Whilst it doesn’t take much physical fortitude to sit at a poker table playing poker, there are health aspects that a complete poker player should take into account.
If you want to playing to your full potential then being in a healthy body will help your cause, increasing your stamina, endurance and general mental well-being.
Healthy in body, healthy in mind, healthy profits! Let’s look at some of the health aspects you can work on.
Diet and Nutrition
Look around a poker room and you aren’t going to be seeing too many elite athletes, but don’t let the behaviour of the majority of poker players direct your own habits.
Poker playing lends itself to spending long hours in front of a computer or at the poker tables, so take precautions to make sure you aren’t under-eating or feasting purely upon junk food.
Before playing a long session, have some food ready so you aren’t just snatching snacks in the breaks between levels. It may be unwise to eat a heavy meal before a large session, as digesting a big meal can make you sleepy.
It’s not the remit of this article to suggest a diet, but stick to a healthy, balanced diet and you won’t end up needing two seats for the main event.
Having good stamina will increase your ability to play effectively for long sessions. If you plan on winning the WSOP Main Event one day then bear in mind you will be playing many days of long poker to do this. If you are unfit and unhealthy then you will find it hard to maintain the concentration required for long periods.
A little can go a long way with exercise. Even a decent walk every day is reasonable exercise and will keep your lungs and heart in good enough shape to play through some long sessions. You don’t want to play great poker, reach a final table and then find yourself tired and sleepy, making bad decisions at the most important stage of the tournament.
Sleeping and Breaks
Playing long sessions can cause you concentration problems. Taking regular breaks is advisable to keep your brain sharp. It also makes sense to try and have a sensible sleep routine. It’s very easy if you play a regular poker lifestyle to fall into bad sleeping patterns.
Try and plan your schedule so that you can sleep sufficiently to feel refreshed when you need to go to work or play your next session. It will make your life easier and having to explain black eyes and constant yawns to your boss may not get you that promotion you’re after!