Yes, you will be surprised, in case you are planning to TAKE GAMING SERIOUSLY (and we sure you are), you cannot let yourself turn into a couch potato. Even Esports teams work with doctors and therapists in order to nurture the players’ health. Like any other traditional sport, world’s leading Esports organizations are investing more and more resources in order to nature players’ physical and mental health. Such efforts include treating injuries, preventing them, and more generally take care of the general physical and mental well-being of professional players.
In an interview published by Esports Insider (ESI), Dr. David Amirrezvani, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, said that in competitive gaming, maintaining one’s physical and mental health is often overlooked. As players dedicate hours to improving their gaming ability, their real-life health can suffer. Whether it is from sitting for an extended duration with poor posture, increased stress after a crucial loss, or a lack of consistent, restful sleep, the adverse effects of gaming can severely worsen a player’s overall health. Dr. Amirrezvani believes that professional Esports players could improve their performance by increasing their health and well-being.
Nowadays, competition is fiercer than ever across the professional Esports landscape. Players work to optimize their performance, reflexes, communication skills and game knowledge. They finely tune the techniques in which they excel while also strengthening areas in need of improvement.
Regular exercise has been shown to improve overall mood while decreasing the risk of suffering from depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental stress. High levels of competition among Esports athletes can cause immense amounts of physiological stress. Exercise can help mitigate these stressors and provide mood stability when competing at high levels. Regulating physiological stress is an essential component of optimizing competitive performance.
Learning to harness the positive aspects of physiological stress towards providing a competitive advantage is key for Esports athletes, and exercise can be a means of reaching those goals. The effects of exercise on mental health are profound from a subjective standpoint, but also very obvious from a fundamental physiological level. Regular aerobic exercise has a virtually immediate effect on the body’s neurochemical make-up by reducing the body’s stress-related hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline.
These hormones are responsible for regulating our heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. Management of these physiological responses to stress is vital for maintaining a level head and clear mind during competition. Additionally, aerobic exercise can help boost the release of endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, all of which contribute to an overall feel-good sensation. Achieving high levels of positive neurotransmitters through the means of regular exercise is one of the safest and most effective methods of performance enhancements the human body can sustain.
Esports athletes are known for grinding to achieve the results they desire, especially at the top competitive levels. Consistently participating in high levels of stressful competition provides only one form of achievement for the players — winning. The levels of self-worth vary among esports athletes, but a significant emphasis is placed on overall success, which can lead to unhealthy mental states in the face of loss or poor competitive performance.
A routine of regular exercise can provide these athletes with an alternative sense of achievement outside of gaming. Whether setting new lifting/running PRs, achieving weight loss/gain milestones, or obtaining a desired physique through hard work and dedication, exercise for esports athletes plays a vital role for both physical and mental well-being.
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