For the longest time, gaming has been given a bad wrap in comparison to other hobbies. According to society outside of the gaming community, the overall caricature of a gamer is that we’re lazy, we live in our parents basements and are wasting our lives away. Is it because we spend most of our time sitting on our butts at the computer or on the couch? Probably. Do they forget that while we’re gaming, we’re also using our brains? Definitely.
But while one of the human body’s most important muscles is getting a workout, the rest also need taking care of. There are a lot of gamers out there who balance their passion for gaming along with a healthy lifestyle. There was even a survey done by the Queensland University of Technology which states that professional esports players drink less, hardly smoke and had a 9-21% healthier weight than the general population.
Although these are professional esports competitors who obviously have a healthy regime to enhance performance, this study kicks people perceptions right out the window. And with those figures, It also says that I have to get into esports.
Now I’m not exactly the poster child of a healthy adult. And obviously my passion is within gaming. I don’t have many other hobbies or participate in sports either. So between my everyday job, my job as a writer within video games media and gaming in general, I don’t exactly fit in activities that are overly physical. Which definitely shows on the scales.
While I am comfortable in my own skin, I also have days where I look at myself as a giant, pasty blob. It’s a hard pill to swallow at times. Once upon a time a few years ago, I used to be 20-25kg lighter. Back then I was a member of the gym, however it only took one small slip up of my routine for it to all crumble down. I’m still yet to go back.
Since then, I haven’t been huge on working out, which became obvious as the years progressed. And with quarantine last year, my max weight which I comfortably sat on without getting any higher jumped an extra 10kg. For me, that was my big reality check.
Back in March, Huawei had sent out a media release about World Health Day on April 7 along with information about a few of their products. This sparked an idea in my head. What if this gamer got healthy? Or at least tried.
After I reached out to Huawei, Huawei reached back and were keen on the idea. Shortly after, they’d sent out a Huawei Watch Fit and Scale 3 for a month to help me get my health on track. Now before we get into the nitty gritty of how my month long journey went, let’s talk about these two products.
The Huawei Watch Fit is a smart watch similar to many that are already on the market. The Watch Fit packs plenty of features, including the usual such as a pedometre, sleep monitor, heart rate monitor and Bluetooth connectivity to smart phones so you can sneaky check your messages at work.
But the Huawei Watch Fit is more than just a smart watch. It’s basically a health and fitness guide on your wrist. The Watch Fit features a plethora of workouts which are fully animated on the screen so you know exactly what to do. It also comes with different workout modes to spice up your daily walk/jog/run.
Other aspects of your heath are also tracked outside of step counts, heart rate and sleep monitoring. Blood Oxygen Saturation, or Sp02, can also be monitored as well as menstruation cycles and estimated ovulation dates. Those last two were obviously not tested by me. Surprisingly, you can also monitor your stress levels. Which was definitely tested by me.
All of the data the Watch Fit tracks is sent via Bluetooth to the Huawei Health app on your smart phone, which is then compiled into its different sections as data graphs.
While the Watch Fit was keeping track of the majority of my bodies functions, the Scale 3 kept a detailed track of my weight. And it’s not pretty at all. The Scale 3 is a smart scale, which can also connect to your phone via Bluetooth and/or WiFi.
At first, this sounded like a crazy concept as they look just like normal digital scales. There’s nothing fancy about them visually. But while they look simple, this tech savvy adult did struggle setting it up at first. This I go more into in my first and only Vlog for this “Gamer Gets Active” review.
My initial plan was the to keep track of my journey via a vlog series with 1 video per week. However, I was just setting myself up for failure. I’m not a natural vlogger for starters and as much as I wanted to vlog myself getting out and getting active, I can’t film myself in public without feeling awkward.
I did film a couple of my indoor workouts though and posted one particular workout on my personal social media. However this is mostly going to be a written breakdown with one lonely blog.
My first week with the Huawei Watch Fit and Scale 3 went pretty well to say the least. For the most part, I was really interested in keeping track of my step count and sleep patterns .
The pedometre was something that I found to be my motivator to get more active. I had a really lazy day during my first week where by 5pm I’d only done a little over 600 out of the 10,000 daily steps recommended. That was a wakeup call to show how little I do, especially on the 3 days off from my everyday job.
I started getting light exercise in, mainly walks and an attempt at a jog. The latter wasn’t as easy to continuously do as a on/off smoker. Which I gave up during the entire month. I also did some of the Watch Fit’s programmed workouts which ranged from quick 3 minute workouts up to solid 20 minute sessions.
I wanted to use these different levels of workouts as if I’m progressing in a game. If I can effortlessly clear level 1 then I can do level 2 and so on and so forth.
