Shape up!

by Alphaville Herald on 22/08/05 at 4:00 pm

When I’m in game, people often ask me how I am able to keep my avatar in peak form, and whether my RL free weight ripped and pilates tuned body contributes to my outgoing and frankly irresistable virtual personality. The answer, of course, is yes. A healthy real life contributes to a healthy virtual life, and vice versa. Perhaps someday I will write a book on the secrets to being a physical and virtual adonis, but in the meantime SL resident Roquen Mason has opened a business as a consultant on physical and virtual health. In particular, she will be offering her services as a Personal Trainer – in the form of in world consultations . The available consultations include the following:

• Exercise Programming
• Nutrition Advice
• Weight loss advice/programming
• Exercise for pregnancy
• Sport specific training advice
• Strength/muscle building planning and advice
• General fitness and health advice/monitoring and motivation
• General mentoring/counselling

An interview and press release follow.

Uri: How come you want to do this?? Do you think it will be fun, or are you actually worried about us, lol.

Roquen: Because I know that there is a need for it. I’m not saying everyone in SL is overweight but the current statistics in countries such as America and Australia a staggering and somewhat disturbing and according to the World Health Organization:

Globally, there are more than 1 billion overweight adults, at least 300 million of them obese.

Obesity and overweight pose a major risk for chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer.
The key causes are increased consumption of energy-dense foods high in saturated fats and sugars, and reduced physical activity.

I am actually worried about everyone, and I say that in a global sense. There is a lot of misinformation out there about exercise, eating, health and so on, I’d like to play a part in correcting that and helping other people enjoy long full, healthy lives.?

Uri: Do you really think you can accomplish anything by just talking to people?? Wouldn’t it be better to tell them to turn off their computer and go to the gym?

Roquen: Yes, I do, and I already do this in RL with clients I never meet in person. It would be simple to tell people to turn off their computer for an hour and go to the gym, however the average person doesn’t know how to exercise safely in terms of type, intensity, time. Every day in the gym I work in, I see people training the wrong way for what they want to achieve, sometimes even completely wasting their time, there are certain principles in exercise that need to be adhered to and it takes more than reading a fitness magazine to understand these and put them into practice.? I want to educate people so they have the skills to make their time when exercising or their decisions when eating effective and safe. I can provide information on correct ways to?per-iodize training to achieve certain results, how to allow for adequate recovery from training, how to eat correctly according to their needs. Eating is the other big one, and I am very much looking forward to educating people on how to eat better – whether it is preparing healthier fast snacks to bring back to their computer, or whole meal planning.

Uri: Are you going to be interested in the health of avatars at all — online mental health, balance in life, positive thinking, anything like that?

Roquen: My whole reasoning for even setting this up is the health of the avatars.? A?sedentary lifestyle can lead to many health problems, one study showed that? 20% of all deaths of people 35 and older were attributed to a lack of physical activity. That’s more deaths than can be attributed to smoking. Looking at specific diseases, the risk of dying from cancer increased 45% for men and 28% for women due to lack of physical activity. The risk of dying from respiratory ailments was 92% higher for men and 75% higher for women. That’s just the physical effects.?

People who aren’t well physically can then have mental problems as a result – they have no “balance in life” as you say. Depression is rife among people who don’t exercise, and exercise has been prescribed often and successfully as a way to reduce depression. Someone who is healthy in their body will enjoy their time in SL more, interact better with other people as they will be more alert, have more energy and less depressive tendencies.

Uri: If the idea of avatar health makes sense to you do you think that avatar health can have an impact on r/l health (and vice versa?) — another way to put the question is this:? Is Uri the avatar such a mack daddy because his typist is physically a finely tuned adonis (and vice versa?)?

Roquen: Yes – as I mentioned in my previous answer – someone who is fit in RL, will have more energy, able to concentrate better, more alert and so on – which will make their avatar health better – and most likely a more enjoyable avatar for others to interact with. Exercise and good eating causes the release of endorphins – which make us feel good. I like to see my service as bridging the gap between RL and SL – and making a connection between the two. I think if avatars are visiting a centre like mine, and being educated, it might create a more healthy and interesting community in SL – where people have more to think about and talk about than SLingo and buying clothing and weapons!

***Press Release***

Second Life Health and Fitness is opening soon!

SL Health and Fitness is a new and exciting service being offered to its residents. It is bridging the gap between Real Life and Second Life and is available to everyone.

A sedentary gaming lifestyle can lead to increases in body fat – leading to overweight and obesity, limited circulation, blood pressure problems, decrease in lean muscle mass, decrease in fitness and therefore heart, lung health and bad eating habits.

Perhaps you don’t spend THAT much time on your computer, but just want a little help in achieving your body image/weight goals, or need motivation to stay on track.

I will be offering my services as a Personal Trainer – in the form of in world consultations at a very fair rate. The services I am offering are online and effective – you can use what I teach you and prescribe for you in your own time, but at the pace I set. Clients have access to the following services which are one on one appointments and individualised for each client.

