The prevailing stereotype states that games and fitness are opposites that are definitely not attractive. Of course, somewhere around 66 percent of Americans play video games, but it’s hard to shake the player’s image when someone is buried on the couch, smacks Mountain Dew and Doritos, pursues murder, becomes unhealthy every day.
But this is one stereotype that is seriously late for the update. On the one hand, suitable gamers, such as Jackson "Bajheera" Bliton, show that in a full life there is a place both for serious training and for serious battles, and teach their fans to do the same. And, on the other hand, gamers understand that fitness is not just something that allows you to balance time on the screen, but something that can really make them better in games.
No seriously! Here's how a consistent approach to fitness can pay off on the screen, and how to get started.
Advantage 1: more energy and longer
Serious gamers know that it takes an amazing amount of energy to stay locked up for hours. Every second, you need to make decisions about where to go, which weapon to use and which strategy is best to use, and this can burden your brain even after a short period of time.
Flash of news: if your body is completely out of shape, this means that you cannot make optimal use of your energy systems – either mentally or physically. When you exercise regularly using different styles – aerobic (for example, cardio) and anaerobic (for example, weight lifting) – your body becomes more able to effectively and efficiently use its resources. This allows you to feel more energetic, even until late at night.
Benefit 2: Mental health and performance
Regular exercise is more than any lifestyle change you can do – it’s just great mental health. Your ability to make and regulate neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and others, is improved through regular exercise. This can pay off both in terms of mood and result-based mental health, such as the ability to make better, faster decisions.
Sometimes the fall of your opponent comes down to milliseconds. One workout will not be enough for you, but weeks or months of successive workouts may well be.
Advantage 3: better sleep
The disadvantage of getting good results in your favorite game is that it is almost impossible to do this without spending more time in front of the screen or monitor. And every hour you spend there means a greater amount of what is called "blue light" for your eyes.
Blue light, which is particularly pronounced on backlit screens, carries the greatest energy of all types of light in the visible spectrum. This means that it also has the greatest potential for causing physical harm. Too much exposure to blue light, especially at night, can lead to problems such as headache and eye strain. But even more often it can damage your sleep.
Yes, but who needs to sleep? You do. As the quantity and quality of sleep decreases, your mood deteriorates, your ability to concentrate and concentrate, and almost all other markers that make you good in your favorite game.
How can we avoid this by eliminating as little playing time as possible? You guessed it: exercise. Many studies (and many other unofficial data) show that exercise can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, as well as the overall quality of sleep. With a longer and longer sleep, we see a better recovery not only of the muscles, but also of the eyes.
There are no flaws. And if you're a person whose nocturnal lifestyle turned your sleep habits into a failure, adding some exercises can be the easiest way to get them back on track.
Advantage 4: better ability to cope with stress
We were all there. The last lap is closed, and only one enemy team remains. You can win or lose in an instant, and you know that you have everything you need to win. But your hands are sweating, and you feel a quicker pulse. That's why you are a game. It's fun, but it's also stress.
When adrenaline is high, it can easily take over – with disastrous consequences for your character or your team. But guess what? Exercise can help overcome the stress response. This phenomenon is known as the “cross stressor adaptation hypothesis” and, more simply, it means that exposing your body to physical exertion from exercise helps you cope with the mental stress of other activities.
If you are the one who sees the exercises as pain and suffering, it is especially important to hear. Exposing oneself to a small, controlled amount of “poison” over time is actually a joke! This means that when it comes to the final moments of the round, you will be more psychologically prepared to defeat your opponent and win at home.
It does not have to be hardcore to work
The best part about fitness? This should not be an all or nothing approach. Of course, on Instagram and YouTube’s fitness culture, it may look like 24/7-swole-patrol is the only way that “counts”. This is definitely not true.
Looking for a place to start? Lift weights about three times a week and do cardio exercises about the same number of times. They can be separate, as in Total-Body Strong Bodybuilding.com All Access, which includes three full-body workouts per week with walking for cardio. An even more effective approach is something like Hannah Eden's FYR or the “Homemade” fitness plan at home, both of which have sweaty workouts that combine strength and cardio.
But it should not be something systematic, like a program, at least in the beginning. You can simply find a workout that works for you, for example, a workout with a pump for the Bajher’s upper body, and add a little walk to go along with it.
At first, you may not be surprising, but if you go deep into exercise, you will also find yourself getting better, like, well, better at games.
“It's grinding,” explained Bliton on the Bodybuilding.com podcast. “Be prepared to put in a lot of effort over a long period of time and understand that it will take effort. This will require improvement. ”
Find what speaks to you at the level at which you are now, and just start doing the work. No one knows where he will lead you or how it will pay off, both in the IRL and in the virtual battlefield.
- Nielsen Games. (2018). Games 360 US Report. Download March 25, 2019.
- Tosini G., Ferguson I., and Tsubota K. (2016). The effect of blue light on the circadian system and the physiology of the eyes. Molecular Vision 2261
- von Haaren, B., Hartel, S., Stumppp, J., Hey, S. and Ebner-Example, W. (2015). Reducing reactivity to emotional stress to real stressors of an academic exam for students participating in a 20-week aerobic exercise: a randomized controlled trial using Ambulatory Assessment The psychology of sport and exercise, 2067-75.