Category Archives: Workouts

Angry Birds Workout

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.

Casual Gaming

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.

The Simpsons Tapped Out

Getting Fit – Ghostbusters Style

Again, another great Nerd Fitness article to help focus the mind. This time it draws links (tenuous at times) between the Ghostbusters and any person’s journey to becoming fit!

Crossing the streams, building up skills and doing your best are all mentioned, showing me (at least) how best to focus my efforts to self improvement. As I posted a few days ago, I am taking each bit of my masterplan one step at a time. Starting off, I am getting into a routine which is sustainable for exercise. Then, I will gradually make specific changes to my diet over a period of time to end up making a full set of changes.

So far, I have a decent weights workout in, a good 10k plan which I am following and some solid ideas on how to improve my diet.

However…. disaster has struck (I use the term loosely and with hyperbole). The weekend, my phone, which contains Zombies, Run!, Endomondo, my 10k plan, my playlist and my weights app – managed to die. Completely. It is now winging its way back to Virgin, who hopefully will have it sorted by the end of the week and back with me by Monday.

For most people, they wouldn’t care, but if you haven’t already noticed, I am a geek. My tech is my way of control. Yes, all my workouts are backed up “a la cloud”, my playlist was on my SD card, and on a more personal note, my photos from my son’s birthday were backed up automatically to my Google+ account. [Note to everybody: Set up this automatic upload if you are on Android, alternatives on other OS. Find a good backup app and run it every few weeks on your messages, contacts, calendar etc – it will pay off at some point.]

So ultimate disaster was averted, but I am now using my old school iPod Touch for music (no GPS, and old OS so no apps work… plus the screen is quite well shattered) and hoping that I am doing something worthwhile in my workouts.

In other news, I am feeling energized, and after a good weights workout yesterday, don’t feel any actual pain! Always good!

Recovered!

After yesterday’s post on recovery, I did exactly what I intended to last night. Went into the gym, did a short walking warmup, ran for as long as I could without stopping, then alternated walking and running for a little longer. I ended up running for 12 minutes, which was more than I thought I could do. I did 20 minutes total on the first hit, then climbed stairs for 10 minutes, then back on the treadmill to work off the pain in my quads!

I was quite pleased with what I managed, after not doing cardio for a while. Plus, it gives me a great benchmark to measure my performance. I can now assess average speed and longest time running, both good for my target of 10k!

The cardio also helped with my muscle recovery in my arms. As I predicted, blood flow increased, and today my arms feel as good as new! That leaves me open for a good all-over weights workout tonight. Hopefully, the recovery is a little easier than last time, as I would like to spend a little more time working out per week in the future.

My loose plans for the end of the week and the weekend involve taking to the streets running, swimming and another weights workout…. here’s hoping!

Recovery Process

Three days ago I did another weights only workout. This, was generally regarded as “A Bad Thing”.

Despite my legs, stomach, back, shoulders, neck, toes, fingers and knees all feeling fine, my triceps, on both arms hurt… a lot. Whether this was down to the weights, or swimming after, I don’t know. All I know is that heavy things, high things or strange reaching positions have been off the menu for a few days.

The recovery is not easy, and I have rested as much as I can, but I have added a few low intensity exercises to keep the bloodflow up to try to improve the recovery.

This notwithstanding, I am getting back on it tomorrow, before my night shift. My masterplan (yes, another one!) is to get on the treadmill, run as far as I can (probably a little slower than usual), and see what my benchmark is as the moment. I am still aiming for my 10k in November, and need to take stock to see where I am.

The night shift following, everything should be nicely loosened up for another weights workout. Following a combination of exercises from Nerd Fitness and other sites, I am working on a combination of bodyweight exercises and free weights, with a machine or two dropped in. As I can keep the weights going a little longer than running, I can burn more calories that way, and maintain the burn a lot longer after leaving the gym than any treadmill session. Plus, the secondary objective of having a decent body shape is helped along by muscle building!

So that is my plan for the next few days, as well as designing a proper weights workout plan, for my work gym and Bannatynes. Also, I plan to design a meal plan for the next two weeks, which ticks the boxes of being super healthy and pretty cheap!