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HEALTH AND POKER

Any repeated activity or hobby does not just shape us as personalities and can tell a lot about one’s character, but also, inevitably, affects our bodies and minds.  And if you are a fan of Poker, it is important to fully understand the impact it can have on your health.

There are many advantages to adding the game into your daily  schedule, although many will find this to be not very obvious or even counterintuitive. Once you give it some time and thought, however, you will realize that there are surprising benefits to playing poker, particularly for your mental health and fitness.

Despite being considered a game of luck, poker is so much more that that! In fact, results of the game often correlate more with the player’s skill, experience and wit rather than just with the cards dealt.  So becoming better in poker, means acquiring or strengthening those qualities. And as in any sports, the more you train the ‘muscle’, the stronger you get. 

  • Poker is the game of numbers and probabilities (after all, it IS about money and combinations of cards)
  • Poker is the game of focus and concentration (monitoring other players’ steps, working out your own strategy, trying to assess possibilities)
  • Poker is a game making decisions in a fast-paced environment
  • Poker is a game of observation, patience, and self-control (tournaments can last for extended time periods, and whether it’s a live game or an online event – players who control their emotions and actions, who avoid repeated patterns and examine other player’s behaviors etc. tend to perform better)

Taking all of the above into consideration, it’s no surprise that poker can be viewed as a training gear for your brain, mind control and skills that are helpful in your daily work life.  As well as type of activity that helps to prevent Alzheimer’s and other mental health issues.

Another big aspect worth mentioning is that this game is a type of hobby that can aid one in ‘de-stressing’, switching focus and unwinding after a long day at work by having fun and interacting with other players! As such, it serves to be a good replacement for television or video games and can provide more social involvement.  This argument is obvious for the live games, but even in online gaming there are ways to communicate, for example through group chats, where you can discuss games, learn strategies, exchange tips and get acquainted with people who share the same passion.

For all the benefits, playing poker can be stressful for your body.  However, that is easily overcome by simply being aware and following general health guidelines.  

The basic rules are:

  • keep proper posture: whether you are at casino or at home taking part in online tournaments, and even if you are busy with work or other daily  activities – this rule is good for any situation!  Keeping the right posture is number one rule in staying healthy! 
  • avoid sitting for a long time: try to take breaks every now and then, stand up, take a couple of steps and enjoy some simple stretching. 
  • be mindful of the time dedicated to the game:  this is especially important for those who prefer online gaming.  Daily screentime is best kept within certain limits.  Occasionally taking breaks and letting your eyes rest is good rule of thumb. This can be combined with some light physical activity, as described above.
  • do your best in following a healthy diet: once again, very basic principle that cannot be overlooked.

The ‘body-mind’ connection rule works in poker as in any other aspect of our life. So by taking care of your body, you are increasing your chances of success in everything you do, including Poker!

To conclude, poker when played responsibly can be very beneficial for your mental agility, intellectual and social skills.  So whether you are playing for fun, for money or to socialize – you are also improving your mental health and empowering your mind!

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