Each year, so many people decide to use the new year as a starting point on their fitness journey - and it’s a great goal to have! What some people find difficult is how monotonous it can get after a while. The daily gym grind, or forcing yourself out of bed early each morning to go for a run will get to most people after a while, but there is another option that can help: paintball games.
When you want a sport that provides action, excitement and a good workout all at once, there’s no better option than paintball. It’s an unpredictable, adrenaline-filled rush that offers something different every time you play - and you’ll meet plenty of people who enjoy it just as much as you.
What Makes Paintball Games A Good Form Of Exercise?
Any physical activity or sport can help you get more exercise and improve your fitness, and paintball is an intensive example. Each game involves numerous short bursts of movement combined with more consistent movement overall. Moving around the arena, avoiding opponents and their paintballs, while trying to win the game makes this a fast-paced sport.
While hiding behind cover is a part of it, staying in one place for too long isn’t the best strategy - and you can see more paintball tips and tactics across our blog - so players move a lot, and this is good exercise.
It’s An Exciting Form Of Cardio
When people think of cardio, they think of running and treadmills first, but there are many other ways to do more cardio exercise, such as swimming, cycling and, yes, paintball!
In each and every paintball game, you’ll be moving around a lot; running to objectives, to teammates, from one piece of cover to another. This isn’t long-distance or endurance running, but shorter dashes, almost sprint-like. Even then, you’ll be moving more often than not in most games, and this means your heart rate goes up and you’ll be burning calories.
It will take some getting used to, and longer cardio exercises shouldn’t be ignored completely, but you’ll find paintball games a great chance to build some stamina while you play.
As a reference, paintball games can last anywhere from 15-minutes to an hour or more, depending on the type of game being played. That’s a lot of activity. While calories burnt per sprint - which you’ll be doing a lot of in these games - can be up to 200 for every 2.5 minutes, your weight, intensity and duration will affect this.
Even intermittently, a 200 calorie burn for a 15-minute game you enjoy - even half that - will be worth the effort considering you’ll be playing a lot of games during the day.
You’ll Work On Your Whole Body
While cardio is the most obvious aspect of your paintball exercise, it’s not the only part. You’ll be working your entire body with every game. This comes in the form of the stances you take, crouching down often in a similar way to squats, carrying the equipment and even crawling along the ground will use different parts of your body. You’ll find that:
- Crouching, similar to squats, works on glutes
- Holding and aiming the marker works on biceps, triceps and shoulders
- Crawling along the ground will use your quads, hamstrings and calves
- The gear you carry helps with core strength
- Constant moving helps with cardio.
While you don’t need to focus on hitting these areas every time like you would in a workout session, you’ll see big improvements over time, and being aware of what’s getting a workout can inform what you do elsewhere.
Paintball Is A Great Way To Relieve Stress
Any kind of exercise can help reduce stress, as the activities release endorphins that have a definite effect on your mood. Stress can build up from multiple sources, but you’ll feel better when you can switch off from what causes you stress and do something tangible for a while. Beyond this, you’ll feel better after seeing your improvements over time, which can help enforce that you’re on the right track.
Paintball games do this and then some! Not only are you constantly in motion, but you have goals to achieve with each game’s objectives. Also, let’s face it, shooting paintballs at your opponents is a great way to relieve stress itself - even though they’re likely not the targets of your frustration!
It’s An Enjoyable Experience
One of the most important aspects of any activity is how enjoyable it is. Getting bored is one of the reasons people give up their daily runs or weekly gym sessions. It gets tedious, especially if you hit a plateau. Motivation will drop and it becomes a struggle to stick to the plan, even if you’ve seen great results so far.
Paintball games change that. You’ll be getting a great workout every time you play, but you won’t know exactly what to expect. Different strategies, objectives and players keep you invested, and seeing how much you improve will help you go even further - all the while enjoying the sport, which makes it easier to keep going.
What Exercise And Paintball Tips Can Help You Improve Your Fitness?
While paintball games are great exercise, there are ways to improve the effects you see while protecting yourself at the same time. This might mean a slight approach to how you prepare for and play each game, but the benefits will be huge if you get them right.
Warm-Ups Really Help
Before any strenuous exercise or activity, a good warm-up is essential. Not only does this get you in the right state for the match, both physically and mentally, but it reduces the risk of injury, too - and that can really derail your progress as you recover.
Think about the parts of your body you use and stretch a lot when working out what warm-ups to do. You can’t predict exactly how each paintball game will go, and stretches, pulls, and strains are possible in odd situations.
Find The Right Stance
We touched on this earlier, but find the right stance for your style of play. Standing up straight makes you a target, so you’ll find yourself crouching down a lot and this can put more pressure on different parts of your body.
Your stance needs to become second nature for when you play. You need to be able to get around quickly and have a stable base when you’re ready to fire at your opponents - while not making yourself too big or obvious a target for opponents. Speak to other players and watch what they do to pick up their paintball tips and tactics.
Focus On Intensity
If you want to maximise your performance in paintball games, then you can focus your fitness plans and exercises around this goal. As said earlier, paintball is an intensive sport full of short bursts of movement, other intensive training programs and classes that work with this principle can deliver outstanding results.
This is a paintball tip that will help you stay in the best condition throughout every match you take part in, but it depends on your end goal. If you’re getting in shape to be better at paintball, it’s a good route to go down. However, if you want a more general plan, don’t neglect other areas when regular paintball games will give you that high intensity activity.
Track Your Progress
You can do all this work, but you want to know how many calories you’re burning, or how your weight is affected. There are plenty of ways to do this, including checking the scales, but you can get more information from technology and apps.
Fitbits, Applewatches and other gadgets can give you an accurate idea of your fitness activities and what impact they have. Combine this with apps that record calorie intake and you can put numbers down to your efforts, and make adjustments as needed to stay on track to meeting your goals. This can help you avoid the ruts and stay motivated.
Ready To See How Paintball Games Can Help Your Fitness Goals?
While there’s no doubt that a good fitness program can do wonders for your physical and mental health, it doesn’t all have to be morning runs or hours spent in the gym. There are a lot of activities and sports that can add some variety and excitement to your routine, and paintball games are a great example of that.
Regular matches alone will help you improve your fitness levels, but combined with other activities and a good diet, you’ll see the difference very quickly. This is just one of the reasons we love paintball, and once you give it a try, you will, too. If you’d like to know more, get in touch with our team at Modern Combat Sports and we’ll answer any questions you have.