The time is almost upon us and we are all excited. I would assume that most people here would have pre-purchased and are all geared up to go on 12am PST 25/8/2012.
You probably have your character all set out already (I have!). But there is one thing most of us neglect. We get so entrenched into our avatars but we forget about our own bodies!
I don’t know about you but the BWEs left me absolutely shattered and exhausted. For something that only lasts 3 days this is ok as we can recover after, but for launch this won’t do.
I am passionate about health and food so have devised some strategies on how to ensure that your body is prepared to play efficiently during the initial stages when most of us will be playing long hours!
After all, your body is controlling your character, and if you don't care for it you will not get the most out of your character. You will feel tired, sluggish, irritated, and so on.
This is probably most relevant for those that intend to play as soon as servers go live, as they will probably play for a few solid hours straight.
It’s long so here is a quick version.
- Ensure your commitments for that weekend have already been taken care off;
- Get enough sleep before launch and make sure you still sleep after launch;
- Play in a well lit and ventilated area. Look away from the screen every 20 minutes;
- Watch your posture – shoulders back and down, back straight, don’t slouch;
- Have some water bottles ready next to you play area and have a swig every now and then;
- Go easy on the caffeine as it will make you crash and dehydrate you;
- Avoid fast food and have a good slow digesting meal that will power you through the first few hours;
- Pre prepare your food to quickly grab it and eat whilst playing;
- Have almonds and fruits ready for snacks;
- Go outside and get fresh air;
- Don’t forget you have a life outside of GW2.
First up before we get to the health bits, if you are keen on playing uninterrupted, pre-prepare anything that needs to be done that weekend – if you have any assignments due, work to finish, emails to respond to, anything, try to get it done before that weekend.
Launch is midnight for you US folk so get plenty of sleep during Friday if you can or at least get a few hours sleep before launch. I wouldn’t recommend staying up to play the game straight away. Even if you can only manage a nap get 45 – 60 minutes. Don’t nap for anything longer than 60 minutes unless you intend to sleep for a few good hours as you will start to enter deep sleep. Waking up during this will make you feel horrible.
Make sure you sleep well during the week. The last thing you want is to be exhausted by the end of the week.
If you don’t intend on getting a good sleep after a long day of playing GW2, have short naps every now and then.
Look away from the screen every 20 -30 mins and focus on something far away even if it’s just for ten seconds. Staring at the screen too long will mess up your long range vision. Even just looking around the room helps.
Make sure you are blinking whilst you play or get some eye drops ready. Blinking normally would be preferential to using eye drops.
Also make sure your play area is well lit up (having a light on behind the screen helps too) otherwise you’re eyes are going to get strained big time.
Posture is so underrated but so important. Keep your shoulders down and back. Having the keyboard and mouse lower down helps as you don’t have to lift your arms too high.
Don’t do this and you will get the gamers trademark – pronated shoulders. And become a hunchback. Then people will throw fruit at you like in the hunchback of Notre Dame movie. Just kidding! Look at Mike O’Brien. He is pronated pretty badly. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to keep them back.
Have your monitor such that the top of the monitor meets your eyes when your neck is in a neutral position. Keep your neck in this position and look down with your eyes instead of tilting your head.
Keep your lower back lower back straight and don’t slouch in the chair or slouch forward. It would be better to sit on a fit ball or backless chair so that you use your muscles instead of relying on the chair.
Get out of the chair every now and then. Every 30 to 60 minutes is best. I know time is of to essence at launch but even if you just stand up and quickly reach up to the sky and stretch it will do you a world of wonders. It helps the blood in your body start flowing again and you will be amazed at how refreshed you suddenly feel. Take in a deep breath of air too.
Stretch your fingers every now and then. Something as simple as opening your palm and spreading your fingers out as wide as possible will be sufficient. Also, open and close your palm a few times.
Fill up a giant bottle or a few bottles of water and keep it close by. Set an alarm or whatever you need to, and have a swig every now and then.
Have at least a full glass of water before you start playing. Trust me you do not want to be dehydrated. When you are dehydrated, your whole mental capacity diminishes. You won’t be as quick in your thinking and reflexes and you will start to feel exhausted.
