Healthy Gaming: Stay Fit While Playing Esports

Why would you want to stay fit while competing in esports?

There are a few reasons why someone may be interested in improving their overall fitness. But specifically, for esports, here are a couple of reasons why it may be beneficial:

  • Help prevent physical and mental burnout
  • Improve and maintain peak performance
  • Reduce fatigue levels
  • Counteract the negative effects of sitting (gaming is a sedentary activity by nature)
  • Agreeable changes to cognition (improved stress resilience, memory, learning, reaction time)
  • Potentially live longer (greater cardiovascular fitness may lead to a longer life)

What evidence does the scientific research show?

A recent article published in the journal of Medicine & Science in Sport and Exercise[1] showed that a relatively small bout of high intensity exercise on a stationary bike improved the in-game performance of a group of League of Legends (LoL) players. Participants in the study performed 20 minutes of high intensity exercise on a stationary bike, followed by a 20-minute rest period, prior to playing a custom match of LoL. When a comparison was made between how many targets were eliminated by the test subjects between the two conditions (exercise and non-exercise). The subjects eliminated a greater number of targets when they had completed the exercise prior to playing the match, compared to no exercise beforehand.

What exercise should I do? How much and for how long?

A good place to start is with the recommendations that are set by leading exercise and sports medicine organizations and governing bodies, such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). They recommend the following amount of exercise per week: 150 minutes of moderate activity per week + 2 x week of strengthening exercises. That works out to be around 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on 5 days of the week, with two sessions of strengthening exercises during the week. Even if you cannot commit to that level throughout the week, even a short 5–10 minute walk outside will have some benefits to your brain and overall health.

  • 5 minutes of exercise total
  • 20 seconds exercise
  • 10 seconds rest
  • High knees
  • Mountain climbers
  • Push ups
  • Jumping jacks
  • Burpees

Summary

Balance is a key requirement in our lives to be successful in any area of our lives. When it comes to health there are a wide range of variables that relate and reflect our current health status (height, weight, body composition, blood markers, cardiovascular fitness, nutrition, sleep, fatigue). We can modify our current health status using various tools and resources (exercise, nutrition, sleep) that modify our current health state. The time commitment required for some of these aspects is fairly minimal in the grand scheme of things and can potentially yield very positive health benefits for our body that could have long lasting effects.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
North America Scholastic Esports Federation

North America Scholastic Esports Federation

NASEF uses scholastic esports to help students enhance their education & skills for future careers!