Esports has picked up momentum in the last few years, with their popularity reaching all age groups. The change in the scenario due to the pandemic has made gaming an integral part of everyday lives. With the advancement in gaming technologies, people are spending hours on end in front of their screens, immersed in the enchanting worlds of video games. Doctors and physicians now promote special exercises for gamers to combat physical and mental stress while competing in tournaments.
Are there exercises for gamers like other athletes?
For onlookers, playing online may seem comfortable, requiring minimum physical effort, especially as the player spends most of his time sitting on a chair or couch with the controller in his hands without having to move much. In fact, video gaming is no less dangerous than any other sporting activity in terms of pain and physical injuries.
With companies competing to offer games that make players spend long hours on gaming chairs, many gamers complain of physical pain like eye strain, injuries, muscle and joint pain in different areas of the body such as the neck, back, shoulders, spine, and so on. This is due to the lack of interest in fitness and neglect of regular exercise by gamers.
The increasing number of professionals and amateur gamers around the world has led to the interest of sports and health communities in educating esports players about the importance of maintaining their physical and mental fitness. They provide special exercises that help gamers maintain their gameplay while also being in good health.
Here are some quick exercises for gamers that can easily be done wherever you are:
Hand and Wrist Exercises
Hand injuries are the most common in gamers, including carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and synovitis, due to overuse of hands and repeated pressure on the fingers and hand area during gaming.
Stopping for a while and practicing this exercise can help you avoid such problems:
- Tape the palms of your hands together
- Start with gentle pressure with your fingers up and elbows out
- Keep your elbows in place and start lowering your hands. The stretching will increase and you will feel slight discomfort but without pain.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds.
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Among the most common causes of shoulder pain in gamers are wrong postures – leaning on the elbows while playing, or leaning on the knees and bending forward to look at the screen.
Take a short break from playing and start the following exercise:
- Stand up straight with your arms at your side, with your feet shoulder-width apart
- Slowly move your shoulder forward, making large circles
- Repeat the movement backward until the set is complete
Like other physical pains mentioned above, wrong postures and prolonged gaming without a break can cause pain and stiffness in the neck.
The following exercise will correct your posture while playing:
- Begin by tilting your head gently forward so that your chin touches the chest area, hold for five seconds, then return to the normal position
- Turn your head to the left until you feel a slight stretch. Hold for five seconds, then repeat on the right side
- Push your head forward until you feel a stretch in your throat. Hold for five seconds, then go back up gently
- Gently tilt your head to the side while trying to touch your ear to the shoulder until you feel a slight stretch. Hold for five seconds, then go back gently. Repeat on the other side.
- Start by massaging the muscles between your ears and your collarbone gently for about a minute.
- Repeat this exercise two to three times on 3 or 4 sets
Lower Back Exercises
Low back pain is the second most common pain pattern in gamers, due to lack of movement, failure to adjust the screen at eye-level, or bending incorrectly during play, which leads to pressure on the spine and muscle strain in the lower back area.
Try the following exercise to release pressure on your lower back:
- Sit up straight on the edge of the chair and lean forward slightly in the lower back
- Hold both ends of the resistance band in both hands
- Place your hands over your head, keeping your elbows aligned with your ears
- Lean forward 45 to 60 degrees or as far as you can while maintaining your posture
- Return to your starting point in step three
- Repeat this exercise ten times on 3 sets
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Cardio exercises are some of the best ones a gamer can effectively practice to relieve stress, tension, and pressure during play. In addition, it works to improve their mental state before starting their favorite games!
The McGill University of Canada has presented wonderful research that indicates gamers who practice cardio exercises before playing do better than those who don’t.
Choose from the many cardio exercises like walking, jogging, skipping, climbing stairs, and more that’ll affect your gaming performance.
Accustom yourself to taking short breaks while playing. Experts recommend taking a 5-10 minute break every hour. These breaks will help your muscles relax after intense gameplay.
Speaking of a gamer’s physical fitness, we shouldn’t lose sight of the importance of mental fitness. A professional esports player, like any other athlete, needs ideal mental care that enables him to compete at the highest levels. With the tough competitive nature of a gamer’s life, often ending up in isolation to provide long broadcast hours, or to participate in huge tournaments to achieve important titles, an esports player may be exposed to psychological pressures more than others.
And so we’re here to remind you, that success never interferes with giving your mind some time to relax and move away from the screen for a little while.
Habits that help your mental health shouldn’t be overlooked. Don’t neglect your social life, enjoy weekends, meet up with close friends, hang out with family. This will increase your willingness to always give your best.
Always get in the habit of exercising during your daily routine to enjoy playing and achieving the highest scores🏆
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