Get your game on - 5 tips to stay healthy whilst gaming
It's almost time for E3, running from June 16th to 18th in LA - the annual event which is a MUST to follow if you're a video game fan. Hear about all the latest releases, catch teaser trailers, walkthroughs and sneak previews of the latest, greatest and upcoming games and geek out as you listen to developers' plans for the future. If you're going to be gaming this summer, or even if you're planning to wait for the release of Fallout 4 (10th November on XBox One, PS4 and PC, in case you didn't already know) this autumn, here are a few tips to make sure you stay happy and healthy whilst you're gaming!
#1. Take regular breaks
Whether you're eagerly awaiting the release of Final Fantasy XV or looking forward to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain's release on 1st September, just because you're excited about a new game, doesn't mean you need to spend all day in front of the screen. Sitting staring at the TV for long periods of time is not just bad news for your fitness levels, it could lead to dry eyes and eye strain too. Taking regular breaks from gaming is as important as taking breaks when working at your computer. You should aim for a break every 15 to 20 minutes, even if it's just looking away from the screen or getting up for a snack.
#2. Make healthy snack choices
It's all too easy to munch your way to the bottom of a bag of Doritos or Haribo whilst gaming, but unfortunately these high sugar, high salt, high fat treats won't do your health any favours. Mindless munching is a side-effect of eating whilst watching TV or gaming, and it makes it much easier to consume too many calories, leading to weight gain and other health problems such as heart conditions and even diabetes. Making healthy snack choices might be tricky when you're in the middle of a battle on Destiny, but preparing snacks in advance is a good idea if you're settling in for a few hours game time. Fresh fruit, trail mix, nuts (unsalted are best) or even beef jerky are all healthier alternatives to crisps and sugary snacks. If you're turning to cereal bars to fuel you, look for those which are made with all-natural ingredients and no refined sugar, such as Nakd Bars.
#3. Stop for meals
Don't forget to eat properly just because your new Xbox One game has you in its grips. if you live alone or with housemates, you're probably responsible for preparing your own meals - so it's important to remember to stop and cook yourself a decent dinner. It could be something quick and easy, like a healthy gluten-free salad, or even a hearty bowl of soup, but make sure you take a break and give your body the fuel it needs. Skipping meals can lead to a dip in blood sugar that can cause energy crashes and mood swings.
#4. Get a couch workout
If you really must spend all Saturday afternoon on the couch gaming, you could always try our Couch Core Workout to give your body a fitness boost. We'd rather you switched off the console and went for a run, but when the new Star Wars game is waiting, we know that's unlikely. Don't spend all your free time glued to the TV and neglect your health and fitness goals - get out there, soak up some vitamin D and boost your mood! A yoga or pilates workout at home will do, if you really can't face the great outdoors.
#5. Don't neglect your social life
We've all heard of those stories where players became addicted to online RPG's and never went outside - in some cases they forgot to eat, sleep and even get washed. There have even been cases where people died as a result of their video game addiction. We're not suggesting you're anywhere near this obsessive, but if you find yourself turning down real life social invitations so you can game, on a regular basis, it's time to address your priorities. Spending all your time alone can make you feel isolated, which can affect your immune system and make you more prone to stress - it's true! Those who have a solid social network of friends and family deal with stress better. So put down that PS4 controller and join the real world, at least for today.
We bet you're excited about some of the E3 announcements that have already been made - like the unexpectedly early release date of Fallout 4, but there will be plenty more to come in the next few days! When you sit down for your next gaming session, don't forget our tips to make it a healthier experience! Which games are you most looking forward to playing this year, and how do you ensure you stay healthy whilst gaming? Tweet us and let us know.