Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Poker and Health

I've never been the healthiest of guys, but this has meant that when I really make a positive change, I can feel the difference in a big way.

An example is my recent effort in training martial arts at least 3 times a week - my fitness has reached a point never before seen and I feel great because of it.

Back when I was really grinding the poker, I was fascinated by the 'new breed' of players, names such as Brian Townsend, who were clean cut and healthy looking, shaking off the cigar smoking obese gambler image.

I realised that these guys put as much effort into training their minds and bodies away from the tables, and this paid dividends in the long run.

I read an article recently which really got me thinking about this again, and I wanted to touch on a few of the points made. 

Firstly, the right kind of foods to eat and snack on.

Acai berries and Blueberries - Acai berries are popular with MMA fighters and who can forget Jamie Gold ordering a bowl of Blueberries at the WSOP Final Table in 2006. There's good reason for this, Blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other fruit and can help improve vision and cognitive functions, making them one of the healthiest foods in the world.

Wild Salmon - A favourite of mine! Low in saturated fats and containing plenty of Omega-3, Wild Salmon (the redder the better we used to say on the fish counter) can improve all aspects of brain function.

Whatever you're eating, remember what you put in your body has a direct effect on how it performs.

Eating right is only half the battle though and an active lifestyle is also a necessity. Here are some exercises that benefit poker players:

Stretches - Being static for a large portion of time can lead to stiffness, so try and keep moving as much as possible. Flex and hold your abs and glutes until they start to burn. Work your calves and legs by pushing up on the balls of your feet, hold and repeat. Try and set yourself a routine and stick to it.

Cardio - A personal tip I'd like to slip in, building up your cardio will keep you altert for longer when you're sat playing poker. Training doesn't have to be boring, practice a high intensity sports such as squash, football or my personal choice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Not only will you feel great when playing poker, you'll be able to relieve the stress after a tough session.

All this and more is discussed in great depth in this fantastic article (Click Here). If you're serious about improving your poker, I thoroughly recommend you check it out.

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