There is a common gross misconception in society that gamers are overweight, sweaty and unhealthful people, that video games make us live like pigs, stuff our mouths and not go outside.
Whereas film buffs or tv binge watchers are not classified like us at all, and it is unfair. No matter what body type you are, it doesn’t matter what you do, you do what you love, and all I want to do is keep you safe while doing it. Because who said that you can’t be a good gamer and a healthy person at the same time?
Keeping Active & Healthy as a pro eSports player
For many professional eSports gamers, keeping fit has become almost as critical as retaining their mechanical ability in their game of choice. Decades ago, Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel made physical health the cornerstone of his quest to become the first professional gamer, mixing in daily exercise and keeping a healthy sleep to better prepare for his famous practice sessions.
Nowadays, eSports teams are supporting players with personal trainers, gym access, and a fitness regime.
It’s not an easy thing to maintain a balanced lifestyle and be an avid gamer that’s why we’ve listed some tips on how to do that, whether you’re a casual gamer or the next eSports star.
1. Keep Being Hydrated
Did you know that we may have a thirst for pain? It’s not just a dry mouth that lets you know that you’re ready for a drink. Sore eyes and/or neck, headaches, and finger / wrist pain are also big red flags when it comes to hydration.
Water is required to eliminate acidic waste from your cells, and when we’re dehydrated, the waste doesn’t go anywhere, leaving our nerves to interpret it as pain. Therefore, drinking water daily keeps you alert and lively. It also decreases the amount of acid pillaging in your body.
How much water do you need to intake? Well, depending on that, the suggested amount is normally 5-8 regular glasses a day.
Other stimulating drinks like coffee and soda, or energy drinks like G-FUEL and Monster are good, but only when taken in small amounts. Just make sure the amount of water is higher than the amount of coffee or soda you drink, and you’re going to be fine. Always keep in mind to drink moderately.
2. Eat Healthy Food
Besides from online workers, hardcore gamers are also on the list of people who spend hours sitting indoors all day. Most of the time, they don’t even know that they’ve missed a meal or that they haven’t had a good meal in years. The body uses a significant number of calories while the brain engages in activities such as gaming. The right diet is therefore necessary to maintain a healthy body and health.
There is no amount of fats or curbs that gamers can take because the fact is, they don’t have time to think about such things. It is also safe and energizing for gamers to eat moderate quantities of fat in food. However, excessive sugar consumption has become the elephant in the room. Most gamers favor fast food and snacks that take little or no effort and time to prepare. These contain all sorts of artificial sugars which are deadly especially if not coupled up with a fiber-based diet.
Increased sugar levels are a major contributor to obesity and diabetes among gamers, and therefore the most preferred substitute is fiber-rich fruits with better fiber-rich sugar. Protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and other essentials are all found in food. Make sure you’re including them in your meals, and you’re going to be active and vibrant. In some way, it’s going to help you win that game.
The best way to sneak into more physical activity is to only do it while gaming. Exercise bikes are a perfect way to burn kilojoules and stay active during gaming sessions. It’s easy to sit your bike in front of a TV or take your favorite smartphone gaming platform and play while you’re on the bike.
You probably won’t be able to handle a game that needs more intense concentration (or more desk space for a mouse) with your legs moving, but when you take a break from grinding the ladder to try the new hot RPG, you might also burn a few kilojoules while you’re at it.
Simple stretching can give you a boost of confidence:
- Improves blood flow in your body
- Great for stress relief
- Calms your mind
- Increases flexibility
- Improve your posture
You can also go out and do something that you like to keep you healthy while your body stretches and gains stability. Vitamin D is also good for the body, particularly during the morning hours. Take that long or short walk on a regular basis, and your body will thank you in the future. It is recommended that we are active for at least 30 minutes on most, preferably all, days of the week, and little bits of activity can provide huge health benefits.
4. Take a Break
The number one reason most hardcore gamers fail to reach their desired targets is fatigue. There’s so much the body can bear before it breaks down. Taking breaks tie in with eye strain, hydration and exercise, so it’s a lot easier to cover all of this at once.
If, by any chance, you’ve managed to get an all-night gaming experience, it’s healthy to take a nap, even if it’s a short power nap of about an hour and you’re good to go.
Other activities you can engage in during the breaks include:
- Taking a walk
- Grabbing something to eat
- Take a hot/cold shower
- Catch up with everything going on in the world
5. Hand and Wrist Health
eSports competitors and gamers do not need to worry about injuries that arise in physical sports, but repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnels are a major concern that can shorten promising careers if not properly handled. StarCraft god himself Lee “Flash” Young Ho needed surgery to continue his career, and that’s after years of careful handling of the problem.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, also referred to as median nerve compression, is a condition that causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand. It occurs because of the pressure on your median nerve, which runs along the length of your arm, goes through a passage in your wrist called a carpal tunnel, and ends in your hand.
So, if you’re a regular gamer or you aspire to be the next bigshot eSports star, don’t ignore your hands and wrists. Check out some basic hand and wrist exercises to make them part of your gaming routine.
6. Invest in Quality Equipment
There’s going to be a lot of sitting in front of the screen while you play games, particularly if this is part of your career. The first thing you need to invest in is a decent chair. There are hundreds of chair manufacturers made for gamers only.
Do some research and find a gaming chair to suit your needs. But the most important thing is lumbar support, so you’re not going to hurt your back because you’re sitting too long.
The next thing is a padded mouse pad to protect your wrist and even glasses with extra protection from the blue screen.
Also, pay attention to your posture and how far the screen is so you would put less stress on your eyes, neck and back.
7. Maintain a Balanced Lifestyle
Exercise is not the only way to remain healthy, and it is becoming increasingly clear that a balanced healthy lifestyle is essential in gaming, from proper diet to proper sleep. Wellness has been one of the biggest trends in eSports in over the years, with pro teams spending millions to provide players with a platform to maintain healthier lifestyles.
Pro players agree that having proper sleep and eating right will improve their play on the server, increase reaction time and improve concentration. Philadelphia Fusion reached the finals of the inaugural season of the Overwatch League, and credit much of their success to hiring a personal chef to manage their diet.
Maintaining a solid sleep routine is also a struggle for core gamers. The light emitted by any video game platform will interrupt the circadian rhythm of the body, making it more difficult to sleep and maintain a healthy daily cycle. Many doctors would suggest that you turn off your screens and phone for a few hours before bed, but there are other ways to ease the problem.
Everyone loves gaming, and a lot of us dream that it will be our careers. This is possible, particularly because eSports have been accepted as sports.
So, the next time you fire up your favorite new game, make sure you take some breaks, workout and stretch your legs regularly. Not only will you stay fit, but you will avoid risks of any serious diseases a lot of careless gamers have.