The Geek Guide to Exercise Motivation
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The Geek Guide to Exercise Motivation

Stereotypically, geeks are out of shape. Look at the comic book guy from the Simpsons, if you need an example. I am a geek, but I have recently decided that I want to be in shape. There are lots of good, valid reasons to get in shape, living longer, feeling better and being more attractive to the opposite sex, to name a few. But as a geek, there are other reasons that might strike closer to home. Here are my reasons for wanting to get in shape. I would like to say "I've lost X pounds so far", but I've just started.

Don’t you want to be like Batman?

Batman is awesome. Yes, he has millions of dollars and lots of time on his hands to fight crime in, but underneath all that, he is just a man. He is just a man who is in fantastic shape because he exercises. There is one line in Batman Begins that really struck me and made me want to get in shape. Bruce Wayne is trapped under a burning log and Alfred asks him “What is the point of doing all those pushups if you can’t lift a log?” Batman does pushups, so can you. A summary of my logic: Batman is awesome. Batman exercises. If I exercise, I can be like Batman. If I exercise, I can be awesome like Batman.

It’s just like leveling up.

Geeks will spend hours (and hours, and hours) leveling up their World of Warcraft characters. Exercise is just like leveling up. You do one thing over and over. Eventually, you get better at it. You grind your characters, why not grind yourself for a while? Think of it like this: every time I lift this weight, I gain one experience point. If you get enough experience points, you level up and can move on to bigger weights. Alternatively, start running short distances, then, as you level up, run longer.

Exercise releases endorphins

For the science geek wanting to get in shape I present the following fact: exercise produces endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals of pleasure and excitement and are also released during an orgasm. Simply put, endorphins are fun, and exercise releases them. Think of exercise as a scientific experiment: how long do I have to run before my body starts cranking out the endorphins? Since science is repeatable, repeat the experiment.

Exercise improves blood-flow, including to the brain

Geeks value intelligence. It is one of the defining characteristics of Geekdom. Exercise increases blood-flow. This includes blood-flow to the brain, which can, theoretically, make you smarter. If you spend a lot of time hunched over books, exercise can help relieve the ensuing muscle cramps (this is why my sister does yoga). Finally, if you are stuck staring at a problem, not getting anywhere, take an exercise break. You will come back with a clear head and a brain full of fresh oxygen, ready to look at the problem from a new perspective.

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