As you may know, I am an avid gamer, streamer, YouTuber and website manager, and with all that on the go I spend a long time sat at my PC. However, I'm also in a fortunate enough position to be a qualified Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer.
Many gamers, youtubers and the like spend many hours at their computers, and unfortunately this is not healthy at all. In light of some recent events, and also the amount of time I personally spend ay my PC, I thought I would offer you all some advice, and possibly some fun things for you to do, to try and maintain your health whilst gaming. Just to point out, these are all things that I do.
First of all, food and drink play a massive part to your health. Hydration should be your priority. Sore eyes and/or neck, headaches, and finger/wrist pains are all major red flags when it comes to Hydration. Water is needed to carry acidic waste away from your cells, and when we’re dehydrated, these wastes don’t go anywhere. Did you know that a mere 5% drop in water levels in our bodies can cause a 25-30% loss in energy. Even a 3% drop can cause fuzzy thinking and slower metabolism , whereas as low as a 1.5% drop can cause headaches and fatigue. When you add all that up, with 70% of our bodies being water after all, it equates to only a few glasses. The recommended daily water intake is 2.5 litres.
What should we be eating while gaming? This is tricky, mainly because of your own dietary and energy requirements. Unless you’re looking to get the figure of a body builder don’t begin to worry about carbs or fats, having those in moderation is absolutely fine for our bodies. Sugar is the real issue. If you’re having a lot of sugar it’s not so bad as long as you have the fibre to go with it. Things like candy and fizzy drinks do not help. The hidden problem here is fruit juices and sweet tea. When juice is made, all of the fibre is lost in the process, so what you’re getting is flavour and sugar, and unfortunately you need all three for it be healthy. Eating fruit by it self is always a good way to go, the amount of fibre in an apple for example will break down the sugar and turn it into insulin which is used to fuel your body. If you don’t have the fibre to break down the sugar then it turns into fat, the body just doesn’t know how to deal with it and stores it elsewhere.
Posture and awareness of your surroundings are also important. Every 20 minutes, move your eyes away from the screen and try to concentrate on something in the distance for at least 10 seconds. Also try to have adequate lighting in the room you are in, this will prevent eye strain. Try not to slouch (bend your back over) your pc's/gaming areas, try and maintain as much of an upright spinal position as possible.
That's the boring lecture stuff out of the way, here are some fun things I like to do when playing long sessions of WOT. For example if I have planned an extended session and I'm going to be playing for 4 hours, during the second and fourth hour I do these exercises.
For each game I play, for every minute I survive in battle and WIN, the number of Sit Ups I do is equal to the number of minutes I survived for. (eg win the game, 10 minute duration=10 Sit Ups)
For each game I play, for every minute I survive in battle and LOSE, the number of Press Ups I do is equal to the number of minutes I survived for. (eg lost game, 7 minute duration=7 Press Ups)
For the total amount of kills I get in the hour, is the number of Squat Thrusts I do at the end of the hour. (simply 25 kills, 25 squat thrusts)
These exercises I carry out during the first and third hours of game play
For every Top Gun medal I achieve, I do 25 Star Jumps
Every 3rd class medal I achieve, I do 10 squats
Every 2nd class medal I achieve, I do 10 Lunges
Every 1st class medal I achieve, I do a plank for 30 seconds
Sprint/Jogging on the spot
Every Ace Tanker I achieve, I run on the spot for 20 seconds
You can do all, some or none of these, the choices are entirely yours. All I am doing is offering you all some friendly advice,
These can also be tailored to your own timescales, and exercises based on achievements that suit you as individuals. I also understand that some of you may be unable to exercise due to personal circumstances. However, even if you can go outside for a brisk 5 minute walk, or climb your stairs 2 or 3 times every hour, that is better than nothing. If your own personal situation doesn't allow for that kind of movement, then try and number of neck rotations, and some arm swings from your seated position.
Ultimately, what I am saying is, try and find some way of maintaining an amount of good health whilst enjoying our hobby which unfortunately keeps us seated for a great length of time.
Happy gaming, see you on the battlefield, stay fit for WOT and fit for life