You might be preparing for a feat of endurance, such as a marathon or iron man event. You could be an athlete looking to grab some marginal gains, whether in an individual sport such as tennis or with a team such as football. It might be you just want a healthier lifestyle and choose to stay fit, so you live longer.
One area that you may not think fitness is all that important is online gaming. When you hear the words ‘online gaming’, the instant image conjured up is one of a participant remaining sedentary for long periods, either in a gaming chair or on the couch. To some degree, that is a fair representation of an online gamer.
These days, online gaming is everywhere. You might be competing in a competition, such as on the online game Dota 2, which brings with it a $40m prize pool. You might be taking part in live casino games, which have become more like a real casino experience than ever before. Gala Casino has live Blackjack and Roulette, which means you can experience gaming Las Vegas-style from the comfort of your own home. That will encourage gamers to remain in their house, rather than getting to an actual casino, and whilst convenient, it is also a health hazard. Both those pastimes will require you to be seated at home for long periods. Even a casual gamer simply playing a few FIFA games with friends might not move for a couple of hours, which can lead to problems.
A Statista graphic on online gaming revenue shows that in Spain alone, there has been a rise of more than 300% since 2015. Worldwide, more than 2.6bn people actively take part in online gaming of some sort, proving this to be a huge industry, but one that brings health concerns. If those 2.6bn people don’t look after themselves, they can suffer a range of problems, including sleep deprivation, circadian rhythm disorders, and maybe obesity and heart disease, too. That’s why it is essential to keep fit for online gaming, using the advice we have provided below.
Gaming itself is not bad for you, but remaining sitting for long hours is. Therefore, activity of any sort can help keep you fit during gaming sessions. In between stints, try to have a couple of minutes away from the controller, walking around to improve circulation. You might even want to have some dumbbells by the sofa for a minute or two lifting or throw in a few press-ups. All activity is good and making sure you do something every hour is essential. Some gamers will even play whilst on an exercise bike in their living room to stay active.
It is easy during a gaming session to choose snacky foods, quick to prepare, and often very bad for you. If you plan on several hours of virtual roulette or an immersive Fortnite session, try to ensure you have food and drinks that are good for you. Superfoods such as avocado and berries are just as easy to prepare and eat as a bag of crisps and will be a lot better for you. If you must have fizzy drinks, look for low-fat and diet options not loaded with sugar.
Repetitive Strain Injury
Gamers are one demographic at severe risk of RSI because much of the play is conducted via a controller or a mobile device. You likely hold your phone the same whenever you use it, and the same goes for a console controller, which means that your hands and wrists can suffer after a few hours. Consider doing special hand and wrist exercises tailored for your play. There are even devices you can get to help avoid problems with constant play, such as a grip strengthener.