The sleep monitor was also helpful tool to see just how much I’m sleeping of a night. I actually woke up excited to see my sleep rating from the night before. Apparently it wasn’t too good. The Watch Fit tracks deep sleep, light sleep, rapid eye moment and when you’ve woken up during the night.
While I found this feature to be the most interesting of them all, there were a couple of nights where the watch didn’t track my sleep properly. The first night this happened I slept for a total of 8 hours. Or so I thought. According to the watch I took a 2 hour and 45 minute nap. What caused this is a mystery. Maybe it was because of how the watch was sitting on my wrist or it was too loose.
In regards to my weight it did jump up and down a little bit during my first week. As much as I progressively hated the idea of religiously weighing myself weigh myself, this was an everyday performance as soon as I’d wake up in the morning. My diet got better but at the same time I was slipping up with bad food. I never had a goal weight before starting this either, especially since a month is such a short period of time.
Things were pretty much the same during this week. I was still getting in workouts where I could and I tried to be good in regards to my diet but the slip ups were still there. However my main concern wasn’t about eating totally healthy but more so about getting off my butt.
I will admit though that the reminders to get moving when I’ve been sitting down for more than an hour weren’t enough to get me up everytime. Maybe the Watch Fit needs something more than just a bozz to alert me. Maybe a much longer buzz or even an alarm that only shuts down when I’m actually moving.
I also tested out the Watch Fit’s claims that it had an impressive 10 day battery life. But I do have to say that it also depends on how much you’re using the Watch Fit’s functions. I’d been using it to track my sleep, steps, indoor workouts, GPS tracking for outdoor workouts, texts/emails and as a music player remote.
I’m not debunking their claims that it can last 10 days on a single charge but if you’re like me who’s using their Watch Fit to its full potential, you’ll get around 5 days out of it. Which is still quite good. Before testing the battery life, I’d ever put it on charge when I went for a shower. Which is all that it needs since you get 10% for every 5 minutes it’s on charge.
One gripe I have however in regards to charging is the extremely short. All of my powerpoints aren’t table/desk high meaning I had to have it charging on the ground. Luckily, I never stepped on it.
This was the week I was in a total slump. Did I want to be active? No. Unfortunately, my everyday job will take up most of my time and energy throughout the week. And this week I had a game to review and a deadline to meet.
I couldn’t even check my Blood Oxygen Saturation to see if there was something off with my health. Somehow I had disabled something within the Sp02 settings that I wasn’t able to figure out.
There wasn’t much working out done this week, whether it was indoors or outdoors. My step goals were being reached but only on the days I was working. I’m also guilt of ordering one too many meals through UberEats. It definitely wasn’t my most active week but I wasn’t going to start kicking myself for it. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my schedule won’t always allow me to be active all the time.
I will always fight with my body when going to sleep of a night time but I’ve learned to allow myself a couple of extra hours instead of forcing myself awake first thing. Some of the reason why I’d feel sluggish in the past was because of that reason. Was gaming a big part of it? Absolutely.
The Huawei Health app was also telling me that my sleep schedule was all over the place for that week and that I should maintain a regular schedule. As a gamer with two jobs, I knew that was going to be a big struggle.
While my previous week was the pinnacle of feeling lazy, the final week was the complete opposite. It was also when my car had unfortunately died. This meant that to get to work, the shops, etc. I had to rely on walking most of the time.
Luckily, this requires less than a half hour walk each way so I was able to start getting active once again. It felt good to start becoming more active after a huge slump of a week, but I will admit that I missed my car a lot.
But I feel like I may have voided most of the physical activity as the UberEats deliveries didn’t stop either. I prioritised my time towards my games media work over cooking food myself which didn’t always consist of the healthier option of Subway.
On top of hating the regularity of watching my weight every single day, It was the constant fluctuation of said body weight. I started sitting on 100.3 kilos and spent the next few weeks gradually going as low as 96.5kg and then jumping right back up to 99kg. My end result of 97.7kg was little progress from my starting weight but I knew that to lose even more, I had to really commit to both eating right and being more active.
AM I AN ACTIVE GAMER NOW?
In all honesty, I still need improvement. But the Watch Fit was a great tool to keep track of everything and get me going just that little bit more. My weight still feels a bit on the heavier side. But it was nice to see a slightly smaller numer on my scales than I’ve been seeing over the last 6 months.
My sleep quality over the course of a month was pretty average, with an average sleep score of 70. As a gamer with a wonky schedule who will risk a late night here and there before an early start, it’s definitely no surprise. Nor is it an excuse as I can tell you right now that my body is routinely put through hell this way.
Particularly during my first week with the two Huawei products, I realized that a more active lifestyle outside of the days I work an early shift can help me naturally get to bed earlier.
Now I just need to get my hands on a Watch Fit of my own and see how I can go for much longer than a month.