A professional gamer plays for at least 50 hours a week on average. And this involves a lot of repetitive exercises, which may result in tension, pain, or even injury. Moreover, gaming may have some negative side effects, like stress, carpal tunnel syndrome and mental health problems. Although leading a healthy lifestyle as a gamer may be challenging, you can ace it with the right tips. Here are some pointers you can leverage.
- Work out before you start the day
A brief workout maintains your energy levels throughout the day and keeps you in peak gaming shape. Moreover, endorphins are hormones released during exercise and can help you stay focused and happy. You can quickly build consistency if you commit yourself that you won’t play any games until you’ve unlocked a workout milestone. Fortunately, you can exercise without visiting the gym. For instance, you can run for ten minutes or perform 20 pushups and 10 sit-ups. You can also consider working out with a friend to boost motivation.
- Prioritise wrist and hand exercises
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition professional gamers experience. However, you can alleviate these by prioritising wrist and hand exercises. You can practice wrist stretches, finger flexion exercises, and circular wrist motions hourly. Every game occasionally has downtime, so make the most of it by relaxing your hands and wrists. Professional gamers experiencing wrist pains can also take supplements like Delta 9 THC to help relieve their symptoms, so keep this in mind.
- Stretch before and after gaming
Health professionals advise stretching before engaging in any physical activity. Stretching before exercise helps the muscles loosen up and become more resilient to the impact they will experience, lowering the risk of injury. Since your wrists and lower back may experience some strain due to prolonged gaming, you’ll find it beneficial to stretch them regularly. Stretching can also lower physical stress, so keep this in mind.
- Avoid eye strain
Unlike other vital organs, your eyes aren’t designed to operate nonstop. This is why you sleep and blink. However, blinking when watching TV or on a monitor is important, as it can be detrimental to our eyes’ long-term health to keep them open all the time. As a tip, attempt to gaze for at least 20 seconds at something at least 20 feet away once every 20 minutes. This is known as the 20-20-20, so keep this in mind. Consequently, ensure that your monitor isn’t too bright or dim and that your environment is properly lit.
- Take up a healthy eating regimen
Even though gaming and fast food often go hand in hand, you’ll find that your gameplay will improve if you eat more than just pizza and burgers. Indeed, healthy eating is beneficial for many reasons. For starters, you are likelier to sleep well, avoid junk snacks, and stay more focused if you eat balanced meals daily. Philadelphia Fusion, a well-known gaming team, attributed a large portion of their success in the Overwatch League’s first season to their personal chef, who helped them keep track of their meals. Therefore, you can learn from them by opting for healthier food options. And if you need to snack to maintain your blood sugar levels, make an effort to choose the healthier options.
- Drink plenty of water
Relying on energy drinks to stay hydrated may not be the best decision. Despite this, professional gamers are notorious for consuming energy drinks to stay hydrated. Others also favour coffee and sugary beverages, although these drinks can make it difficult for you to relax and sleep. Therefore, your best option is to drink enough water. Your energy levels can diminish with even a slight decline in your hydration. Experts recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily, so feel free to consider this. If plain water isn’t suitable, you can flavour it with lime, lemon and other fruit. You can also substitute water for healthy beverages like green tea.
- Don’t skip sleep
It’s no news that many have engaged in late-night gaming sessions as casual or professional gamers. However, the light from your gaming system can interfere with your body’s natural circadian cycle, making it far more difficult to fall asleep. It would help to give yourself at least an hour without screen time before bed. This can help you get the needed sleep and be better prepared for gaming sessions.
- Take care of your mental health
It’s also expedient to prioritise your mental health. Admittedly, the extreme pressure that professional gamers experience can affect them mentally. Therefore, taking the necessary steps to protect your mental health is advised. And you can achieve this by unplugging frequently and adopting relaxation techniques like meditation. Building meaningful friendships with other gamers can also benefit your mental health, so feel free to consider this.
Another way to boost your mental health is to have self-confidence. Confidence can be a major asset when competing in tournaments or streaming. If you’re self-assured and appear in good health, you’ll see an increase in your performance and popularity. You can build your confidence by practising often, so keep this in mind. It’s also important to note that it’s okay to make mistakes. Rather than beating yourself up for every error, you can view it as an opportunity to improve your gaming skills.
- Divide your play sessions
Try dividing your play sessions into the following steps: complete a level, read a book, play a different level, prepare a sandwich, complete a mission, and clean up after lunch. That might take a full hour with pauses depending on how challenging the game is or how you play. Your muscles will receive some rest, and your eyes will recover after a while, so keep this in mind.
- Get some fresh air
You want to ensure you’re getting enough fresh air when gaming. Therefore, you’ll find it helpful to leave your window slightly ajar while you play. Consider opening it as wide as possible if it’s in the next room. Plants are also known to purify indoor air, so feel free to invest in them. You can also spend some minutes outside to enjoy some fresh air before resuming your gaming sessions, so keep this in mind.
- Maintain proper posture
Good posture prevents neck and back pain while making you appear more professional. It also promotes good blood flow and prevents further difficulties from lack of activity. Your respiration, cognitive ability, and general wellness can all be considerably enhanced by having good posture. Therefore, you’ll find it helpful to straighten your back and tuck your chin slightly while sitting up straight. An easy fix would be getting a good gaming or ergonomic chair which supports your back well and enables you to sit erect. Also, ensure that your computer monitor is properly placed to prevent you from bending your back and neck uncomfortably.
- Invest in Exercise-related games
Numerous games with an activity-based focus are available; all use the motion control technology developed over the previous ten years. They are designed for many of the largest gaming platforms and typically suit the dancing or fitness game pattern. They are ideal methods to incorporate exercise into your favourite stationery hobby. For instance, you can try virtual reality (VR) games. VR is a great way to exercise while playing video games, with many options offering explicit workout experiences and gameplay that is sufficiently active to turn them into calorie-burning machines.
Admittedly, VR gaming is still in its infancy, and there has yet to be a generational title. However, there are dozens of good games in various genres, such as futuristic speed skating, boxing, and sword combat simulators. Many incorporate rhythm video games’ features, making relaxing and developing your muscles simpler. The wonderful thing about VR gaming is that it can make exercising exciting and intense, so feel free to consider this.
- Try augmented Reality (AR) games
The happiness and emotional satisfaction of players are thought to be positively impacted by AR games, as they are similar to other games that generally have fun elements. AR games are distinct from conventional games because they require players to visit various real-world locations. Players will therefore have the chance to explore the surroundings and encounter other individuals or players there. These travel-related events will benefit players’ mental health either directly or indirectly.
A few studies have investigated the relationship between playing AR games and players’ mental health. Indeed, games like Pokémon Go and several favourable reactions are significantly correlated. Therefore, AR gaming could positively improve overall well-being. Other research suggests that playing AR games increases players’ physical activity levels; studies show that players increased their average daily walking and running distances by 0.96 km in the first month after installing Pokémon GO.
Professional gamers who want a long and successful career must prioritise their health. Moreover, protecting your health can improve your quality of life and increase your longevity. Hopefully, you’ll consider these helpful tips to keep your health in optimum condition.