• Exercise Programming
• Nutrition Advice
• Weight loss advice/programming
• Exercise for pregnancy
• Sport specific training advice
• Strength/muscle building planning and advice
• General fitness and health advice/monitoring and motivation
• General mentoring/counselling

Appointments will be held in Second Life, in either of my two offices and will usually last for about 30 minutes. I can also visit you in your home if you do not with to teleport to my offices. All appointments are individual, and all clients will be required to fill out basic health history screening forms and provide some general information about themselves and their current health/fitness so I can give effective and safe advice.

The appointments can be question answer counselling sessions, or specific advice sessions.. your needs will be analysed in your first appointment and further help will be structured from this to suit your needs. I will be available for email support in between appointments as well, to ensure you stay on track!

Benefits of having a Health and Fitness Coach

- Assistance in achieving your goals and maintaining motivation
- Assurance and peace of mind that the time you spend on exercise, and money you spend on food is going to WORK!
- A mentor who can answer questions, provide direction, motivation and support in what can be for some, a very challenging life change
- A shoulder to cry on when things get tough
- Clear correct, effective and researched advice on correct ways to eat for different goals.

A little about me
In Real Life I am a working and experienced Personal Trainer – currently doing a lot of work in a women’s centre helping with weight loss and toning goals. Also coach an male Australian Champion athlete (sprinter) and myself am a competitive horse rider and training to be s stuntwoman. I have a lot of experience with many different levels of fitness and ability and can coach and mentor anyone from an absolute beginner to an experienced athlete. I am ex army so have skills to motivate and push you to achieve your goals.

If you would like my help – please IM me Roquen Mason, to organise an appointment, or email
Walk in appointments will be accepted if I am not with anyone at the time. Offices located at: The Menager in Scafell (207, 39) and just outside Club Rev at Picus.

Pricing Structure
As an introductory offer, appointments will be charged at L$200 for the first 20 residents. After that – appointments will be L$300.

I’m very excited to be offering such a new and different service in Second Life, thankyou for reading,

Roquen Mason

8 Responses to “Shape up!”

  1. RB

    Aug 22nd, 2005

    Fruitcake. Avatars don’t need exercise or personal trainers. lol. Because they aren’t real, and you can change thier appearance just like that. *clicks fingers*

    I fail to see the point in such a “service” . Unless of course it’s all roleplay. Which is good to do.

    That why you need me and the benefits of this and that speech would work in RL tho. Pretty convincing.

    Lastly, nobody is going to exercise in RL because a stranger in a virtual world told them to do.

    - RB.

  2. Urizenus

    Aug 22nd, 2005

    RB, she isn’t a virtual stranger. She’s a virtual friend. And for crying out loud, people exercise because Richard Simmons tells them to. What’s the difference, except that he’s a clueless doughy little idiot?

  3. RB

    Aug 23rd, 2005

    R.S must be a yank thing. Never heard of him.

    And we know how hollow virtual “friends” are. People change them, people fight them, they come and go. Real friends take a long time to build up. The word friend has almost lost meaning in such worlds as it is used very loosely. Like it’s some cutsey play term everyone applies to everyone else. That person you met a week ago, thier not your friend. 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 4 weeks, not your friend. Friends are long term. Of course i blame stupid marketing BS and the idealistic almost utopian views people place on these make believe worlds.

    - RB.

  4. Urizenus

    Aug 23rd, 2005

    um, RB, does this mean we aren’t friends? :(

  5. simone

    Aug 24th, 2005

    Um, Richard Simmons isn’t clueless. It’s an act. Hell, one might even call it roleplay. He’s educated in the field of personal training, from my knowledge of the man, gained during a RL interview with him.

    My point is that SL isn’t the only place people engage in roleplay, and manage to make a little change in the process.

    And besides, if health issues can be rectified through the knowledge he shares, as well as Roquen, who are the losers? Only the folks who stay perched on their padded duffs and crack jokes about those actually having a positive impact. Personal improvement starts in the mind, FIRST. If you can’t believe it, you can’t acheive it.

    Whatever works. Thumbs up, Roquen.

  6. RB

    Aug 24th, 2005

    Of course Uri. Since ive known you for a pretty long time and even know the real you to a small degree i would consider ya a friend. :) Long term build up like i said.

    - RB.

  7. Ingrid

    Aug 25th, 2005

    Great idea!

  8. Janus Sartre

    Sep 22nd, 2005

    Wow, I hate to have admit that this is a fact, but this sounds like a good idea, beyond the RP aspects of it.

    People like positive reinforcement. Well documented studies have shown that positive reinforcement can effect the chances of smokers to stay quit, for people on diets to stay true to them and a gammut of other things.

    When you don’t have people readily available to give you positive feedback in RL, why not get a SL trainer? They are there to give you that positive feedback component, even if you’re paying for it.

    Psychiatrists get paid for doing this on a daily basis, and they are not your “Friend” and you don’t see them outside of their office. So why not put the same faith for a much lower cost? It’s not for everyone but might be a helpful part of a larger program to people who want to give it a try.

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