Friday, December 20, 2019

Is There a Way to Make Our Hobby Healthier?

                Last Monday while I was actually in the middle of posting my Orc race as class, I started having some chest pains. I was on break at work and was rushed by EMT to the local hospital where I had to stay for 24 hours of observation. I appears to not be related to my heart directly, in the sense that I did not have a heart attack, but I still might have some blockages, tests will tell. I also noticed lately that many of our producers of content that have passed on, on average, went before a ripe old age. The doctors spoke to me about diet and exercise and the entire realm of “lifestyle” changes. The issue that comes up though, does my hobby make me unhealthy?

Trying to protect this bad boy.

                First and foremost this is not solely pointed at roleplaying games, I also have a desk job where I sit for 8+ hours a day. I have an extremely busy life that sometimes prevents any form of exercise, and not the best eating decisions. These factors weigh in far more than anything RPGs are doing to me. That being said, sitting for prolong periods of time and eating the common fair at the usual RPG session is not doing me any favors either. This does not include the time I spend reading RPG books, watching RPG Youtube shows, and writing this blog.

                I am thus reaching out to the community, have you found a way to possible make your RPG time a healthier experience? I think the obvious is to cut the poor foods out of gaming and substitute healthier options, but that only gets you halfway there. Beyond being in a boffer LARP, can you get any form of exercise in your RPG hobby? I think this issue is important to the community as it ages and we will have more and more premature deaths happening in the community.

                This was short and to the point, but I am hoping it can spawn some decent discussion in the community.

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  1. I think we just have to find time for preparing good food and for exercise. Good luck to us all. (overweight TTRPGer at 45 yo)

  2. I agree, good is the best starting place. I am going to try and walk the campus with my gaming group in the middle of session to start.

  3. Frankly, if you are meeting with people to play, it's healthy for you as it keeps you from being socially isolated. Isolation being often correlated with physical health issues.

    Other than that, have you considered composing your posts or next adventure mentally or by doing audio recording as you take a walk?

  4. I try to listen to my Podcast/Audio Book, etc. During lunch. This usually let's me get an easy two miles. Plus I'm consuming Appendix N. Double whammy!

  5. Even with podcasts walking is so boring. I need some sort of thing...I want to get back into MMA.

  6. I think it might be easier to add RPG's to exercise. Listening to RPG podcasts while you workout might be an obvious one. You could also compose blog posts and record them on your phone while walking. Maybe even reading RPG blogs and PDF's on the treadmill/exercise bike if you're doing a low intensity workout. Watching OSR youtube vids is another possibility.

    The only thing I can think of to add some exercise to RPG's would maybe consider standing while you GM.

    Foodwise, well most of us know what is and isn't healthy but modern life doesn't make it easy to adopt a healthy diet. For heart health whole grains are the way to go.

    Anyway, look after yerself and get well!

  7. I put all my research material for books or games on my treadmill. If I want to read them then I need to run to do it. Try to do it everyday.

  8. I just started insulin a few weeks ago. Your "poor food" is my demon. What I have done to make sure it doesn't become a bigger problem is to make sure I don't stay up too late posting or planning for games. Being up too late brings on cravings, because your burning energy instead of getting rest. That and to be honest, writing only occupies half the mind so the other half turns to food.

    It might be a good idea to impose some sort of activity break during RPG sessions, perhaps walking around the block every 2 hours might bring some measure of healthiness. Or limiting play so you don't end up in a marathon of the mind, sitting mostly still for hours on end.

  9. Excellent post! Before I switched careers and became a teacher, I was in a similar situation; primarily sedentary for 10+ hours a day and feeling there wasn't enough time in the day afterwards for exercise. We were eating very healthy at home (weekday breakfast and dinner - less gamenight), but all over the place eating out (lunches, weekends). In my 40s, I gained 2-5 lbs a year. Now as a teacher I am on my feet constantly, getting in steps throughout the day. We also moved from suburbia to a rural location and I am much more active daily. I also bag my lunch, so we're eating healthy throughout the week. Most of the weight has come off over time, and my lab work (I'm 53 so this is a part of life now) has stabilized.
    So I would recommend flipping the thought of the original post and ask what can you do instead while you are doing healthy activities and tie in some aspect of livin the rpg life?
    * I bought a stand alone voice recorder and have it with me at all times now and just use it for ideas
    * Get busy on that Wilderness World Building Guide: I'm in the midst of world building and whenever I'm outside I let nature inspire me.
    * Table talk: have a discussion about it with your table, let the group inspire you.