Let’s get this out of the way: physical exercise is important for EVERYONE. Whether you’re an athletic jock or a student. Without proper and sufficient exercise, your health suffers. However, gamers should especially take care of their health and exercise as they often have less motivation and fewer opportunities to exercise.
This is not intended as an insult. Heck, I am a gamer myself. But one of the things that I learned when I discovered Tom Venuto’s Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle system is that being a gamer is no excuse to ignore exercise. Before I discovered this system, I was overweight and susceptible to illness. To be fair, this was not entirely due to my gaming habits. But they most certainly contributed to the problem.
The general factor that leads gamers to exercise less is the lack of time. After all, why spend time exercising when you could dedicate that to playing games online? And when you’re deep into a raid in World of Warcraft, you can’t really have your attention distracted (especially when you’re the healer!).
Gamers’ Health Issues
I get it. Rather than spending time exercising, gamers would rather be playing. But without sufficient exercise, gamers will eventually have a multitude of health concerns. These can range from the simple to the severe, depending on how long the gamer has been neglecting their physical exertion.
The most common health issue that gamers experience is improper posture. This may surprise you, but the sitting position is not an evolutionary natural posture for the human body. While we have developed the conveniences of creating ergonomic and comfortable chairs to facilitate sitting, it does not make us immune to the health issues of prolonged sitting.
In the short term, this extended sitting posture leads to discomfort in the lower back. This is because of the weight and the strain placed on one’s spine. The hip and shoulder muscles are also put through stress, depending on how long the gamer has held the position. In the long run, improper posture can lead to more serious concerns like chronic arthritis, herniated discs, and vein thrombosis.
Another common health issue that gamers suffer from is carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a typical concern for desktop gamers. Holding the mouse in the typical position leads to compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel area of your hand. In simple terms, this is the area that connects your wrist and forearm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is at the very least annoying, but it can also be debilitating. Moreover, carpal tunnel can cause serious concerns such as nerve damage and muscle atrophy, given time.
5 Simple Exercises that Gamers Can Do
We cannot (and should not) attempt to cover all exercises for gamers in one article. However, I can recommend 5 very easy and time-efficient exercises that will fit every gamer’s schedule and not interfere with their Call of Duty schedules. Every hour of gaming, take a few minutes to do one or more of these exercises.
- Wrist Rotations: Stretch your arms to both sides. Keep them steady. Then, perform a clockwise motion with your hands at the base of your wrists. Do these for at least 5 reps. Then, do the same counterclockwise. Repeat for at least 3 sets.
- Foot Roll: Extend one of your legs parallel to the floor. While this leg is outstretched, rotate the foot (from the ball and ankle) clockwise 5 times. Afterward, do it counterclockwise 5 times. Relax this leg and perform the same on the other leg. Do this for 3 sets.
- Arm Reaches: Extend one arm to the top and rest the other on your hip. Now, reach your extended arm over your head to the other side. Go as far as you can without losing your balance. The important thing is to feel the stretch of the side muscles. Hold it for 3 seconds. Then, do the same with the other arm. Do this for 5 reps. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat until 3 sets are done.
- Neck Exercise: While sitting, tuck your chin inward. Then, do a rolling motion to the left slowly. Follow this with the same motion to the right. Do this 5 times in each direction. Rest for 30 seconds and then do 3 sets.
- Stand-ups: Or rather, this is a modified sit-up regimen. While sitting, put both of your hands at the back of your head, as if you are performing a regular sit-up. Now, stand up while holding this pose. Slowly lower to sit again. You know you are doing this right if you feel the tension in your arms and legs. Repeat 10 times. Rest for 30 seconds. Do this for 3 sets.
These are simple exercises that you can perform without taking away too much time from your gaming. You can easily squeeze these between rounds of Fortnite or DOTA 2.
If you have ever played an RPG, you know the importance of the physical attributes STR, DEX, and CON. While you may be playing a wizard at gaming, it is wise to at least do the bare minimum exercises to keep yourself healthy. This is much better than regretting your lifestyle choices later in life.
Stay tuned for more gaming and lifestyle advice to keep living the MaleMatter lifestyle!