Every gamer should try these breathing techniques before entering a lobby

Every gamer should try these breathing techniques before entering a lobby

Originally posted on September 29, 2023

Imagine you just played a 40-minute game of League of Legends. You broke the enemy Nexus and hit 500 damage over 5 kills. You had a solid showing. Now, during these 40 minutes, did you ever stop to consider your breathing habits? 

Odds are you didn’t, because your mind was on one thing, and one thing only: Securing the W.

But what if mixing some optimal breathing techniques into your gaming routine could increase your chances of winning? Research shows that it can, and we recommend you give them a try. 

Gaming naturally encourages non-optimal breathing. As a chair-based activity, we spend prolonged hours in chronic seated positions, lending to slouching, and ultimately painting the stereotypical picture of the hunch-backed gamer. When we slouch, we compress our abdomen and limit the ability of the diaphragm to expand our lungs. 

This limited expansion equates and shortness of breath leads to reduced lung capacity, decreased oxygen availability, and causal effects like headaches, fatigue, and stress. 

Oxygen availability is important for gamers because an adequate amount can positively impact  focus, attention, mood, alertness, and responsiveness. Long story short: Optimal breathing can boost gaming performance. 

Regularly checking in on your breathing patterns and posture can be difficult during gameplay, especially when gearing up to raid the Final Boss. However, studies show that these simple breathing exercises, which can be practiced between games, can greatly increase oxygen levels and get you ready for your next bout. 

  • Diaphragmatic Breathing

  • This exercise is designed to activate your diaphragm—a dome-shaped muscle at the base of your lunges—which is responsible for both inhaling and exhaling. Strengthening and activating this muscle will help you breathe more efficiently so you can reap the benefits when it matters most. 

    Diaphragmatic Breathing Image

    Here’s how to do it:

    • Sit or lie down in the comfortable place. Close your eyes. 
    • Place one hand on your lower belly (lower), and the other on your chest (upper).
    • Breathe in slowly through your nose, letting the air flow deep into your belly. Your lower hand should rise, while your upper should remain still. 
    • Tighten your abdominal muscles and let your belly fall inwards as you exhale through pursed lips (picture yourself blowing on a hot drink). Your lower hand should move to its original position.
    • Repeat for five to 10 minutes

  • Pursed Lip Breathing 

  • Similarly to diaphragmatic breathing, the pursed lip technique is designed to help you take more effective, intentional breathes that maximize oxygenation. 

    Pursed Lip Breathing Image

             Here’s how to do it:

    • Get comfortable
    • Breathe in slowly through your nose for two seconds with your mouth closed. 
    • Purse (pucker) your lips like you’re about to whistle.
    • Breathe out slowly and gently through your pursed lips for four or more seconds.
    • Repeat for five to 10 minutes 

    Feeling the benefits of these breathing techniques in both life and gameplay? Check out Excedrin’s 6-step Mindful Gaming Routine to learn about other practices that will keep your headache- and stress- free during even the longest of sessions. 


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    Written By


    Writter for Paidia Gaming