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Healthy Body, Healthy Poker Mind!

A look at an alternative way to increase your poker edge!
Poker is all about minding the edge over your competitors. Getting even an advantage of even 1 or 2% will improve your profitability in the long run. Players often invest thousands of dollars in poker books, poker videos and tutorials to get themselves more educated as than the rest. Of course being well educated in poker is probably one of the primary ways to get experienced in poker, but if you are looking for something a little bit extra then you may need to look further a field.

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I was out for a jog this afternoon and after a good 25 minutes I started to feel great. My mind started to wonder, and I started getting loads of neat ideas and I was generally feeling great about myself. I then thought; 'hey, I wonder if doing exercise will improve my poker!' I am sure you have all heard the saying: 'A healthy body makes a healthy mind'. People are spending thousands of dollars going to gyms, getting fitness videos, getting personal trainers, etc. They do it to stay in shape, to look good and feel good, but let's not overlook the fact that if you have a healthy body then you will have a healthy mind as well. It has been proven that exercise strengthens your mind psychologically.

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So what are the key benefits that may help you with your poker game?

1. Increased Mental Alertness: Doing exercise will alleviate stress and give you more energy. Hence this will improve your cognitive functions such as concentration, memory as well as comprehension! I think this is the number one possible benefit of exercise for your poker play. If you are more aware and alert then you won't make as many mistakes.
2. Decreased Stress: Exercising gives a release of endorphins, a kind of morphine that is released by the body. You can get a euphoric and invigorating feeling! Exercise can reduce the stress that you go through daily or even chronically.
3. Better Moods: There is nothing worse then when you want to play some poker and you are not in a good mood! If you take a bad beat then that can really send you into a spin. Your mood is thought to enhance from exercise from a combination of endorphins and generally a distraction from stress.

On top of this you get other benefits that may not directly affect your poker play, but can also help you in your everyday life. Exercise is linked to a higher self esteem by having more self-confidence, especially when it comes to body image. I think you're probably getting the picture I'm trying to paint in terms of how much exercise may help you with your online poker!

"Changes following intensive exercise include reductions in anxiety, tension and depression, and increased self-esteem. These effects have been variously hypothesized as due to a sense of increased control or mastery, a meditative effect or to alterations in neurotransmitter-levels." - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

In conclusion:

If you are sitting around all day playing poker then your movement is restricted. I know! My stomach has grown somewhat. After going for a long jog I really felt amazing. For the next 4 hours I was on a high. I know that I would prefer to sit down at a poker game feeling amazing, rather then stressed, mad, in a mood, etc! So if you ever feel that you are not 100% on your game go for a run, a swim, a game of footy, whatever takes your fancy. It's all about getting that slight edge over your opponents at the end of the day!

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