In Need Of Some Fitspiration? These 4 Poker Pros Have Some Great Tips To Break Out Of A Sedentary Lifestyle

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It can feel really good just to sit around and do nothing. Unfortunately our bodies weren’t designed for this. Our bodies are instead designed to move — and that’s why a sedentary lifestyle can negatively affect them.

In its 2021 article Is Your Lifestyle Too Sedentary?, Real Simple notes that lower-quality sleep, metabolism changes, and worsened memory are just some signs that a sedentary lifestyle harms your health. Even so, Ergonomic Trends finds that an overwhelming 1 in 4 Americans spend most of their day sitting down.

You may be part of that 1 in 4. You might even have thought about getting fit once in a while. However, it’s hard to start without the proper motivation. If you need some more fitspiration to get started, these poker pros — masters of an overwhelmingly sedentary sport who still manage to stay fit — have some tips to help you break out of a sedentary lifestyle.


Walter Fisher: find your purpose

Getting out of your comfort zone is the first hurdle you have to face. Poker pro Walter Fisher — who’s played in major tournaments like the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and the European Poker Tour — recommends finding your “why.” With a purpose to fuel your drive, leaving your comfort zone will be less challenging. Fisher notably lost 70 pounds in less than 6 months after being offered $1 million to accomplish the feat, so you can take his word on this method’s effectiveness. Of course, your purpose doesn’t have to be the same as his!


Daniel Negreanu: start small

“Kid Poker” is a proud vegan and fitness enthusiast — and one of the best poker players in history. Daniel Negreanu has a whopping 6 WSOP bracelets and 2 World Poker Tour titles to his name, and he believes his lifestyle plays a big part in his success. However, he knows how challenging getting fit can be. His advice? Start small. As he wrote in his 2015 piece Health, Family and Happiness, just 10 burpees and 20 pushups once a day can help form a fitness habit you can easily build on — and it takes less than 2 minutes.


Fatima Moreira de Melo: make time to exercise

Credit: McSmit under CC BY-SA 3.0 – no changes were made to the image]

Being “too busy” is a common — and even tired — excuse people use to put off exercise. Yet the New York Times points out that somehow, we always have the time to stay glued to our screens anyway. That’s why former Dutch field hockey player and poker pro Fatima Moreira de Melo says there’s always time to sneak in exercise. Even if you only work out to 10-15 minutes a day, it’s better than not working out at all — so make time to exercise as much as you can.


Patrik Antonius: remember to have fun

In Fun, that old bugbear, FUN!, we emphasized that workouts have to be enjoyable, interesting, and challenging if you’re going to stick to them. Finland poker star and former professional tennis athlete Patrik Antonius believes the same — and he keeps fun in fitness by putting variety in his workouts. You don’t need to go to the same gym to lift weights over and over. Hike, jog, or swim once in a while! You’ll find that you won’t dread your next workout and may even look forward to it.

Breaking out of a sedentary lifestyle can be hard, especially if you don’t have that “push” to achieve your goals. These poker pros could have chosen to stay sedentary, but didn’t — and that’s something we can all learn from.

(Post was contributed by Beatrice Marshall)

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