Battle for Azeroth, the latest World of Warcraft expansion, released this week. Like everyone else who plays WoW, I have spent many hours sitting in my office chair, melting faces. Or more accurately, smashing them since I am maining a Horde Paladin this time around. My buddies are mainly playing Horde, so I went that way, too.

But this isn’t a post about WoW. This is about playing games like WoW in a healthy way. If you’re like me, you have a tendency to focus in on the game you’re playing and can sit for hours and hours without moving anything other than your little fingies on your mouse and keyboard.

Unfortunately, that’s a recipe for a pretty terrible gaming session. You cramp up, muscles get tight, and that makes the game itself less enjoyable because you physically feel bad.

Not to mention all the garbage food and drink you’re probably taking in. When we sit down for a long marathon like the BFA launch, most of us tend to get munchy and snacky and may want an absurd amount of caffeine to keep us going through the night.

So I just want to take a second and toss a few suggestions out there for what you can do to make your next sesh just a little healthier. Mainly because I know how terrible I feel when I eat Doritos, drink Mountain Dew, and don’t stand up for 3-4 hours at a time.

After all, we want to enjoy our time gaming, not feel terrible while doing what we love. Right?

Stand up now and then.

Set an alarm so that every now and again, you get up. Maybe every hour. Maybe every two. Heck, if you’re feeling froggy, try to get up every fifteen minutes. This way you’re moving, keep the blood flowing, and don’t cramp up. Because we’ve all had those sittin’ too long cramps.

Also, I have a friend I used to raid with who started to develop blood clots in his legs because of sitting for so long. It was crazy dangerous. His doctor told him that he was only to sit for 30-60 minutes at a time and to get up and move around to prevent it. So yeah. I get up and down a lot after hearing about that.

Drink Better Caffeine

Instead of soda (and I have always been a total cliche with this: Code Red Mountain Dew), drink tea or coffee. If you need the energy to stay peppy and alert for long periods of time, there are better options that carbonated sugar water (or carbonated aspartame water). I’m guilty of downing a pretty high volume of Diet Coke these days, but I am working on cutting that out.

Hot tea, cold tea, coffee, matcha, whatever. Unless it’s Southern Sweet Tea (y’all know what I mean), it’s gonna probably be a better choice than any soda.

I also keep a Brita pitcher beside my computer as I work during the day and when I play games. That way I can just reach over and pour myself another glass of water. Sure, I could get up and grab another (and that would be the better choice), but I know me. I know I will drink a ton more if it’s all within arm’s reach.

Eat Better Munchies

Instead of sitting around with snacky cakes and potato chips, try something that’s just a little better for you to snack on. I keep plates of fruit near me — strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and even some whipped cream to dip them in. I slice up apples and get a bit of peanut butter for them.

Almonds are fine, but high calorie. Pistachios are really good because you can eat a ton, plus you have to shell them which keeps you from just throwing handfuls in your mouth. Veggies are cool (though I don’t like raw veggies, personally, as snacks).

Basically, anything but the greasy, keyboard-ruining, energy-draining stuff that is usually our go-to for grinding out levels and pounding faces.

Small Exercises at Each Bio Break

When you gotta get up and pee (and you will a lot), take the time to do a couple of body-weight squats or pushups. I have a pull-up bar in the doorway to my room so I can do a quick yank on it as I pass through. Don’t wear yourself out or even really break a sweat. But if you do 5-10 push-ups or squats every time you stand up, you will eventually be able to do more. You’ll stretch your body out, and things will just be better.

Do that every day that you’re at your computer or on your couch, and it’ll add up for some goodness.

I tend to do a lot of down-dogs and other yoga poses when I stand up, too. It’s fantastic to stretch out my neck and back after I’ve been sitting for way too long. Or even for just a little bit, if you’re like me and feel your body fighting you as you age, haha.

Just Do Something

Whatever you do, just make sure do something. No matter how small it is, the fact that you’re making even small steps toward being healthier is better than you not doing anything at all. Health and wellness are about sustainability and enjoyment, so find something that works for you, but do what you can, friendos, to make your marathon gaming sessions and WoW binges as least harmful to your body as possible.

I promise you’ll feel better and enjoy the game more if you do.

Let me know what you do to keep yourself loose and feeling good while gaming. Hit me up in the comments, tweet me, or even send me a voice message on the Anchor.fm app and I may include it in a podcast (how cool would that be, right?)

Oh, and Speaking of WoW

Make sure you join our Alliance or Horde communities in-game so we can talk and adventure together! You can click the links in the Tweet below. Also, we have a Battle.net community for cross-faction goodness, too.

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