Marathon.  Setting specific individual goals can help keep the game fun and increase your motivation to work harder every day.

The current cycle of the WLC is closed, but you don’t need to wait for the next round to start playing games with your own health. Check out Max Hit Points on Twitch (Friday, 5/20 – 5:30pm) featuring Blair Herter of Nerdstrong Gym to start working on your own quest for fitness. Start your quest with us on Geek & Sundry’s Open Beta!

Featured Image Credit: ShineOn

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