Eat to compete

It’s well known that people who spend a lot of time sat down run greater health risk than those with more active lifestyles. A sedentary lifestyle not only runs the obvious risk of weight gain though inactivity (not burning enough calories to offset those you’re consuming), but people who don’t get out and about enough run a higher risk of some cancers, mental health problems, higher cholesterol and higher risk of coronary heart disease.

For an online poker player, for example, this is a very real risk; long periods of time sat at a computer screen can be endangering to health, and whilst it’s easy to say step away from the computer, sometimes it’s not as simple as that. But, with a little care and attention to your lifestyle, it need not be the case.

The first thing to remember is that those sat down for a long time simply don’t need to take in as many calories as more active people. The average man needs to consume 2500 calories per day to maintain their weight without doing anything extra. Stick to that many calories and you won’t gain weight, or invite the attendant health problems. Eat balanced meals, avoid alcohol and snack on healthy options like fruit, and it’s fairly easy to stay under the limit. Keep a food diary, it’s easier to keep track of what you’re eating if you write it down.

But it’s not just diet which you need to keep an eye on if your lifestyle means you spend a lot of time sat looking at a screen. Take regular breaks. Maybe, at the end of the game, step away for a moment, take a short walk. Studies have shown that even a ten minute walk can have a large impact on your general health; improving stress levels, lung capacity and brain function (including focus and ability to concentrate, which might come in handy!).