Choosing To Live Better

Two Ways To Stay Healthy When Binge Gaming

Unlike watching television, playing video games can improve brain and motor function. Still, this past-time is so fun that many players get lost in their favorite games and end up playing for hours on end, which can be harmful to their overall health. Here are two tips for staying healthy when indulging in a binge gaming session:

Stand and Walk at Hourly Intervals

One of the reasons why video games are often given two thumbs down by healthcare experts is because it's primarily a sedentary activity. Although there are games available that require the player to move around, the vast majority can be played from the comfort of the couch.

However, sitting down for long periods of time has proven to be bad for your health. Not only can it lead to weight gain if you're not physically active in other areas of your life, but it can cause you to develop blood clots. This can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or other medical emergencies if even one of these clots breaks off and travel to the heart, lungs, or brain.

Although clots can develop anywhere, they most often form in the legs because circulation tends to be poorer in that area since blood must fight upwards against gravity to circulate back to the heart. The way you sit may also lead to pinched blood vessels that make it difficult for blood to flow freely.

Therefore, it's critical you pause the game and get a few minutes of exercise to stimulate blood flow at least once per hour. Walk in place, do knee lifts or leg kicks, or practice yoga to get your heart pumping. Not only will you keep stagnant blood from pooling in the legs and forming clots, but you'll energize yourself for your next session.

Drink Water and Not Caffeinated Beverages

The other thing you can do to stay healthy during a gaming binge is to drink water instead of caffeinated beverages. Many gamers drink soda, energy drinks, and coffee because the caffeine helps them stay awake and stimulates their gameplay. However, caffeine is a diuretic that makes you go to the bathroom more frequently. Coupled with the fact that you already lose about 1.5 pints of water a day just from existing, you have a recipe for dehydration.

Dehydration can lead to a number of issues including something as mild as loss of concentration and mood swings, to something as major as dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness. To avoid these problems, ditch the caffeinated drinks and drink water. If you can't stand the taste of plain water, drink flavored water enhanced with electrolytes such as Vitamin Water.