You have probably never suffered from an injury while playing Fortnite— at least not physical anyway. You certainly don’t need any strength training to be able to play Call of Duty either. However, in the eSports industry, professional gamers have to take very good care of their health in order to perform to the best of their ability on the big stage. This has given rise to a concept known as “gaming fitness”.

Gaming is not often thought of as a physically demanding activity. However, if you spend 8-10 hours a day pressing buttons and clicking mouses for years, it can be very harmful to your hands, wrists and forearms. This is a very serious concern to those who play games for a living, be they professional eSports players or streamers.

gaming fitness
Heavy gaming can be very bad for the hands

It might sound hard to believe, but certain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome (a syndrome that causes pain and numbness in the fingers) or tendonitis (a medical condition where a tendon swells up and become very painful) can very well put an early end to the career of a young promising eSports player. In many cases, these injuries require surgery to treat. It is practically impossible, and definitely not fun, to try to compete with others while you are experiencing excruciating pain in your hands and can’t even hold the mouse or controller properly.

To combat this threat, many professional gamers have developed a certain workout routine.

Athletes have to stay healthy in order to have performed the best performance, it’s hardly a secret. That usually involves working out at the gym, developing certain muscle groups and building endurance and strength. Take football players, for example. They have to engage in heavy weight lifting, not only to have the endurance to play 90 minutes on the field but also to become more durable, so as to minimize the risk of getting injured when crashing with other players.

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Former League of Legends pro player "Yellowstar" becomes healthy to perform better on stage

Now heavy lifting might be too hardcore for eSports players. After all, muscular strength is unlikely to help them play games better. What they need are exercises that focus on the hands, wrists and forearms, as these are the body parts that take the most pressure while gaming.

To meet this demand, Dr. Levi Harrison has established a video game-related fitness Youtube channel. This channel includes various videos about how to prevent injuries while gaming. For the most part, Harrion’s exercises don’t use any weights whatsoever. Instead, they out heavy focus on flexible motion and dexterity, as these are the two crucial physical necessities for gaming. However, that does not mean they are easy by any means. They include many complicated and difficult movements.

Harrison's hand & wrist exercises for gamers

According to Harrison, spending just ten minutes each day performing a couple of his exercises can greatly reduce the risk of injury from heavy gaming.

Moreover, exercise is not everything when it comes to fitness. Nutrition also plays a crucial part in developing strength and maintaining health. That applies to game fitness as well. Some professional gamers have to follow a strict diet that consists of lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as low-fat proteins to keep themselves in top condition at all times.

Of course, you don’t need to be a professional eSports competitor to practice these exercises. If you consider yourself a heavy gamer, you might want to try them out. They ensure that you can keep doing what you enjoy without worrying about long-term physical consequences.