Healthy Habits for Serious Gamers - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Healthy Habits for Serious Gamers

Gaming is like most sports, and, if done in moderation, it can be a fun way to entertain yourself and disconnect from the real world. While you might resort to gaming to de-stress and get away from the rigors of everyday life, you might equally expose your body to adverse health risks.

According to Limelight Network's The State of Online Gaming reports, the average amount of time people spend gaming is rapidly increasing. From mental issues to physical injuries, excessive gaming can lead to negative impacts on your daily life.

Why is Binge Gaming Unhealthy?
Many scientists and psychologists confirm gaming offers many benefits to those who engage. And the main one is that it can teach you high-level thinking skills and help you become a better problem solver.

However, binge gaming can cause potential unhealthy habits, such as:
  • Addictive Behaviors– Gaming addiction can increase anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and even fuel isolation.
  • Poor Eating Habits– Eating becomes less of a priority when you're more inclined to spend your time in front of your screen to play. Instead of consuming healthy, balanced meals, you opt for junk food and sugary drinks that can lead to weight gain.
  • Sedentary Lifestyle– Sitting too long while gaming can cause cramps in your legs. It can also lead to blood clots, obesity, and other medical conditions.
  • Taking Time Away From Your Other Activities– For instance, from exercising and work.
It's important to note that these unhealthy habits are experienced by those highly addicted to gaming. Individuals playing games professionally, testing games for a living, or developing games as a career usually know when to draw the line. If you are experiencing any of these effects, here are healthy gaming habits to help change your lifestyle:

1. Set a Routine
Though you're excited to play games, it doesn't mean you need to spend the whole day in front of the screen. Staring at screens, especially in closed dark rooms, for too long can lead to dry eyes, eye strains, and headaches.

To avoid such health issues, take regular breaks from the big screen. Also, plan how you'd like to take those breaks. For instance, you can take a break every 15 or 20 minutes, whether to download the most popular online video games or to prepare a healthy snack.

2. Stay Hydrated
Hydration should be a priority while gaming. Did you know you can actually get thirst pains? It's not just a dry mouth that lets you know you are thirsty. Headaches, finger and wrist pains, sore eyes, and neck pain can also be red flags of dehydration.

If you're spending hours on your PC, there's a chance you're getting tired. And this pressure and fatigue can make you crave energy drinks. But that's not exactly what your body needs.

Instead, drink plenty of water. But how much should you consume? Experts recommend drinking six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of water every day. However, the amount your body needs depends on your body weight.

3. Snack on Healthy Foods While Gaming
Gaming is often associated with binge eating and unhealthy snacks such as potato chips, cookies, candy, and soda. It's easier to eat more than you need while focused on completing various game levels.

So if you're consuming junk foods and not integrating physical activity into your everyday lifestyle, try replacing them with nutritious ones. Some of the healthy gaming snacks you can opt to eat include:
  • Pita bread and hummus
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Fruits and veggies
  • Various types of nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, and walnuts
  • Frozen grapes
  • Shakes made with protein powder are another way to keep your energy up.
Substituting unhealthy snacks with healthy ones can be challenging when you're in the middle of a battle. Therefore, prepare your refreshments in advance.

4. Stay Active
To avoid muscle stiffness, inflammation, and joint pain, stretching breaks during gaming sessions are essential. Spend at least five minutes every 60 minutes stretching your back, arms, legs, and chest.

As well, shake out your hands, elbows, and wrists during breaks and also throughout the day. Toe touches are also a creative way to release tension in your back and can also help stretch your hamstrings.

You should also integrate other stretches and exercises that involve standing to ensure your legs are engaged—for example, practice workouts like ab squeezes or stationary biking.

Staying Healthy is the Name of the Game
Nearly everyone loves gaming, and many gamers dream of it becoming their career. However, there's a lot of sitting and spending time in closed dark rooms, so ensure you take care of your health in a proper way. Not only will you stay fit, but you will also lower the risk of serious diseases many careless gamers have.

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