Advertising
Advertising

The Gamer’s Guide to Staying Healthy and In Shape

The Gamer’s Guide to Staying Healthy and In Shape

I know that you love playing video games and strive to become an e-sport athlete like Søren Bjerg and many others who have dedicated their lives to gaming, but if you do not take proper care of yourself, you won’t be able to do that. Your physical and mental health can dramatically impact the virtual performance in games.

Other than this, there are several other reasons why gamers should strive towards a healthier lifestyle, and the number one reason is obesity. Obese people usually have lower testosterone, lower reaction times and mental fogginess, and this is something that can interfere with the way you perform at video games.

The next one is posture. Some of the side effects of bad posture are back and shoulder pain, reduced lung capacity and so on. This can also affect your gaming performance; how will you defeat your enemies if your back is giving you a hard time?

Advertising

But, one of the worst injuries that gamers have to deal with are hand injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, and this is all because they are not taking proper precautions. Some of the greatest players had to retire because of the severity of their injuries.

As a gamer, you have a responsibility to improve both your virtual and real life abilities. Staying healthy and in shape has numerous rewards for you, even in the virtual world, so this is why I have prepared this gamer’s guide with some simple and easy advice you can implement.

Take Breaks

Advertising

image01

    I know that you are excited to play games, especially new ones, but that does not mean that you need to spend your whole day in front of the screen. Staring at the screen for a long time is not only bad for your posture, but it can also lead to dry eyes, eye strain and even headaches. If you are starting to notice some of these health issues, you can look up online health care and get yourself checked without having to waste time at the hospital. Taking breaks from gaming is extremely important. So you can make a break every 15 to 20 minutes, whether it is just looking away from the screen, or preparing yourself a little snack.

    Take Time to Prepare Healthy Meals

    Just because your new game has you in its grips, it doesn’t mean that you should forget to eat properly. If you live with roommates or alone, the chances that you are responsible for preparing your own meals are big, so always take time and prepare yourself something healthy to eat before starting a gaming session.

    It doesn’t have to be something complicated, you can always go for a bowl of soup or some healthy, easy to make salads, or you can get a little creative and recreate some meals from video games to make this more fun. It is important to take a break. Your body needs fuel, and if you skip on your meals, you will mess up your blood sugar levels. This causes mood swings and energy crashes.

    Advertising

    Substitute Unhealthy Snacks for Healthy Ones

    I know that it is easy to eat your way to the bottom of a bag of chips while you are gaming, but these high sugar, high fat and highly salty snacks only damage your health. This can be called mindless munching, and it is a side effect of eating while gaming. This way, you can consume too much calories that can lead to weight gain and some other serious health issues like diabetes and various heart conditions.

    Substituting unhealthy snacks with healthy ones can be a little difficult when you are in the middle of a battle, but you can always prepare your snacks in advance. Always choose fresh fruit, unsalted nuts, trail mix and even beef jerky is a healthier alternative to sugary snacks and crisps. If you want to consume some cereal bars to get that needed fuel, always choose those that are made from natural ingredients, with no added sugars.

    Do Some Home Exercises

    Advertising

    image02

      Since you spend most of your days inside, you should take some time to do some home workouts and give your body a fitness boost. The best way would be to switch off the computer or console and go out for a run. But there are new games waiting for you, so I know that this is not going to happen. Any free time you manage to set aside should be used to do some simple home workouts, like exercises with easy to access products. These home exercises will improve your posture and they’ll counter the effects of prolonged sitting while gaming.

      Don’t Forget To Have a Social Life

      Teen friends playing TV games

        I bet you have heard those stories where some gamers became so addicted to gaming that they never went outside again; that they didn’t eat or sleep. I am not suggesting that you are this obsessive, but be true to yourself. How many times have you turned down some social invitations because of gaming? Spending all of your time alone will make you feel isolated, and that can affect your immune system and make you prone to stress. You see why it is important to have a social network of family and friends; you will deal with stress better. So, put down that controller or keyboard and mouse for a while and start making friendships in the real world.

        You as a gamer have a responsibility to improve both your virtual and real-world abilities. By improving your physical self, you will receive numerous awards in the virtual world, and the best part is, you don’t have to be a wannabe be pro gamer to listen to my advice and apply it in your life. Staying healthy and in shape will have huge benefits, and not only in the world of bits.

        Featured photo credit: stock.tookapic.com via pexels.com

        More by this author

        Ivan Dimitrijevic

        SEO Consultant

        5 Exercises To Improve Intimacy and Create a Better Relationship 8 Fun and Unique Birthday Party Ideas for People in Their 20s 50 Cleaning Hacks for Your Home That Will Make Your Life Easier 40 Amazing Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day 9 Unexpected Benefits Of Foot Massage That Make You Want To Have One Now

        Trending in Health

        1 The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight 2 Why Am I Exhausted? The Real Causes and How to Fix It Forever 3 How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success) 4 How to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time (And the Real Causes Explained) 5 Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on October 16, 2018

        The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

        The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

        It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

        If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

        One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

        Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

        In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

        Why you can’t sleep through the night

        The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

        Advertising

        Stress

        If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

        Exposure to blue light before sleep time

        We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

        While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

        Eating close to bedtime

        Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

        Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

        Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

        Advertising

        Medical conditions

        In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

        The vicious sleep cycle

        The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

        Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

        You get a bad night’s sleep
        –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
        –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
        –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

          You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

          Advertising

          How to sleep better (throughout the night)

          To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

          1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

          What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

          Here are a few suggestions:

          • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
          • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
          • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
          • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
          • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

          2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

          What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

          • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
          • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
          • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
          • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

          3. Adjust your sleep temperature

          Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

          Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

          Advertising

          Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

          Sleep better form now on

          Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

          I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

          As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

          Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

          Reference

          Read Next