Too often, health articles deliberately provide news that sound scarier than it really is. On the same note, plenty of articles will tell you the health implications of certain pastimes, but will not focus on the health benefits. Online gaming is a great example. Despite there being an estimated 1 billion gamers that partake in the hobby, it is very rare that you’ll hear about the physical damage gaming can cause.
According to an article by Addiction & Health, playing too much computer games can increase anxiety, blood pressure and cause a high heart rate from too much stress and excitement. Poker is another fine example, but in actual fact, there are health benefits that can be gained from playing poker. It might be surprising to hear, but we’ll demonstrate how poker can actually be good for your health.
1. Enhances Social Life
Poker is a game that many people take up as a pastime, so whether it’s played at a friend’s house, or online, you’ll be able to make friends, chat, and socialize with other players. This not only allows players to practice their communication skills, but gives them a chance to expand their network of contacts and connect with like-minded people. According to a Harvard Study of Adult Development, social connection is the biggest factor affecting a person’s happiness. Therefore, by playing poker in-person with friends, or online in a poker community, you’ll ensure that your social life is continuously intact and your sense of happiness and well-being will make you an overall healthier person.
2. Keeps The Mind Sharp
Poker tests many cognitive functions on different levels, and not just in terms of outwitting an opponent. A good example is how playing Texas Hold’em takes practice, learning and an understanding when it comes to certain concepts – all of which keep the mind sharp. A sharp mind has been known to have a positive impact on one’s health, especially with problem-solving skills, concentrating and multi-tasking. This is particularly important while engaged in a game of Hold’em because you could be calculating the odds of a winning hand, assessing your opponent’s tells, or thinking about how to boost your bankroll. These different situations exercise the brain and strengthen the memory, thus Texas Hold’em is a game that keeps the mind razor sharp!
3. Practices Decision-Making
At first glance, poker may look like a game of courage and placing bets when you feel good. But the reality is, every hand of poker presents a player with options, whether to call, fold, or bet. Thus, decision-making is at the core of playing poker. You’ll have to think about your hand and your next moves, the odds of you getting the cards you need, as well how you are going to answer your opponents when they decide to raise the stakes. Studies have shown that practicing your decision making skills can result in making better choices, fewer mistakes, and lead to higher self-confidence. This makes sense when applied to poker because advanced players know that sound decision-making over the long-term is what will produce winning results and a confident player.
Poker is a wonderful pastime played by millions of people, but unknown to many, this hobby actually has many health benefits. Now, you can enjoy playing poker knowing that it is a great way to socialize, sharpen the mind and build confidence – all at the same time!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. If so, please check out our piece on ‘Anxiety In Different Cultures’.