Exercise and Poker

I had a bad day yesterday.

Not a bad day in a time where 80% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 per day. Not a bad day where I contracted a terminal disease. Not a bad day where I was injured or sick. But a bad day all the same.

Trying to build and maintain a successful and profitable poker room has taken a lot of hours of my week, especially late into the night. I am not sleeping enough nor eating very healthy.

I was irritable, quick to anger and slow to do my daily chores.

But this should not have been a bad day. I was off work, the sun was shining, the temps were in the 70s and a nice breeze blew through my rental house.

I am not the greatest person in the world for changing my attitude. I’ve read the books and watched the videos. I know how important it is to have a positive attitude. I am just not that great at changing mine.

Besides the obvious reasons of losing weight and making a stronger body and heart, exercise can make a stronger mind. Since my day was already spinning off the rails, I decided to take her advice. Instead of playing in a poker tournament last night (which I wanted to do), I decided to go for a four-mile walk (not nearly as appealing).

It was a splendid choice, like laying down A-Q when you know the other person has A-K.

The average walking speed of an adult is around 3 MPH. Younger adults a little faster, older adults a little slower. If walking 4 miles seems like a daunting number, think about it as walking about 90 minutes.

I am blessed to live in Las Vegas, home to literally hundreds of hikes, paths and paved walking areas throughout the city, the suburbs and the outlying areas. I was able to walk from my rental house to a CVS pharmacy to pick up a prescription and then back along the Pittman Wash to a park two blocks from my house. I only took a small walking pack with two bottles of water with me, and didn’t even drink it all.

After just 90 minutes of walking I felt better than I had all day. When the walk was over I rested for a short while before resuming my work.

Exercise is an important part of poker, too. The better you feel, the better you will play. In fact, a lot of body factors can effect the way you play.

BAD FACTORS

Alcohol — Drinking while playing can impair you decision making ability. And having to go to the restroom often takes you away from the table.

Eating — A large meal, or a fattening meal, can make you tired while it digests.

Lack of Sleep — Being irritated or uncomfortable can lead to bad decisions

Tobacco — A need to get out of the room and smoke can take you away from the action, make you rush decisions and miss learning information from other people’s play

GOOD FACTORS

Sleep — Feeling fresh and alert will put your on your A game

Exercise — Reducing the amount of stress in your life and the release of endorphins in your brain will make you feel unbeatable

Eating — A good breakfast like fruit, yogurt or oatmeal can keep your body strong without feel hungry or bogged down

Exercise and poker go hand in hand! I am going to try to exercise 60 minutes every day!

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