Online gaming was already a wildly popular activity before COVID-19. But since the onset of COVID, more people have had a chance to discover it as a hobby –– spending time on battle royales, playing virtual soccer matches, talking with friends in digital poker rooms, and doing so much more.
All of these games provide excellent ways to socialize without any risks to your health, or at least that would be the idea. The truth, though –– as many newcomers to online gaming are undoubtedly discovering –– is that a busy gaming schedule can lead to bad schedules and unhealthy habits. For that reason, we wanted to write up some tips for how to stay healthy for gaming, and for your general benefit as you get more into the hobby.
Playing online games is something we do to reduce our stress and relax. However, as with many leisure activities, game sessions tend to be accompanied by snacks and drinks (often with high levels of salt and sugar respectively). Having said that, there are foods that can improve your performance if included in your diet. Dates, for example, seem to be associated with improved learning abilities, while food rich in omega-3 like salmon can help reduce anxiety. Eating healthy food like these can help you focus better and enjoy more precise responses, whether you’re playing a high-stakes poker tournament, or an intense round in a first-person shooter. Plus, you might just manage to fill yourself up without turning to that tempting bag of chips….
Going for a Walk
When people think about exercising to stay healthy, they tend to imagine someone participating in a marathon, or going to the gym several days a week. But something as simple as going for a short walk every day can do wonders for your health. Experts recommend starting slow and increasing the length of your walks progressively. The trick is to do something intense enough to feel the benefits, but also light enough to keep your energy levels high and your mind motivated. If you manage to make a routine of this, you’ll offset that sedentary time spent gaming, and enjoy greater energy while you play.
Getting Enough Sleep
Many of us can only start relaxing at night, due to work, family obligations, and so on. As a result, it can be tempting to stay up late enjoying a bit of recreation, playing video games and getting that much-needed “me time” –– but reducing our sleeping hours. It’s understandable, but the extra sleep is better in the long run. Indeed, getting more rest is actually a particularly common recommendation in line with poker tips for serious players, who are sometimes inclined to spend long hours at the online tables without getting enough sleep. Undoubtedly, the same can be said of other gamers as ell. But by making a point of cutting yourself off and sleeping when you have the chance to, you’ll quickly find that you’re better able to stay sharp for the next day’s tournament or gaming session.
Buying a Proper Chair
Neck and back pain are also extremely common problems among gamers. This clearly isn’t a coincidence, considering the hours gamers of all kinds spend at computer desks or hunched over mobile phones. However, these issues can also be largely prevented by working out the necessary support for your back and neck. Finding a chair that allows you to adjust height, armrest position, and headrest angle will make it easier to keep your feet flat on the floor, and overall maintain a healthy posture –– reducing the chances of developing these bothersome, nagging issues.
Stretching Between Games
One of the main reasons we enjoy playing online games is how much more intense and exciting it is to play against other people, rather than just a given game’s AI. However, the more thrilling a match is, the more tense you tend to get! Therefore, it’s important to take a break between contests to stretch. There are plenty of guides online explaining how to do this safely and effectively; it only takes a few minutes to stretch, and it’s a very effective way to relax muscles, get your blood circulating, and help you release stress and clear your mind. You’ll feel better physically, and you’ll be alert and ready or the next game.
Playing online games can be an excellent way to have fun and reconnect with friends. But it’s commonly associated with sedentary lifestyles, bad eating habits, muscle stiffness, and back and neck pain. Having said that, by following these simple steps you might be able to prevent these problems, stay healthy, and even improve your online performance.
As a retired registered massage therapist, I’ve always been interested in health. I grew up loving sports so that carried into my adult life in my chosen career paths and in my personal life. I now stay active with weight training, hiking and biking. My professional life has always been in health care. This has inspired me to seek out and adopt a life of natural health and wellness.