6 Geeky Ways to Stay in Shape
Review by: Geek Girl Zelda|
Geek Girl Zelda wrote this list of 6 geeky ways to stay in shape...
With geeks constantly evolving and redefining who we are, it's no surprise to see that many of us are breaking out of certain long-held stereotypes. We're not just a bunch of lazy, nonathletic layabouts. We play sports and hey - we're even pretty great at them sometimes. But maybe you are one of those geeks who still hasn't found their sports niche. Maybe you don't feel quite at home among basketball, baseball, football or soccer. Maybe for you, you want your sport to reflect your fandom, and a little bit of extra geekiness could be the push to get you to put down the game controller and go outside.
Well, you're in luck. There are lots of geeky ways for you to stay in shape. Here are 6 of my favorites:
1. Zombie Runs!
Photo by Idea Stream
It's no secret that running can be pretty boring. What reason would modern man ever need to run and clear obstacles at great speeds? We are the alpha predator, the top of the food chain. We don't have to escape from animals and survive nature on a daily basis anymore. But when the zombie apocalypse comes around...you better hope that you're prepared. Luckily there are tons of zombie runs to help get you into shape and teach you some "survival skills" at the same time. They happen all over the world, and you can do them several times a year depending where you live. Just check out Zombie Run
, The Zombie Run
, Run For Your Lives
, Zombie Blood Run
and Zombie Race
as a starting point, but a little digging around will find you even more options. There is even an app called Zombies Run Game
which ties some of the excitement of running from a zombie horde into your everyday running routine, so you can keep up with the practice even beyond the organized events.
Of course, it's not quite the same experience as actually running away from zombies through a bloody obstacle course. There are even full zombie survival events and zombie airsoft and paintball gun courses if you spend some time digging around.
Photo by Jeff L Photo
For you Harry Potter fans, you can give some real-life Quidditch a shot. Unfortunately no flying, but they've found a way for us muggles to recreate the experience to the best of our ability. This is another one that has already spread internationally - there are Quidditch leagues in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, Italy, France, Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands. You can read up about how to play on their Wikipedia page
- If you want to join up and play, each national league has their own website for you to check out, and try meetup.com as well.
Or, if you have 30 minutes, check out this documentary about the Quidditch World Cup
3. Armored and Medieval Combat
Photo by Tank Spot
There are lots of different places you can get a taste of medieval combat - whether you are into full suits and live steel, full suits with blunted weapons (they still hurt plenty), rapier fighting, archery, thrown weapons or equestrian events, it's out there. The biggest international medieval group is the Society for Creative Anachronism
with decades of history and 600,000 members worldwide. Getting into a full armor kit can be a big time and money investment, so it's tough to get into casually, but there are plenty of options that require less commitment (such as rapier or archery). If you are into live steel, there are international events like Battle of Nations
, the Armored Combat League/ACL
, the International Medieval Combat Federation/IMCF
and more. There are a lot of different groups around the world and they all offer individual styles and rules, so do some searching before deciding on one. But let me just say there is something pretty special about seeing this many people on a battlefield:
Photo by Epoch Arms
Jugger was originally inspired by the 1989 movie The Salute of the Jugger (The Blood of Heroes in the USA). The sport then became a real sport simultaneously and independently in both Australia and Germany. Now there are teams in Australia, Germany, USA, Ireland, England, Spain, Denmark, Costa Rica, and the Netherlands. The game plays somewhat like football, but with padded foam weapons that are similar to what you use in LARPing. (You can read the full list of rules on the Wikipedia page
. One player is in charge of the ball (or the skull) and must try to reach the other team's goal while avoiding enemy defenders, who have a wide array of weapons. Nowadays, it has gained a lot of traction in the post-apocalyptic community, and you can go and enjoy playing or watching this game out in the dust of the wasteland.
Bartitsu hasn't quite taken off internationally yet, but it's on its way there. Bartitsu is Victorian cane fighting, also known as "How to fight like a gentleman" or "How to fight like Sherlock Holmes." The Victorian-era martial art has been picking up traction with some recent book publications and classes. Here in Los Angeles you can go to practice weekly at a park in Burbank (the very same park you can enjoy medieval SCA armored combat on other days). Unsurprisingly, bartitsu is a more popular fighting style among the Steampunk communities who want to stay in shape and kick ass, but be proper and look good while doing so. A bit of searching around can find you a few cities to participate in this geeky sport, but it hasn't seemed to have made its way outside the US yet.
6. Dancing Games
If all of these are too much commitment for you, just get your butt on a DDR, Pump it Up, or Just Dance machine. No, seriously. It whips your butt into shape. All throughout my life I have known people who use this as their exclusive method of working out, and some of those people have dropped HUNDREDS of pounds doing so. Next time you go to the arcade, wear some comfortable shoes and spend a half hour or so getting some cardio. (The console fitness games like Wii Fit just don't seem to offer the same workout).
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October 10 2014