Having a few sips every now and then will make sure you stay hydrated. If you wait til you are thirsty you will already be dehydrated and it will take a while between you drinking the water an it being digested and having effect.
You will not need to pee that much unless you overdo it.
Soft drinks / energy drinks / tea / coffee
These are not water. Having a few soft drinks is not the same as having water. You still need to have water even if you are having soft drinks.
First up soft drinks have so much sugar (and the diet ones have horrible artificial sweeteners that will kill you in the long run). Having too much sugar at once will cause an energy spike and then a crash! You will feel horrible and sluggish when you crash. Check my blog for an explanation on this http://foodforfuncti...drates-are-bad/
Energy drinks are the same. They have loads of sugar. If you do have them, space them out and drink them slowly so you get the best effect. Don’t smash down too many or you will probably have a heart attack and can never take your character to level 80.
Alcohol is the same as above and if you have too many you will lose brain function and slow down. Keep drinking, and depending on your tolerance you will probably fall asleep or pass out.
Tea and coffee are ok. Without sugar is best. Green tea will be the best.
Be warned though, all of these drinks above are diuretics. They WILL make you pee. This is why you need to drink lots of water if you have these drinks or you will quickly dehydrate. Also, they will flush out important nutrients so you will start craving food.
If you have too much caffeine you will also crash pretty hard when it wears off. You do not want this to happen as you will feel horrible and exhausted. So if you have caffeine, pace it out and drink lots of water.
You probably want to binge on fast food, but if you can try and have something that will actually keep you functioning and feel full.
Having fast food will make you feel sluggish, tired and irritated.
Instead of the burgers have wholemeal bread or oats. Have some meat like chicken breast or steak and some veggies. This will keep you going for a few hours.
Pre prepare your food so you can grab it quickly. And just microwave if you need to eat whilst gaming. I usually cut up the pieces of meat so it is easy to just grab with a fork or spoon.
Eat a little bit of good fat (only a little) like some avocado, olive oil or some nuts.
Keep some almonds next to you to use as a snack. The healthy fats found in these will also optimise brain activity. Fruits are great too
Take a break. Go outside, get some fresh air. Go do some exercise to pump some blood around your system. Don’t get too caught up in your avatar and forget your body.
Take toilet breaks. Don’t hold it in for too long. You don’t want to be cleaning up after or getting kidney stones.
I know this is a lot and is extreme but I hope you at least take a few points from it. Don’t neglect your body. It is easy to level up a character but it is so hard to fix your body.
I don’t intend to be playing hardcore when the game is launched, maybe only for the first day or two, but for those of you who do, I hope this little guide helps you get the most of your experience.
Oh and if you share my passion for the importance of food, check out my blog at www.foodforfunction.com
Would love your opinions. I am trying to remind people in this world of supplements and medicine that the best medicine is food.
Happy gaming, and don’t forget to look after yourself
1) Just realised I used spanglish in the title and don't know how to change it >_<
2) Bananas make for a great gaming snack - great source of Potassium and carbs (thanks Linfang)
3) Headphone advice from TheGizzy
"I thought of one other important health tip. If you're using Vent or TS or Mumble or something with a headset... make sure you're giving your ears a rest and time to "dry out." Either alternate uncovering one ear every hour or so, or - even better - take the headphones off for a while throughout the day. One of my kids has gotten what is essentially "swimmer's ear" twice from wearing his headset too long!"
Also, this guide was really only a reminder on what not to forget during the first weekend of launch as that is when people really let things slip because they want to get in there first. It happened to me during the BWEs. After that weekend I am sure we will be back to our fantastic health habits.
It wasn't intended only as a don't forget to eat, sleep, drink shit guide but to remind people why they have to do so (a lot of the time we are just told we have to and not the function these components serve). And also the timing and types of food. For us older folks this stuff is common knowledge as we have learnt it throughout the years but a lot of the younger guys haven't.
Just look at the number of people that reach for panadol and pharmaceuticals for back pain, headaches and any small thing. I see it all the time at my gym and my work. Sometimes simple solutions such as eating the right things, staying hydrated and fixing your posture will make all these go away.
As Voltaire said "common sense is anything but common"
Thanks for the comments and hope you find some of these tips helpful
Edited by Anzuri, 02 August 2012 - 11:34 PM.