Five Healthy Habits That Every Gamer Should Pick Up
The gamer grind is all too real. Whether you’re a casual gamer, a rank pushing demon, a pro athlete or streaming your games, it’s pretty obvious that too much gaming can have adverse effects on your health. However, even if you’re gaming for a tolerable amount of time, are you doing justice to yourself in a physical or mental capacity? Don’t stick to the widespread norm of the gamer who is lethargic, has bad eyesight and a messed up back.
Here are some small habits to your routine which give you amazing long term results and benefits.
Let’s start with the basics. Water, an essential part of life yet something the gamer forgets in the heat of the game. The long weekends of gaming can pass by easily without one glass of water as you remain pumped and ready to push to the next match. While this can seem like not a huge problem, Even a 5% decrease in our hydration levels can cause our energy levels to drop by a third. So not just from a health standpoint, not drinking water can ruin your in game battles as well.
If you manage to drink around six glasses of water each day, you’ll be well hydrated and find that your concentration and energy levels will be increased.
Tip to get started:
Always have a bottle of water handy, whether you’re working or playing. Take a sip every time a round starts or there’s a loading screen. Condition yourself to drink water for a few days and it’ll become second nature.
You should drink whenever a new round begins or a loading screen appears. Just a few days of conditioning can make drinking water second nature, making it easy to stay well hydrated without even thinking about it.
No movement, only sitting
You start a game, it only means one thing. The next few hours are booked to that chair of yours.
Be it an online game like Call of Duty Mobile with the squad or an offline game like Assassin’s Creed, sitting for a longer duration of time without any movement proves to be a huge risk. Doctors have now started calling sitting as the new smoking as that’s how much of a danger long hours of sitting poses to your body.
Gaming for hours means sitting for hours, and sitting increases your risk for postural aches and pains. Prolonged sitting over time increases your risk for muscular imbalance and joint degeneration of the hips, spine, and shoulders.
Tips to get started:
Firstly while gaming, make sure your eyes only focus on the monitor approximately 20-24 inches from your face.
Use the 20-20-20 rule: For every 20 minutes of sitting and staring at a screen, get up and walk about and go look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
While gaming: your head and neck don’t move, or they move very little.
Take a break: nod your head all the way back-and-forth 3 times, turn your head all the way
left-to-right 3 times, and side bend your neck all the way back-and-forth 3 times.
While gaming: you won’t blink much—sometimes not at all.
Take a break: blink! Blink your eyes firmly 5-10 times between games to make sure your eyes won’t dry out and begin to burn.
Posture is your best friend
Speaking of sitting, even how you’re sitting matters a lot. Your posture is very important as really bad posture can negate most of the stuff discussed above. The health of the bones and muscles, as well as the body’s balance and coordination, can all be negatively impacted by poor posture. Therefore, be sure to keep a healthy posture throughout your gaming antics.
Following physical activity, stretching may increase range of motion and release chronic tension in muscles.
Tips to get you started:
Try exercises like moving your wrists in circles, flexing your fingers and stretching your wrists at least once an hour. Every game has some downtime every now and then, so put this time to good use by giving your hands and wrists some relief.
So when you’re finally done gaming. You’ve completed the day, and you won’t be gaming again until tomorrow or later. Now is the time for static stretching.
Only perform static stretching when you’re done with gaming so you don’t negatively affect your performance. Stretching at the right time is a staple of healthy gaming.
Ok this is a little extreme of an exaggeration.
Yea. That’s more like it.
Sleep > Games
Now there is a widespread practice of gamers pulling all nighters for their ranked grinds. It doesn’t help that it’s accepted and even glorified to play throughout the time moonlight shines. It’s in your best interest to stop at an appropriate time. Losing sleep has so many healthy downsides. Higher chance of depression, reduced immune system, higher blood pressure to name a few.
Tips to get you started:
Stop gaming an hour before bed and minimize blue light from screens by using blue light minimizing glasses or modes on your screens, as blue light interferes with our sleep schedules
Eat Healthy, Play Healthy
Snacking is not the healthiest of habits. The regular spike in insulin caused by eating tiny meals frequently might cause a variety of health problems. But it’s challenging to avoid the call of the munchies when playing video games.
Despite the fact that gaming often goes hand in hand with sugary caffeinated drinks and fast food, you’ll discover that if you branch out from chips and mountain dew, your gameplay will become relatively better. The key is to consume a balanced diet in the end. You should be well-prepared for a day of gaming by eating three substantial meals each day. This will also prevent you from snacking and improve your focus. In case you’re still unconvinced, Philadelphia Fusion credited much of their success in the inaugural season of the Overwatch League to the fact that they had a personal chef who helped them manage their diets.
Tips: Try to stick to the healthier options if you do feel the urge to snack.
Ex: Dry Fruits instead of chips
Nimbu pani/Lemonade or Coconut water instead of Mountain Dew
Mind over Matter
Now all those habits listed above pertain to the body. We just have to mention the fact that your mental health must also be factored into your overall fitness. We’ve seen many horror stories of pro gamers breaking down under the huge amounts of pressure that they are subjected to. Most of us won’t feel this kind of pressure, but everybody is subject to stresses that can build up over time.
When external toxicity starts seeping in, stop: Certain situations may get quite frustrating. However, if you’ve been going through a period of aggression due to video games, it can be a sign that your game is taking a toll on your mental health. When such situations come up, make sure that you step away and give yourself a break.
Tips to get started:
Be sure to talk to friends if you are getting stressed out, and remember to take a break from the gaming action every now and then. If you use our keep fit for gamers advice and live a balanced lifestyle, then you will find that many of these mental health issues can be sidestepped.
The most important tip here would be, try not to start doing all of these all at once. Start your healthy gamer journey from one habit, make sure you get disciplined in it, then and only then move on to the next one. Doing all of them or even multiple habits will only hinder any form of pattern or routine.
Playing games can take a toll on your health but it’s like with anything else, only if you overdo it. It can be very beneficial, check out our Benefits of gaming on social skills ( link to that blog) to see the good gaming can do one one aspect of your life. Here’s hoping you gamers make it even better.
GG and Keep playing!