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How to be a Healthy Gamer

Discussion in 'Gaming Arena' started by Blankspace, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Blankspace

    Blankspace WTB Fun Forum Title

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    [​IMG]

    Good ole Cartman above is the perfect example of a mass stereotype that is placed on most gamers. The disheveled clothing from not taking the time to change into clean clothes, the zit marks from not attending to hygiene as needed, and being overweight.

    I’ve been asked many times usually on my stream how I am able to power-game for hours on end and maintain my mental edge, clarity, and quick response time. So I’ve decided I’m going to open up the vault on some of the knowledge I’ve collected over the years with all of you wonderful folks.

    Before we continue I must post the following because someone who knows better about legal stuff told me so:

    Health Disclaimer: It is your right to educate yourself in health and medical knowledge, to seek helpful information and make use of it for your own benefit. You are the one responsible for your health. The information on this post is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your family doctor. Always consult your physician or healthcare professional before performing any exercise, especially if you have any chronic or recurring condition, and/or if you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly.

    Where is the motivation to make such a change to your lifestyle? There are so many reasons why but seeing as this is about gaming lets break it down into the factors that are going to impact both arenas of general health and being a better gamer.

    Most professional gamers will tell you that having intimate knowledge of the game that you are playing is going to help your performance overall. So they make sure to practice on a daily basis with teams or peers who can help them maintain a high level of play. Some of the best in the world also know that you have to balance everything out to be able to keep your mental edge sharp. Just sitting around for 12 hours a day isn’t going to help you become better at the game. It is more likely to affect your decision making processes, reflexes, and ability to game negatively.

    Example of a Pro talking about his schedule:
    http://www.teamliquidpro.com/news/2013/03/13/going-pro-part-i

    So make sure that you have a good balance of work, play, social time, and gaming time. Most of us are adults who are able to balance work with play so I’d like to move on to another subject that you won’t find many people talk about but as a power-gamer who smashes through 30-40 hour gaming sessions I find this next tip to be one that most gamers have felt at some point in the past and I want to help you never feel it again!

    So you have been playing for a few hours and your eyes start to feel weird. It is almost like everything that isn’t directly in front of you is blurry or out of focus. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I went to optometrist school but I do know that this simple tip can help your eyes stay fresh, feel less stress, and allow you to be able to game longer with less negative results. It is called the 20/20/20 rule or catch phrase. To help those eyes be able to process information as quickly as possible you are going to want to every 20 minutes, focus your eyes on an object 20 feet or about 6 meters away for at least 20 seconds. I’m lucky that I have a window right behind my main monitor so I frequently will look just above my monitor or into the other room while gaming for long periods of time.

    [​IMG]

    Water! Water! Water!

    Right now I know a few of you are cringing because you think I’m going to tell you that you can’t have your soda or that morning coffee is a thing of the past. Not here! What I am going to tell you is that water helps keep the body hydrated. When your body is hydrated properly you are able to perform at your best! If I can use an analogy here... Why put in low test gasoline in your tank when you can put some rocket fuel in there? The general rule with water is to try to drink 8, eight ounce glasses a day. Don’t despair if this sounds like going overboard because you can factor in fluids that you are getting from other sources like vegetables and fruits. Personally I’ve increased my almond milk intake because of the nutritional benefits and it is pretty good!

    What now Blankspace? We have a balance and healthy schedule, we’re making sure to protect our eyes, and we are drinking more water! The next topic is a broad one but one that a bunch of people seem to forget about or WANT to forget about while gaming.

    Exercising!

    [​IMG]

    I’m not going to tell you all about the different exercises that you can do at home instead I am going to outline what I like to do while gaming to maintain a bit of muscle memory, strength, and conditioning. Usually you want to do these things when you don’t have control of your character to maximize your efficiency. This is while flying from point to point, auto walking over an area you know is safe, or even waiting for a queue to pop for a battleground or dungeon. (The links at the end of this section give you plenty of options to pick from and try out on your own!)

    I like to pick a muscle or region to work usually every 1-2 hours while powergaming. This means that in a 12 hour gaming session I am likely to do the following exercises:

    Hour2 Body Weight Squats, 3 sets, 10 reps.
    Hour4: Body Weight Pushups, 3 sets, 10 reps.
    Hour6: Computer Chair Tricep Dips, 3 sets, 15-20 reps.
    Hour8: High Knee Pulls and Jumping Jacks 6 sets, 10 reps.
    Hour 10: Front plank 3 sets, as long as I can make time for.

