How To Stay Healthy While Gaming: Esports Health Tips
When you think of esports, physical activity might not be a phrase that immediately comes to mind. But growing numbers of professional esports players are starting to realise just how important it is to keep fit.
For gamers at all levels, there are a number of injuries that can emerge if you spend too long playing. From ailments like carpal tunnel syndrome to mental health issues, it seems that too much gaming can have some nasty side effects. So we are going to give you a few tips on how to stay healthy while gaming.
Reasons why professional gamers’ fitness matters more than ever
The average pro gamer practices for a minimum of 50 hours per week. This means that their body will be forced to undergo a lot of repetitive activity that could cause stress, pain or even injury.
As professional esports players are given a regular salary of thousands of dollars each month, they will also feel pressure to put in extra hours to make sure that they can compete at the highest level. This adds an extra element of mental stress.
With huge amounts of prize money to be won, it’s clear that any injury could have a devastating impact. As a result, keeping fit is key to esports success.
Simple ways to keep fit for gamers
Famous esports teams like Fnatic and Team Vitality have invested huge amounts of money in player fitness. But even casual gamers can stay healthy while gaming by following these simple tips.
Hand and wrist exercises to boost esports health
Repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome have devastated the playing careers of esports stars like Lee ‘Flash’ Young Ho and Hai Lam. But you allow yourself to take regular breaks, you’ll stand a better chance of avoiding these ailments.
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. The key long time benefit of exercise is gaming injury prevention and avoidance.
Improve posture to benefit esports physical activity
Most of us are guilty of being hunched over our computers, and bad posture is going to make it much harder to keep our hands and wrists correctly aligned. Try and play with a straight back with your monitor at eye level and you should avoid too many problems.
If you slouch too much, then you might cause problems with other muscles in your body and even give yourself some digestive issues. Just remember to try and stand up for at least fifteen minutes per hour to avoid putting undue strain on your body.
Avoid eye strain to stay healthy while gaming
It’s easy to get sucked into a game, but it’s essential to give your eyes a rest. Too much screen time will cause your eyes to strain and this can lead to headaches, dry eyes or even double vision.
Be sure to check that your monitor isn’t too bright, and try and close your eyes for a couple of minutes each hour to give your eye muscles chance to relax.
Correct nutrition to enhance any esports physical activity
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Although gaming and junk food tend to go hand in hand, you’ll find that your gameplay will improve if you don’t just eat pizzas and burgers. Remember that 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.
Ultimately it comes down to getting a balanced diet. Three solid meals a day should set you up well for a day’s gaming, help you to avoid snacking, and boost your concentration levels. If you do feel the need to snack to keep your blood sugar levels up, try to stick to the healthier options.
Hydration is critical for esports health
Although Red Bull have done great work in sponsoring esports tournaments, we’d recommend against relying on energy drinks for staying hydrated. Similarly, too much coffee and sugary drinks can also stress you out and cause issues for when you actually want to sleep.
This is why it’s always good to drink plenty of water. Even a 5% decrease in our hydration levels can cause our energy levels to drop by a third. 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.
Sleep is essential for professional gamers’ fitness
Most of us are guilty of those late-night gaming sessions. But if you do this then the light emitted by your gaming rig will disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm which makes getting to sleep much harder.
It’s recommended that you give yourself at least an hour away from screens before heading to bed. If this sounds impossible, then see how apps like f.lux can alter the light emitted from your monitor to make it easier to get some sleep. After all, nobody functions well with poor sleep habits.
Mental fitness is essential to stay healthy while gaming
Finally, we just have to mention the fact that your mental health must also be factored into your overall fitness. Player burnout is a real thing, and taking care of oneself is essential.
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.
So 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.