As geeks, we’re not always the best at looking after our health. Late-night coding sessions, TV-marathons and missed meals because you forgot about the real world whilst gaming don’t exactly go hand-in-hand with self-care. I can’t be the only one who has ever neglected a social life because of a video game, lost sleep because of a good book, or forgotten to exercise because the new series of Daredevil was just so much more appealing.
It can be hard to align our geeky interests with our health, the choice between going to the gym and sweating for an hour, or lying in bed with a bar of chocolate and The Force Awakens is a no-brainer. Because geeks need to look after our health as much as the next person, I’ve decided to collect a few simple ways to look after yourself whilst exploring your favourite geeky interests.
In this blog post I’m going to talk about physical fitness, in particular, running. Now, don’t click away just yet. You probably hate running. Most people do. In my opinion, you would have to be entirely insane to genuinely enjoy running more than watching The Dark Knight trilogy, or playing The Witcher 3 (virtual running counts, right?). But only one of these options is going to boost your cardiovascular health, keep you in shape, and add years to your life. And we all want to live long enough to be able to transplant our brain into an immortal robot (or just long enough to see an adaptation of The Fantastic Four that’s actually good).
But how can we make running enjoyable? There’s a solution, and it’s called Zombies, Run.
In Zombies, Run, running in the real world equates to completing missions in another. As you run in real-life, you collect supplies to build up your virtual base, run from hordes of zombies, and carry out missions to help yourself and your team to survive the zombie apocalypse. You’re the centre of a gripping story, and all you have to do to be part of it is run, jog or walk, at whatever pace you want to, for as long as you feel like. The story plays in your ears as you run (along with some music of your choice), as you meet allies, earn trust, and escape those zombies. You can alter the length of missions, so you can walk, jog, run, for 10, 20, 30 minutes, or set your mission length by distance, and eventually maybe work your way up to 5k (or more!). You can go running wherever you like: if it’s cold where you live, you can go to a gym and run on a treadmill, or if you want to see some greenery whilst running from the undead, you can go to a local park.
This app is the only way I can go for a run, and I love that I can personalise the length of my missions, or even pause them and come back to them later if I set my sights too high. It also doesn’t matter how fast you run. While it can be nice to turn on the GPS tracker and find out how fast you fled those zombies, even if you go for a light jog or a brisk walk, you’ll still be collecting valuable resources, and make it out alive.
While it may not be everybody’s cup of tea, running is great for your fitness, and has a whole host of mental health benefits. It can act as a distraction, a time to clear your mind, or as a mental resilience challenge you can overcome. Even if you hate running, but want to get fitter, I would urge you to try Zombies, Run, just once. It’s a great story, and still beneficial even if you only run for 20 minutes a week. And the chances are, you’ll want to run again, just so you can hear what happens next!
You can even treat yourself to an episode of The Flash when you get back, and smile at the fact that you’re just that little bit closer to becoming Barry Allen.
You can download Zombies, Run from the App Store or Google Play and download your first mission right away.
Let me know your thoughts- have you tried the app? What did you think? And let me know if you have any “geeky health”-related topics you would like me to cover.