In the digital age, modern technology has provided an abundance of reasons to stay at home, one of which is video games. In this post, we’ll highlight a few activities — from climbing to battlefield laser tag — that serve as ideal alternatives to gaming and encourage people to exercise.
As of last year, video games became the most popular and profitable form of media. This is no surprise when you consider that games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto have become household names. As a result — even though the health and fitness industry is booming — more people than ever are spending plenty of time in front of screens.
If you or your children are spending an excessive amount of time playing video games, the following alternative activities are not only enjoyable, but they’re also fantastic forms of exercise.
One activity that is experiencing a new lease of life is indoor climbing — partly due to the popularity of bouldering. Climbing is a fantastic way to develop your upper body strength, give yourself a full-body workout, and enjoy the excitement of scaling a high climbing wall. An adrenaline-fuelled activity such as climbing is the perfect alternative to gaming as it’s a genuinely enjoyable way to exercise.
At a glance, bouldering looks the same, but the vital difference is that you will be climbing obstacles which are more complicated to navigate and lower to the ground. By eliminating the fear of climbing a high wall and introducing the need for skills, technique, and creative thinking, bouldering has become very popular for anyone looking to test their mental and physical capabilities.
2. Battlefield Laser Tag
Although there are many different video game genres out there, it’s safe to say that the most popular games revolve around combat in one way or another. It’s for this reason that it can be difficult to find a real-life activity that replicates the situations and excitement of shooter-style games. With that said, you’ll find that battlefield laser tag is the perfect activity to suit your needs, as it not only makes good use of modern technology, but players can also fully immerse themselves in a forest environment and take part in a range of engaging combat scenarios.
In laser tag, much like multiplayer first-person shooters (FPS), the essential traits of a successful team include excellent communication, team tactics, and creative thinking — transferable skills that make laser tag the ideal day out for a group of friends who fancy themselves as laser tag’s answer to the Expendables.
It was around the mid-2000s when parkour began to get some traction, appearing in several television shows and films — most famously Casino Royale. Since then the sport has gained a large following of both serious enthusiasts and anyone with a flair for acrobatics and of course, those of us who want to tick “do a backflip” off our list of life goals.
Although parkour was born in urban environments where obstacles were unforgiving and often dangerous, these days you can visit a vast range of parkour-style facilities all over the country. While the main attraction of this activity is excitement, you’ll also find that the cardio workout is quite substantial, coupled with a thorough leg workout from bouncing and jumping all day. For gamers, this offers a rare opportunity to replicate scenes from their favourite games where protagonists and villains can fly through the air and perform stunts us mere mortals could only dream of.
4. Martial Arts
Although shooting games are all the rage these days and have been for some time, there’s still very much a place for melee fighting games such as Tekken, Mortal Combat, and Street Fighter. And while there is an abundance of superpowers used in these games, their core concept is martial arts — which has been a cultural fascination from the days of Bruce Lee up to the modern phenomenon that is MMA.
Some people are hesitant to try martial arts as they aren’t interested in combat-style sports, but in reality, martial arts offer a unique and effective way of getting in shape and becoming a more disciplined person. Progression in any martial art requires time, effort, and a determination to succeed — all traits that any adult can benefit from and every child will find to be invaluable.
5. Team Sports
Right, now for an activity that can definitely be considered a classic — team sports! Even though most of us took part in team sports during both primary and secondary school, the percentage of people who end up playing a team sport in their leisure time is significantly lower. So while during your younger days they may have felt like a chore, playing team sports is an enormous benefit for developing social skills, team building experience, and improving your self-confidence. If you’re someone who feels that you lack in these areas, seeking out a team sport which you like might just be what you’re looking for!
You may think this would be the last thing that gamers want to do, as they tend to spend a lot of time indoors, well, gaming. But thanks to the genius of the internet, gamers can now play together online and communicate via headsets, meaning they already have experience with team activities. These skills are transferable in many different ways and a team sport can be the catalyst for finding an outdoor hobby and developing better face-to-face relationships.