Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

Poker is a card game that has become popular among the masses. Millions of people play this game every day, and it has been considered a mind sport because of its immense physical and mental demands. People who have been dealing with depression, anger, stress, or other mental conditions can benefit from poker playing in terms of improved health and wellbeing. It is a challenging game, and it requires you to be prudent in deciding your course of action. However, people who play card games have made their mental health problems go away.

Poker can help improve mental wellbeing in various ways because it enables you to focus on something else rather than dwelling over negative thoughts all the time.

It helps you cope with stress. Thus, it enables you to focus on something that stimulates your mind and stay fit. The card game requires reasoning and is the perfect escape for people who cannot find ways to be productive and deal with their mental condition. People who play the game have been more optimistic and are more positive-minded compared to other people. It allows you to improve your coping skills, thus helping you develop good mental health habits.

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Poker offers fun. It is one of life’s free pleasures because anyone can play it.

People who play the card game have had lots of fun playing it because it is not as complicated as other mind sports. Poker can help you feel relaxed if you are having a stressful day. Also, it can help people laugh and forget about their problems for a while. It offers chances to learn, discover, explore more.

Poker provides opportunities to meet new people.

People who play the game have made new friends after they play poker. It helps you socialize with other people who also love poker, thus creating new relationships. Poker helps people relieve themselves of loneliness and can also help people improve their social skills. It is a good way of meeting new friends who share the same passion as you do.

The card game indirectly influences your overall health and fitness by helping you to make better decisions. 

Even a standard 9-5 family man who likes to play a bit of 8-Ball with his friends needs a degree of physical fitness. Did you know that paying 8-Ball for a few hours could add several thousand steps to your daily count? If you do not have a good level of fitness, your game could be affected.

The same goes for poker, believe it or not. While running gets your body into shape, poker improves your mind and emotional health. The brain is a muscle that accounts for 20% of your metabolism, and you can’t function without it. Also, your emotions and hormones impact each other and your physical health.

Why is it important? Many beginners are taking up poker, and it is one of the world’s most popular pastimes, with millions of players worldwide. In 2003, Chris Moneymaker qualified for the World Series of Poker playing in his garage and ended by winning an astounding $1m. But, of course, he had to be physically fit to do that, and with the nation in the grip of a mini poker boom, that could be you.

If you already play poker or want to emulate Chris Moneymaker and be in peak physical fitness, here are a few core principles to consider. Remember, this applies to other modes of online gaming, from Fortnite to EA’s Madden, so even if you’re not a card shark, it might still apply to you. Poker also indirectly contributes to your physical health for those who take their game seriously.

Getting the right amount of sleep improves your overall health.

To be a success around the poker table, you must consider getting plenty of sleep. Many top athletes expel the virtues of a robust sleep pattern, not purely for physical advantage but also a mental one. Good, regular rest leaves you sharp, able to focus better, and in good condition. Jeremy Ausmus is a top poker player, and he admitted structure around sleep patterns was hugely important. “As much as non-structure feels good too for a while, if you have goals you want to accomplish, you could benefit from a schedule. Getting up at a certain time, working out – you’re going to feel good. If you don’t, you are not mentally the best, and that carries over to your life.”

Exercise improves your health and fitness and adds years to your life.

Ausmus also mentioned working out, and it might be tough to see the benefits. The one aspect of physical fitness you can benefit from around a poker table is yoga. Practicing yoga can help maintain certain positions, build up strength in the right muscles, and add discipline to your game. Many studies show that heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and cancer become more likely if you sit for long periods. It doesn’t matter what workout you do, but outside of poker, try to remain active. Jason Mercier is a poker player, and he stays busy. “When I am not playing poker, I try to do a lot of physical activity when I’m not playing – working out, playing basketball and other sports.”

The diet you follow determines your energy levels.

Finally, as with any fitness regime, the fuel you put in your body matters. You wouldn’t buy a Corvette and try to run it on the wrong fuel; it would ruin the engine. Your body is the same; you don’t want to put the wrong fuel in. It can be tempting to drink fizzy energy drinks while around the table, but they won’t help you at all; they can raise anxiety. Your diet away from poker can affect how you act, too; try to eat as though you’re training for an event. Avoid sugary foods, fatty foods, and look to drink plenty of water; it plays a crucial role in your body’s functions, helping you stay sharp.

Last word on why you should consider poker when getting into shape

The typical image of a poker game is a table littered with cigars, drinks, and snacks, played by men who perhaps don’t have their wellbeing at the top of their to-do list. Well, poker is changing, and the prerequisites for success are growing, too. So, if you want to play successful poker, look after your body like you would while bodybuilding or training for a big sports event.

By Terry Clark

Terry Clark is a math professor, certified fitness trainer, bodybuilding coach, nutrition specialist, writer, and fitness enthusiast. Terry loves working out, playing with numbers, solving problems, writing, and teaching.

2 thoughts on “Poker – How Can Mental Games Improve Health”
  1. […] and mental health have a strong connection and go hand-in-hand. Getting good sleep can improve your mental capabilities and sharpen your memory. Studies have also shown that sleep plays a vital role in […]

  2. […] weeks, I must fight through the mental fatigue that the coronavirus caused. I intend to focus on my mental health this week and see if that motivates me during my workouts and diet. I plan to mix it up a little […]

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