The impact that sitting all day can have on our health is well documented, but it is the reality of most people who have a desk job. Most of us have gotten better about taking breaks at work or have even invested in a standing desk, but we often forget to take the same precautions in our leisure time.
While some people relax by getting active, hitting the gym, or taking part in a group sport, more and more people are spending their downtime gaming. There are plenty of benefits to playing video games, like improved reading skills and social skills, but sitting all day at work and then sitting in front of a game console all night can have serious implications for our health. Whether you’re playing online shooters like Call of Duty or online versions of traditional games like online poker, there is plenty you can do to keep healthy while playing video games.
From absolute beginners to seasoned pros at fitness, being a gamer doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your health. Here are a few of our top tips for staying fit even while having a long online gaming session.
It has become something of a meme among gaming communities that gamers are perpetually dehydrated, but there is a lot of truth to it, unfortunately. Just because you’re not sweating heavily doesn’t mean that you don’t need to have water on hand to drink. Having a glass or bottle beside you while you game and making sure to take a drink between Overwatch matches or hands in online poker will keep your mind clear, your joints healthy, and your body functioning at its best.
Get Enough Sleep
We know it’s tempting to say just one more match, especially if you feel like you’re in the zone, but skipping sleep to game can have serious implications for your health. Not only will your physical health suffer, but your mental skills will rapidly decline. Online gaming needs exceptional reflexes and decision-making, whether you’re trying to avoid getting fragged or are calculating poker odds to avoid losing a big pot, you need to be alert and awake. Losing sleep will hurt you more in the long run than it helps you, so be sure to get your recommended 6-8 hours of sleep each night.
Use Breaks to Exercise
When you do come across a bit of downtime, take the chance to sneak a bit of exercise into your routine. Knock out a few push-ups or squats during a break between matches or even go for a walk when you stop to eat. The break will give you a chance to rest your tired eyes as well as get your blood flowing a bit more. This will increase blood flow to the brain and help improve your reaction speed and decision-making abilities, helping you avoid making mistakes in the future. It also has the added benefit of giving you a moment to clear your mind and get ready for whatever comes next. Even if you just do 10 push-ups each hour that can quickly add up and improve your strength over time.