    If you are interested in trying some of these simple exercises that you can do at home with just your body weight or the items around you please follow the links below for some visuals and advice on maintaining proper form. The best part about starting to exercise while you are playing games is that I have found from a bunch of people I’ve known that they start to be less intimidated by working out and more eager to try it when they are able to do some of the basic motions at home before possibly committing to a gym full time.

    A couple of links to exercises that anyone can do at home:

    http://www.acefitness.org/article/2863/ (Clickable links and pictures)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/14/exercises-at-home_n_2287898.html#slide=1875294
    http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/ultimate-home-workout

    The last piece of the healthy gamer puzzle is FOOD! Just like we discussed in the water section we want to make sure that we are putting good fuel into our tanks and a balanced diet with good snacking habits will help you in the long run. When I’m talking to friends about how I lost over 70 pounds when I first started being able to walk again they look at me amazed but the biggest part of anything you decide to do is consistency. So how do I suggest you get out of your current diet and into one that you can maintain as a lifestyle? The same way I did. Start by sitting down and deciding what you enjoy eating often. Eggs in the morning or are you a cereal type of person? Spend a bunch of time at the BBQ making chicken and steak during the summer? Once you have established your current eating habits it is time to slowly rotate some foods around. You want to look at the current carbs that you are intaking and try to switch some of them out for healthier ones. Always having white rice? Why not try some whole wheat pasta or brown rice with that chicken? Hate eating vegetables like I do? Try adding something like a few sweet potatoes cooked up with butter instead of those fries dipped in oil!

    My current diet looks something along these lines:
    Carbs
    -Wild Rice
    -Whole Grain Honey Oat Bread
    -Sweet Potatoes
    -Traditional Oatmeal
    -Whole Wheat Mini Pita pockets

    Protein
    -Chili (beans and steak/turkey)
    -Eggs
    -Low fat Greek yogurt
    -Steak
    -Chicken
    -Tuna fish mixed with hot sauce/relish
    -Quality Whey Protein shakes
    -Almond milk
    -Almonds (casein protein)

    Veggies
    -Sweet potato (carbs and veggies??? Yes please)
    -Celery
    -Raw broccoli
    -Avocado
    -Corn
    -Frozen berries

    Everything that I make into meals also can be substituted into smaller snacks. I like to keep my snacking usually to my veggies because I despise them and if I’m eating them at 11am and 2:30 pm in the same day I don’t feel overwhelmed and like throwing them out the window in frustration. The last part of this that I wanted to share is how to portion and snack effectively. During the day if you have meals that are proportioned correctly and back them up with healthy snacks during the day you will find yourself not feeling as hungry and that your body has more energy on reserve when needed. This is what my eating habits look like on a daily and weekly basis.

    Monday-Friday stick to eating plan
    Saturday and Sunday- Replace carbs, proteins, and veggies with anything else. Feel free to have that soda or a couple of adult beverages while out with friends.

    8am/Wakeup Breakfast (Eggs, oatmeal, frozen berries)
    10:30am Small snack (usually a protein bar)
    12pm Lunch (Chicken/Rice. Chicken/Sweet potato. Steak/Broccoli)
    2:30pm Small snack (Celery and Peanut Butter. Almonds.)
    5pm Dinner (Same sort of stuff from Lunch)

    Well that is all I have for this post folks! Let’s recap what we have talked about: We went over making sure that we make a gaming schedule that we can balance with our life and our wants/needs in a gaming world. We discussed making sure to give those peepers a break while we game. I went into a bit of my own personal ‘fuel’ for my gaming tank and suggested that you guys consider putting down that Coke for some delicious water that your body will thank you for in the end. I even gave you a few links so that you could try some of the at home exercises to keep yourself going strong during a gaming session. I hope that you enjoyed this article that I’ve written up and anyone who would like to discuss anything that I’ve written here can feel free to post below. Thanks again!

    For those of you who are looking for all the data and information used to put this whole article together... here ya go!

    http://www.acefitness.org/blogs/postdetail.aspx?page=5&postid=3159
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982212001303
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_vision_syndrome
    http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/water/NU00283.html
    http://www.acefitness.org/blog/3207/high-intensity-interval-training-may-be-making-a
    http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/how-start-exercise-program
    http://www.acefitness.org/article/2863/
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/14/exercises-at-home_n_2287898.html#slide=1875294
    http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/ultimate-home-workout
    Martini, MashPoa, Sarigar and 18 others like this.
  2. imrevned

    imrevned Cupcake

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    A healthy body improves the mind.
  3. Azzurri

    Azzurri Podcaster

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    Nice write up.

