Maintaining fitness within a gaming-centric lifestyle may seem paradoxical at first glance. The essence of gaming is typically a sedentary activity. However, gamers have to pay specific attention to their physical fitness to stay healthy both physically and mentally. In this post, we discuss some of the key health issues that gamers face and give some health recommendations.
Physical Activity for Gamers: More Important Than Ever
The phrase “sitting is the new smoking” is very true for gamers, especially passionate or professional gamers who spend long hours sitting. These negative health effects include an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. Prolonged sitting also alters the functioning of the brain, and not in a positive manner. In fact, prolonged sitting decreases the brain’s cognitive abilities and results in less efficient gaming behavior.
The longer one plays the more mistakes one makes because the brain gets tired. This is particularly important for competitive gaming. So, in contrast to the popular belief that one has to focus on practicing for several hours straight to improve their skills, the best strategy for physical and mental health alike is to have frequent breaks.
It’s crucial to emphasize that taking a break doesn’t mean simply switching to YouTube or another application. Instead, the recommended practice is to physically stand up from the computer and walk around. According to studies, only 6 minutes of walking restores the brain’s cognitive function. Interestingly, more intense activities like running or weight lifting don’t have the same effect.
Hand And Wrist Exercises To Boost Esports Health
Professional esports athletes report repetitive strain injuries to their wrists and elbows, in particular, carpal tunnel syndrome. Unfortunately, frequent breaks and walking do not prevent wrist injuries.
Integrate simple exercises into your routine, such as rotating your wrists, flexing your fingers, and stretching your wrists, at least once every hour. Given that every game naturally includes downtime, seize this opportunity to provide your hands and wrists with much-needed relief.
Nutrition and Hydration
Nutrition is a vast and sensitive subject, yet its significance to our health and performance cannot be overestimated.
Maintaining proper hydration and cultivating adequate nutritional habits play a critical role not only in physical and mental health but also in enhancing focus and cognitive function which all gamers require.
Overeating and consuming high-calorie foods and beverages can result in weight gain, carrying potential risks for metabolic and cardiovascular health.
Moreover, different foods influence brain functions differently. Choosing tasty and healthy foods and staying hydrated by drinking water or other “natural” drinks will support health and brain function alike for optimal performance when gaming.
Avoiding Sugary Snacks and Drinks
While sugary snacks may offer a rapid surge of energy, they should not constitute a primary meal in your gaming routine. Following the initial energy boost, there is frequently a subsequent decline in both physical and mental energy levels, when the sugar level in your blood drops.
Moreover, regular consumption of sugary snacks carries the risks of obesity, diabetes, and decreased dental health over time.
A more favorable approach is to choose a nutritious and well-balanced meal plan to support healthier eating habits. Additionally, opting for a bottle of water as your gaming beverage, as opposed to a can of soda, is a smart choice for maintaining overall well-being.
Healthy Sleeping Schedule
Sleep is a universal need for all people and plays a crucial role in our recovery and overall health. Gaming sessions often extend into the night when gamers have more free time but this gaming schedule interrupts normal sleeping routines. So sleeping properly and following a natural schedule is often an issue for gamers.
However, those who stick to a consistent sleep schedule and incorporate regular breaks between gaming sessions have higher chances of regaining their mental health and moreover, of playing better.
Investing in Good Ergonomics
Ergonomics stands as the key necessity in refining the gaming posture, thus preventing issues with wrists, elbows, and lower back. Players who engage in long sessions should invest in appropriate hardware that will serve them well. You may want to choose the best no deposit bonus in Canada in order to save money when gaming or gambling but proper chair and accessories for gaming are not the things you should save money on.
The necessary items will be an ergonomics-focused office chair with back support, a convenient keyboard, and an ergonomic mouse that will prevent wrist problems. Split keyboards and a vertical mouse can be your best choice for long-term healthcare without impacting your gaming performance.
Avoid Eye Strain While Gaming
An interesting fact: both professional and casual gamers are susceptible to eye issues. Extended gaming sessions pose significant challenges to eye health, with prolonged play leading to increased sensitivity, reduced blinking, and potential issues such as sleepiness, dryness, and irritation.
Prolonged screen exposure may induce eye strain, eventually resulting in frequent headaches, dry eyes, or even double vision. Ensure that your monitor brightness is at an optimal level, and consider taking short breaks every hour to allow your eye muscles a moment to unwind by gently closing your eyes for a few minutes.
Use Proper Lighting
When selecting the location for your gaming setup, consider a room with a window. Natural light, being gentler on the eyes compared to artificial light, is preferable for background illumination. If you opt for artificial light, invest in an adjustable lamp and soft RGB background lights that match with your screen color. Many video games provide accessibility settings like daytime mode and nighttime mode to enhance your gaming experience.