6 Tips for Being a Better, Healthier Gamer

Let’s be perfectly real straight out of the gate - gaming is not the healthiest hobby out here. While it’s great in small doses and can be a great way to decompress after a tough day, there are repercussions to playing for hours on end. However, there are many gamers who are aware of this and are taking their health much more seriously. As a matter of fact, some professional gamers have routines that are pretty similar to an athlete. Being healthier could also give you some additional advantages by improving your performance, which is one of the reasons why pro gamers tend to be in good shape. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to be healthier as a gamer.

Find a Way to Play Outside of Gaming

One of the things you should do is find a way to have fun outside of a gaming setting. One way you could do this is to find a team sport, or any sport for that matter, that you would like to take part in. Even something simple and accessible like badminton would be a good start.
The nice part about playing sports is that it doesn’t feel like a workout even though you’ll definitely gain benefits from it. For example, one hour of full court basketball will burn more calories than jogging for one hour at a 6 miles per hour pace.

Be Careful with Your Eyes

Your eyes are your single most used organs when playing online, and you have to take care of them. Not only that, but they weren’t made to stare at screens in a dark room for hours. This is why you will need to learn how to take visual breaks. One way you could do it would be to use the 20/20/20 method. This is where you stare at an item that’s at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. You also have to make a conscious effort to blink as often as you can. This is because gamers will have a tendency to stop blinking when playing. 
You also have to learn how to take physical breaks. For instance, you could go outside and take a walk after playing for more than an hour, or you could arrange your breaks based on levels. You could get up and prepare something to eat after getting to a checkpoint, eat after you’ve beat the level, and clean up after the next checkpoint. This way you won’t have to break up the flow of the game.

Choose Your Games Wisely

Some people might be wondering what picking games has to do with health, but it can make much more of a difference than you may imagine. Stress induced by video games is a very real thing, and, if you want to learn more about it, you can check out this page. Some games have been shown to be much more stressful than others, which can affect you in so many ways. Not only is cortisol, the stress hormone, linked to all sorts of disorders, but it can also destroy your sleep.
That means you shouldn’t only play high octane competitive games, and try to mix it up with something gentler from time to time, like a nice side scroller or an RPG.

Work on Your Posture

Your posture affects a lot more than how you look. It also influences a lot of your body’s processes. Poor posture will put unnecessary pressure on your lower back. When you combine this with a sedentary lifestyle, you have a nice recipe for a lower back hernia or something worse.
This is why you should work on your posture and make sure that you sit straight with your chin slightly tilted forward. We also suggest you start looking at decent gaming chairs. Also, know that working the supporting muscles in your lower back will improve your posture, so we suggest you consider investing in a few dumbbells or a gym membership.

Stay Well Fed and Hydrated

Some may argue with the definition of sports and whether gaming belongs to it. But one thing is for sure, it really does burn calories, and can be somewhat demanding on your body. This is why you need to eat the right foods and stay hydrated as well.
Your choice of foods will also have a significant impact on how you perform. Some foods could boost your focus and attention while others might ruin it. Saturated fats, for instance, are known for being pro inflammatory and affect cognition. Good proteins, however, will help you focus and stay fuller for longer.
Since you’re using your brain a lot, you also have to feed it, and our brain loves sugar more than anything. You don’t have to chug Kool Aid and Pixie Stix the whole while, though. Complex sugars like those you find in whole wheat and sweet potatoes are what you’re after. This is because they take a lot longer to get broken down by the body, which provides you with a steady flow of energy without the crash.
Be careful with the caffeinated drinks too. There’s an actual trend with gamer drinks, and a lot of them contain loads of caffeine. This might make you feel great for a few minutes, but you will eventually crash and constantly need more to meet baseline. Not only that, but caffeine is a diuretic, meaning that it will dehydrate you faster. So, if you’re going to be using coffee, spread it out over a long period, and keep the doses small.

Get Some Sleep

You also need to get your sleep hours in if you want to stay healthy. This will allow your brain and body to regenerate and be ready for the next day. If possible, try to stay away from any screen within 2 hours before bedtime if you don’t want to throw off your internal clock.
If you follow these few simple tips, you should be able to feel the benefits in no time. You’ll be better and more focused, and feel healthier and happier in general.
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