YASAIIII!!!!… Err, why Largo was correct about vegetables.

April 6, 2010

Largo is a beast. Know why? Cause he eats his f'n veggies!

FYI, I love “JRPGs.” When did that become a term used in a derisive fashion anyhow? Western RPGs have their good points but for the most part I am a huge JRPG fan. Square Enix, tri-Ace, From Software, you guys rocks my socks off.

But anyway, back to the point. If any of you played Valkyria Chronicles, congrats. You played one of the best SRPGs released in a long time. Now if you haven’t, pay attention ^^. Largo, one of the supporting characters in Valkyria Chronicles, has a HUGE thing for vegetables. In fact, I didn’t even know he *SPOILER* bore feelings for anyone else in his squad because his love for vegetables overshadowed whatever else he could have had an inch of passion for.

Was he onto something? Look, everyone seems to know they should eat more veggies and that vegetables are good for you, but do you actually know why it could be better to snack on some carrots and hummus once in awhile instead of eating that huge plate of fried rice?

1. They fill you up fast. If you’re overweight and trying to lose some pounds, or you’re trying to lose fat to get ripped like Arumat from Star Ocean 4, you should consider eating vegetables. Vegetables are already naturally low in calories, and since they fill you up quickly, you will consume way less calories if you get full on vegetables instead of say, a cheeseburger from McDonalds.

Wanna lose fat and get shredded? Eat your veggies.

2. High amounts of dietary fiber. If you eat lots of vegetables, you should therefore also be getting a large amount of dietary fiber. So what’s gonna happen? You will take a dump. And if you eat enough vegetables and drink enough water, you will take a fat dump. So what good does that do? You’ll clear your body out of toxic junk that accumulates in your insides and you’ll feel damn good when you hop off that toilet too. Don’t worry–you won’t end up like Johnny Sasaki when he gets the runs, though.

Don't worry!!! You won't get diarrhea like Johnny Sasaki here.

3. Chicks like guys who eat vegetables! Okay, this one is a little biased towards our male readers here, but my lovely girlfriend always reminds me how women are sick of guys who refuse to eat their greens. So if you wanna win some points with that cute girl you’ve been eyeing… you better eat your veggies!

You know, if you tell her you eat veggies, you might have a chance!

So what are the best vegetables to eat? Anything is better than nothing, especially if you don’t normally eat them!! Personally, I like to munch on things like celery, carrots, broccoli, and green beans. Those bags of frozen vegetables that you see at the grocery store are also good to eat. You can try using reasonable amounts of healthy toppings like hummus or salsa to make your vegetables more tasty, but this brings me onto the next point.

I’d be cautious about overusing things like ranch dressing to flavor your veggies. A lot of people claim to get their vegetables, but when they start saturating them with salad dressing and whatnot to make them “taste better,” they’re no better off than that stoner who jumps for the nearest bag of fried pork skins.

I think I’ve said enough. 野菜を食べましうかうか?

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Zack Fair does squats… and so should you!

April 6, 2010

Zack was on a beach, alone, with Cissnei. And he chooses to do squats instead of chatting it up.

Anyone remember in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Zack loved squats? Our favorite (well, MY favorite) Shinra SOLDIER 1st Class was onto something with his obsession over squats. For chrissake, he was on the beach with a nearly naked Cissnei but instead of trying to get more comfortable with her, he decides to do SQUATS. What the hell, Zack!?

Readers of Otaku Fitness, I am here to give you three good reasons why squats are an excellent exercise that you should incorporate into your quest for better health:

1. No equipment is needed. For the particular variation that Zack performs, he does not use any equipment at all. Whether he was at Shinra HQ waiting for his next mission or at Costa del Sol, Zack did his squats anywhere and everywhere. Which is partly why they’re so great. For the bodyweight squat, you do not need any equipment–your own body’s weight is going to kick your ass anyhow!

2.  They’re a compound exercise. In simple terms, this means that the squat works many muscles at once. Time is money; if you’re going to exercise, you may as well target more muscles in one session than less, right? Squats will kick your ass because they work quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, as well as your core. Sounding fun?

3. You can do them anytime, anywhere. I don’t care if you work the graveyard shift at Wal Mart or you’re a geeky Biochemistry major studying for the MCAT (that last one particularly hits home >_<). If you can stay up late trying to master El Fuerte’s infinite in Street Fighter IV, you can spend a few minutes a day doing bodyweight squats!

Here is a video on youtube that explains the bodyweight squat well:

So you might be asking… “Dude, I am not athletic at all; the most physical activity I ever got was from playing Wii Fit and DDR, where the hell should I start!?”

If you’re an absolute beginner, try this: Spend a few minutes one day doing as many squats as you can until you’re legs burn and you can’t do anymore. Rest 2-3 minutes before repeating the process again. Do this for a total of three times, and each time be sure to record the number of squats you did before your legs gave out. Do this mini workout 3 times a week, each time trying to do a few more squats than you could do on your previous days.

Remember, fitness is like your character level in an RPG. It takes time and effort in order to build your strength and endurance, and consistency is key. It’s better to take thing slowly but stay consistent in your exercise, rather than going balls to the walls and quitting because you’re burnt out.

I think I've said enough! Do your squats!!!

Besides, get strong enough and you’re gonna make SOLDIER 1st Class too!


Irrashaimase! Welcome to Otaku Fitness

April 6, 2010

If you’re reading this, you might consider yourself an anime fanatic, a hardcore gamer, or some sort of other otaku. And having been involved with this kind of subculture all my life, I understand the common kinds of mindset, obstacles, and questions that otaku have when it comes to getting in shape.

You can probably relate to who I was a couple of years ago. I was a typical college student: Being extremely busy with work and school usually meant little time for play. And in the little free time I had, I spent it either playing video games, watching anime, or eating junk food. I was content with this lifestyle despite my lack of physical activity.

During my sophomore year of college, I became interested in the boxing team at my university and learned there would be mandatory conditioning before people were allowed to practice with the team. Conditioning? I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I figured that since I was skinny and lanky, that probably meant I was in shape, right?

I wanted to be like this guy... I didn't realize how much work it'd take.

WRONG. It did not take me more than 10 minutes to realize how out of shape I was. All the pushups, squats, sit ups, and burpees the coach made us do sucked all the wind out of my lungs. Every muscle in my body was exhausted beyond what I previously ever felt. To make matters worse, we had to run three miles around the track after our general conditioning was completed.

At this point I realized how out of shape I was. In addition to my lack of physical activity, the junk food I shoved in my mouth every day didn’t help me out either. (IMO, health is 50% exercise and 50% what you eat, if not more determined by your diet).

Fast forward a few years later. Physical activity and exercise is a regular part of my daily routine, and I eat clean most the time (though I still love the occasional sushi buffet). I’m way more muscular than I used to be, and I have visible six pack abs, which before I never imagined I could have. I have more energy everyday and in general, I feel a lot better about myself and my self-confidence definitely increased.

So why is this blog here? I’m here to provide exercise and nutrition tips in an easy way for my fellow otaku to relate to and understand. Hopefully my blog will help you get shredded like everyone’s favorite vigilante, Kenshiro!

Bruce Lee... errr, Kenshiro!