    It's pretty simple to stay in good shape, don't eat <REDACTED> food, make sure to exercise at least an hour a day. Eat complex carbs, not too much simple carbs (candy, mostly <REDACTED>). Eat your protein, either from chicken, fish, some red meats, nuts. You can also have a good protein shake if you're not getting enough.

    Also, if you're serious about actually putting on mass, look up some weight lifting programs. I'm really into lifting so I've done research on this stuff.
    Malisent likes this.
  4. Avenged

    Avenged Cupcake-About-Town

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    Good article. I basically live off of chicken / rice / random veggies. Cartmen wouldn't of had to veg all day playing though if he had:

    [​IMG]
    WakeskaterX likes this.
  5. Malisent

    Malisent Cupcake-About-Town

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    I lift too.. and you can lift heavy to just be healthy, without putting on mass too. Not just great for building muscle, it's great for your heart, bones, etc. As a female, I shied away from barbell for years, thinking that heavy lifting would make me bulky, and that is soo not the case. I've lost more weight/inches lifting heavy and dropping processed foods than I ever did with years of cardio and eating low-fat.
    Blankspace likes this.
  6. TehTic

    TehTic Cupcake

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    hopefully everything works out well for you at the doctor's today. Simply I just go calories in and calories expended. It seems to be second nature to me than doing it for so long probably since I was in my 20s about 30 years ago.
  7. Nyxis

    Nyxis Cupcake-About-Town

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    I tried the diets, the work out routines, almost everything.. nothing really worked until I found this.
    <Mod Monocle> Inappropriate image removed. </Mod Monocle>
  8. Eluldor

    Eluldor Cupcake-About-Town

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    Nice write up, hope you're posting this elsewhere too. I've got a couple personal trainer certs and a youtube channel, which needs updating. Lots of bodyweight exercises from beginner to advance stuff. I'd rate this article 5/5 :)
  9. Azzurri

    Azzurri Podcaster

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    It's funny because almost all women think if they lift they'll become huge. If that was the case I'd be an IBFF Pro by now, LOL.
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  10. Malisent

    Malisent Cupcake-About-Town

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    Haha! I always use the tried and true Staci from Nerd Fitness example when my women friends say they have no reason to lift. 15 more pounds down and another round of SL 5x5, and hopefully I can use myself instead :p

    [​IMG]
  11. Aheadache

    Aheadache Well-Known Cupcake

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    She is out of throne room reading material in the right photo. :laugh:
  12. Chomag

    Chomag Cupcake-About-Town

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    If I looked buff, I wouldn't need to be a gamer. I'm not fat, mind you, I'm just average.
  13. Deltre

    Deltre Cupcake-About-Town

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    Good write up man. Pretty much all I do is play video games, go to work, and work out. Every now and then on the weekends I'll go get trashed. Fitness is something I like to keep myself educated on though. I've lost about 20 pounds in the past year and am in pretty damn good shape now if I do say so myself.
  14. Blankspace

    Blankspace WTB Fun Forum Title

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    I wanted to bump this up because I know WSC has had another influx of people and I wanted us to be a healthy community together!

    :inlove:
  15. SirRobin

    SirRobin Cupcake-About-Town

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    Oh you young people and you're crazy slang words, like "exercise," and "balanced diet." When the grey hairs keep popping up like unemployed in-laws. You may understand life's higher callings, like... Annoying the <REDACTED> out of your kids. :up:
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  16. Deltre

    Deltre Cupcake-About-Town

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    I completely support this thread and think it's great. If anyone has any questions or advice feel free to share.

    Also, one of my favorite reasons to go to the gym...yoga pants.
    Blankspace and Nekofest like this.
  17. Blankspace

    Blankspace WTB Fun Forum Title

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    It is really funny... My gym doesn't look like a normal gym. We have kettlebells, a sled, a huge tire, ropes, and more. But there are always more females at classes.... It's insane. They love the awesome classes that go on daily.

    Being healthy is sexy :inlove:
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  18. Deltre

    Deltre Cupcake-About-Town

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    Yeah, we have a few gyms on base. A big one with almost everything, a small one with mainly free weights, and a crossfit gym thing I think. Unfortunately our track and field got closed down, which pretty much blows. We have classes everyday, which are mainly filled with chicks, and now that I work nights I can hit them up.

    Yeah man, I love it.
  19. Ego13

    Ego13 Cupcake-About-Town

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    I have the benefit of being a Certified Personal Trainer for 10 years, plus i love basketball and crossfit.
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  20. Blankspace

    Blankspace WTB Fun Forum Title

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    A legit cert or one of those weekend $20 ones :p

    Just wondering! :inlove:
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