If you play a lot of video games, you’ve probably heard (at some point or another) about some of the health risks associated with long periods of gaming. Some of these claims can be more dubious than others, but it makes sense that people who play a lot of video games can generally lead more sedentary lifestyles than others. After all, if one of your main hobbies involves sitting for long periods of time, a sedentary lifestyle could easily follow.
Does this mean you should stop playing video games? Of course not, that would just be silly. It does mean that it’s important to be aware of your lifestyle choices if you do play a lot of video games, though. For us video game enthusiasts, this mainly means watching what we put into our bodies and making sure we stay active.
Anyone who’s had an all-night gaming session knows that the most convenient snacks aren’t always the healthiest. In fact, snacks associated with video games (“gamer fuel” such as Mountain Dew or Doritos) are often on the far less healthy side of things. Luckily, healthier video game sessions are just a matter of knowing what to stock up on.
The easiest way by far to start gaming healthier involves what you drink. If you’re like a lot of video game enthusiasts, you probably drink a lot of soda. Soda is an incredibly easy way to ensure your diet is unhealthy, especially if you drink a lot. Instead of drinking soda, drink a lot of water. Find a nice water bottle (with a good locking mechanism so it doesn’t spill all over your keyboard/controller) and keep it by your sides at all time.
Since water will be your most convenient option, you’ll start drinking a lot more of it and eventually find you don’t need anything else to hydrate. Water won’t only help you be healthier, but will also save you some money as time goes on and you no longer have to buy several bottles of soda at once. Trust me, your kidneys will thank you for the switch.
Once you’re drinking water, it’s only a matter of making your snacks healthier. Sure, you can reach for a bag of doritos every once in a while, but try keeping baby carrots, nuts and plain popcorn around too for healthier snack options. Of course, if you eat regular meals, you won’t need to snack as much as you otherwise would.
Now that you’ve taken care of the snacks and drinks that accompany your digital adventures, it’s time to think about what you do when you’re not playing video games. It all comes down to a simple fact: if you don’t already exercise, you need to start. Whether this means going for a run every day or just getting some push-ups, crunches and jumping jacks in whenever you can, exercise is a must for anyone who plays a lot of video games.
If you stay active while you’re not playing games, you’ll feel better when you are playing games, like you earned that relaxation session. Keeping a consistent exercise routine (especially if you work out in the morning) will also help you keep a better sleep schedule, which in turn will keep you even healthier. More sleep also leads to better reaction time, and better reaction time can directly help your performance in all sorts of games.
Assuming you spend a lot of time playing video games, keep your health in mind at all times. Stick to healthy snacks and drinks (water is always the best choice), and make sure you get enough exercise. If you do those things, long video game sessions won’t end up hurting your health level nearly as much as they used to.