I Am a Hurtin' Unit Today: Playing the Kinect
Getting back to playing on the Xbox Kinect put me through the wringer
I am a fan of gamifying fitness in any regard. This means finding something you discover that is fun and that you can see yourself doing 12 months from now. And the Xbox Kinect is one such device that really does it for me. In fact, the majority of the last 80 pounds I've lost was thanks to the Kinect.
But what happens when you don't play your favorite game for several months and jump back into it? Well, if you play as hard as I do, you'll put yourself in a hurt locker.
That's what happens when you neglect your workouts for an extended period of time. Now, it feels like my thighs are going to explode and my arms are going to fall off.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
The reason I am hurtin' today isn't because I injured myself. It's thanks to delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. This is when you push your body a bit further than it is currently capable of, and is a signifier that it's essentially repairing the damage of micro-lesions throughout the muscle fiber.
It can last up to three days depending on how much you try to push a workout, especially after a long hiatus.
Now, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce the recovery time. For example, I usually have a protein shake after the workout, which seems to help ease the soreness while cutting off about a day from how long I normally feel DOMS.
I also find that keeping active greatly alleviates the pain. For instance, as my legs feel like rubber, walking more helps reduce the soreness I feel throughout the day.
Everyone has their own way of adapting. The important thing to remember is that this is the "good" kind of pain weight lifters and personal trainers tell you about.
Virtual Smash with Weighted Gloves
So, what Kinect game did I push myself to play? What else? Virtual Smash.
This is a Gym Game within Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. Essentially, you're breaking blocks by punching and kicking. It involves a twisting motion, which is great for the obliques and your lats. Using your right hand, you punch blocks on your left side. The same goes for kicking.
Strapping on weighted gloves makes your body use more energy to keep up the activity as it has to accommodate for the extra weight. One pound on each hand may not sound like a lot until you do it for 25 minutes.
Needless to say, my traps, upper back, shoulders, and biceps are a bit on the sore side today.
Then, during the Hard difficulty, you have to duck a swinging block. To do this, I perform a squat to get me low enough to avoid being struck. That's where the leg work came into play. As I go through five rounds of the Hard difficulty, I performed quite a few bodyweight squats.
Out of all the games I play, I think Virtual Smash is the one that delivers a more complete body workout compared to the others. I still enjoy tennis and whatnot, but Virtual Smash is the one that really puts me into a sweaty mess while working out everything from my knees to my neck.
Maintaining a Good Workout Routine
Now, I wouldn't be such a hurtin' mess today if I would have maintained a good routine of playing the Xbox Kinect. But as it is, I haven't really played like this since last September. So, I let myself relax too much for about five months. And statistically speaking, it only takes a month for the body to start losing muscle mass that it isn't using.
So, the soreness today is 100% my fault for being so lazy for almost half of a year.
Lately, I haven't been the most committed to exercise routines. Mostly, this is because I am exceptionally busy with small windows throughout the day where I can actually get in a few workouts. With everything I do in a day, I'm kind of impressed I was able to get two rounds of Kinect gameplay yesterday.
But if I want to prove to everyone that you don't need restrictive diet plans or personal trainers to lose weight, I need to be an example. And this is an example of why you need to maintain a good routine. Otherwise, you'll face the piper and suffer through DOMS for a day or two.
How Does This Affect the Scale?
One thing you need to keep in mind is that exercising and weight training is going to cause the scale to fluctuate wildly. This is one of the reasons why I suggest not stepping on the scale from day to day. It can get frustrating if you don't notice yourself losing weight overall.
I've noticed a pound or two increase throughout the week once I start going to the gym and lifting on the weight machines. Every time.
That's mostly because my body is converting all that effort into muscle mass. So, I'll burn fat but put on muscle at a much faster pace. The scale will say that I haven't lost anything this week, but the way my clothes fit will tell another story.
The density of muscle is much greater than that of fat. This is why I suggest taking regular selfies, taking tape measurements, and monitoring how certain clothes fit when getting into a regular routine. Because in the beginning, the scale will say that you haven't lost much weight, but that's because you're replacing fat with muscle tissue. And this transition is different for everyone depending on the workouts you use, your diet, and your unique physiology.
I Would Love to Stream Virtual Smash
One of these days, I will get a computer out in the living room so I can stream playing the Xbox Kinect. Because the way I play is much different from others I've seen on YouTube. I really jump into the game with gusto.
Though, I do look a bit silly jumping around my living room while playing tennis. If anything, it might be somewhat entertaining.
One of the reasons I try to do more with the fitness blog, YouTube channel, and social media is to hold myself accountable. Because when it comes to health and fitness, you're only truly accountable to yourself. You make the decision of whether you want to be healthy and fit. But when you put yourself out there for others to view, it helps keep focus.
Essentially, I'm using my audience, fans, followers, and subscribers as a way to keep my head in the game. Mostly. I haven't been the most committed lately, which is something I am changing.
At any rate, you need to find something that keeps you motivated to reach your goals. It's too easy to say, "eh, not today" and curl up on the couch with a package of Oreos.
Keeping the Momentum Going!
I was trying to maintain a new case study for playing the Xbox Kinect and losing weight. Unfortunately, my morning is already shot to hell and I am pretty busy later today, as it's my best friend's birthday. I might have to restart the case study on Saturday.
But no matter what, I am gaining some focus to prove Will Smith wrong that it shouldn't take 20 weeks to lose 20 pounds. If that sounds a bit random, look up "Will Smith 20 Pounds" on YouTube.
About the author
I am the owner and operator of several blogs including WriterSanctuary.com. As a freelance writer since 2012, I have covered a range of topics and completed over 8,000 projects for clients. Follow me @WriterSanctuary on Twitter.