Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle as a League of Legends Professional

This is going to sound like obvious advice, but making sure that you eat right is a huge step to keeping your focus and concentration. First and foremost, keeping your stomach full is key! Trying to grind the ladder, win scrims, create strategies, and succeed in matches is impossible if you’re starving. When you wake up, make yourself a light and quick meal. Cereal, toast, oatmeal or fruit; there are quick and easy options that can help you start your day off right. Lunch and dinner are typically heavier meals, but there are plenty of options that take a short amount of time to prepare with minimal effort and can provide you with meals for the rest of the week. A slow-cooker plus a slab of meat and some spices can create a couple bowls of stew or enough scrumptious filling to make sandwiches with for several days. I do the majority of the cooking at the EG LoL house, but any of the guys could easily make some simple dinners for everyone as well. In fact, the beauty of living in this day and age is that you can look up recipes online to fit any time or budget constraint – I’ve got practically an entire cookbook of meals that only take 20 minutes to make.

Eating enough is important, but eating healthy is equally critical. You might be eating three proper meals per day, but if your meals consist of fast food and boxed noodles, your sedentary lifestyle is going to catch up to you quickly. During times of high stress combined with unhealthy eating, it’s possible to really pack on the pounds, leaving you lethargic and unproductive. Not to mention that non-stop trips to your local take-out restaurant can really impact your wallet. I highly recommend making salads as frequently as possible. Even if you buy pre-cut, bagged lettuce and diced veggies, mix them up and add some lunchmeat (as opposed to buying all your produce whole and preparing it), you are going to be saving a ton of money and avoiding the fats and carbohydrates of fast food. Other simple and healthy meals include chicken and rice, tortilla soup, fruit salad, light noodles, and even plain sandwiches. Knowing what to avoid is half the battle as well. Instead of keeping bags of chips, candies, and crates of soda around the house, stock up on water, handheld fruits (apples and bananas are so easy!), nuts, and pretzels. Avoid the salad dressing and piles of cheese on your burgers.

Okay, so you’ve managed to fix your bad meal habits – you’re eating three times a day to keep yourself level and full of energy and you’re not gorging yourself on foods that make you feel bloated or lethargic. The next step is monitoring your activity. It’s important to ask yourself, “What am I doing for ‘fun’ outside of my job?” Even in an environment where your ‘job’ is an activity that others might do for enjoyment, too much of it can quickly burn you out. College students especially can relate – after a few hours of studying, you can distract yourself with literally anything. League of Legends is the same way. Grinding 8 straight hours of solo queue or scrims is hardly an effective way to improve efficiently. Make sure you’re taking breaks every few hours.

These breaks should include a variety of activities, both mental and physical. The easiest and most important is standing up, getting fresh air, and getting the blood flowing in your body. Every two games you play, you should walk outside and clear your head – take in the sun for 5 minutes and mentally erase all of the bad things that happened in your last games. It’s so simple, but so critical as well. Resetting your body like this can give you a fresh outlook on each set of games instead of spiraling a bad attitude or performance into your future set. Taking the time to read a book, playing cards or a board game, or otherwise engaging your mind on something other than the computer screen a few times a week is also nice. Are you living in a group setting with others doing the same activity? Spend a few minutes per day getting to know your housemates! It’s a great way to build bonds and strengthen trust.

And last but definitely not least, physical health is key to the stability of a professional gamer in the long run. Spending even half an hour per day with strenuous physical activity will not only add years to your life, but make you much happier in the short-term. There are countless studies that show physical activity helps reduce depression, stress, and frustration. There’s simply no reason to not get out there and move around a bit!

Okay! That’s a lot of words, so let me summarize for you: professional gaming (like many other career paths) generates a ton of mental stress. Combat this stress by eating a good amount of healthy food each day and getting your butt off the computer every once in a while. It’s obvious advice, but sometimes the most obvious advice is the hardest to follow. If you’re looking to become an LCS player, start these good habits now so you don’t find yourself in an unhealthy situation when the pressure really kicks in.

Useful Links

52 Healthy Meals in 12 Minutes or Less – Greatist.com
List of 101 exercises you can do at home with no equipment – julesfuel.com

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