One of the consequences of playing live poker is that you must sit in your seat at the table for hours and hours. The casino will often even serve your dinner while you are seated. Of course, the “free dinner” isn’t exactly like you’ve become an average Lottery Winner. The casino makes their (promotional) money back in the form of collecting rake from you at the poker table. And when you’ll be sitting at the tables for hours, you’ll realize you’ve “paid plenty” to the casino for that free dinner.

In many respects, the frequent poker player is no different than a “couch potato” who sits on his living room couch and watches television hour after hour with the remote control by his side. Indeed, his partner may even serve him his food without his leaving the couch. He rouses himself only when he needs to go to the restroom – or when it is time to go to bed. I have seen it happen to some of my friends after they retired. Result: They didn’t live into that ripe old age down the road to which we retirees claim to look forward. Don’t expect it on a silver platter. Earn it. And it is really not hard.

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Harvard Medical School Says…

A recent report from the Harvard Medical School informs us of research that walking is healthy; and — fascinatingly — sitting may be more harmful to your health than smoking. Walking can improve the part of the brain critical for memory. For poker players, to that I would add that walking more will likely increase your poker winnings. Believe it or not! If that seems to be a stretch of your imagination, let me explain:

We sit for hours at a time at the poker table. That’s not very good for your health. For years I have been advising my poker students to take frequent breaks from the game. Go outside for a refreshing brisk walk (no smoking). Casinos will let you be away from the table for 15 minutes (perhaps more) at a time without removing your chips and personal belongings from the table.

Improve Your Memory

So, walking contributes not only to a healthier body but also to a healthier brain. A healthy brain with a better memory lets you think more clearly, better remember your opponents’ playing traits, and better analyze situations during poker hands. As a result, you make better decisions – giving you an edge over your opponents who stay glued to the poker table.

How Often; How Long?

I recommend you go for a little walk about once every hour or two. Calmly get up from your seat at the table, and quietly head for the outdoors. Take care not to disturb anyone. Your chips will be quite safe while you are gone. Breathe in the fresh, clean air; breathe deeply; clear your head; think about that last hand; did you play it right?

Taking these frequent little walks can only help you when you return to the table. Most important, walk briskly – vigorously. Don’t dawdle. Once around the casino for 10-15 minutes should do it for you. Stick to doing this consistently and this will keep your body and brain active and working at peak performance.

What’s more, those brisk walks will invigorate your heart as they serve to exercise some of your muscles, fight heart disease, relieve depression – all to the better for your physical and mental well-being – and a longer, healthier life while you clean up at the poker table. Who could ask for anything more?

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