Angry Birds has been played all over the world, by millions of people. As well as being well known across all types of gaming devices, it is now being made into a film, due for release in 2016!
My post today is a little bit about the workout around Angry Birds (found here), but also about the concept of casual gaming and how it can improve fitness.
The workout is simple, including squats, push ups, back exercises and planks. However, it is the adaptability of this workout to any skill or fitness level which sets it apart. By changing the number of sets and reps, or even type of exercise at the higher end of the spectrum, you can rank yourself according to the Angry Birds system: “I am level one, no stars” or “I have just got my third star on level three!”. To have a go yourself, click on the link, or take a look at the workout sheet for a guide to how it all works.
Anyone who has a mobile device, PC, laptop or other gaming system will know about casual gaming. You may not consider yourself a “gamer”, but things like Angry Birds, Sudoku, Words With Friends, Solitaire or even Minesweeper all class as casual gaming. For those of us who are trying to make a dent in our lack of fitness, the time we spend casual gaming is prime time to do ~something~. I am lucky in my job where I get a fair few breaks, of a good length. On some, I eat, I relax or I check emails etc. On others, I go for a walk, climb the stairs a few times, or on really long breaks, I hit the gym in work.
Every time you pick up your mobile for a few rounds of Candy Crush or Angry Birds, or every time you fire up Solitaire on your office PC when the boss isn’t around, think to yourself if you can be doing something different. 5 minutes running up and down stairs is much better than moving on a level in Angry Birds, or 10 minutes of pushups is so much more beneficial than posting (automatically, I know) to all of your Facebook friends how level 124 of Candy Crush is turning out a little difficult, and you would like power-ups.
Making small changes to your daily routine is where bigger lifestyle changes start. This Angry Birds workout is great for that, you can pick and choose which parts you do, in which order. You don’t even need to score those parts you shoehorn in, especially if you think you can do better. Just make sure you do, and class anything extra as a bonus.
However… sometimes, you do just need 5 minutes to yourself. You need to relax, escape from colleagues, hide from the kids or avoid clients for a while. I know this, you know this, we all do. Just try to strike a balance, for your own well being.
For me, for those times when I don’t want to exercise, my current game of choice is The Simpsons, Tapped Out.