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TheNegotiator

The Positive Benefits of Exercise for Traders

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Hi,

 

This is a new forum and so needs some threads!

 

I feel one of the important aspects of being motivated to do exercise is understanding the benefits it can bring in helping you to achieve your goals, not least in trading. Of course health is something that will really improve with considered exercise, yet to operate when trading, at the highest level of performance, having a decent and relative level of fitness could help.

 

In this thread I hope you guys may share some of your insights and experiences into all the benefits of exercise you may have seen or heard of in relation to trading!

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Hugely important topic.

 

We all spend so much time stuck to your desk and computer that you start to forget just how bad that is on your body. I know when I go exercise and comeback my charts just seem clearer and I'm able to function at a higher level.

 

Unfortunately I get bogged down and sometimes spend a whole day at the desk and hardly move except for the bathroom or food/drink break. I know my posture goes to crap, and my neck and back start to hurt.

 

A few solutions that have worked for me or I try to implement.

 

I wear "Fitbit" basically it keeps track of how many steps I've taken in a day - uses Wii type technology - I'm sure you can search for it online. It's easy to lose so be careful given the investment - however, I have to keep score with everything (maybe why I trade?) and this is a great way to use technology. You should be taking 8,000 - 10,000+ steps a day -- bad news for today? I've only taken 1500 so far. Not good so I use that to motivate myself to get out of here (when this post is done of course!) and get some exercise. My neck and back will thank me.

 

I like a book named "You Are Your Own Gym" -- find it easy on Amazon. It's really easy to come up with some exercises you can do by your desk while you trade. If you're waiting on a set-up it will give you some things you can do without any equipment needed and it's as tough as you want it to be. Great book for that.

 

Another good piece of equipment is a Kettle Bell. Do some swings with a kettle bell in the office takes just minutes, can be super tough but you don't have to leave your trades.

 

I've also set-up a treadmill desk before but that's a topic for another post!

 

MMS

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I want to say a little in my next few posts about the chemical changes that happen to your body and brain when you exercise. But just a quick post right now.

 

So many of us in all walks of life get stuck behind a desk all day. At some point we are all likely to want to lose a few pounds here and there (substitute the word "few" for whatever number you like!). Because of the nature of trading, it is never the best idea to go on some instant results type of diet. You feel drained and often the built up toxins in your body all coming out at once do not do much good for your mind. However, exercise with a considered diet - I mean no junk food and lots of beer, can sort you out without interfering with your trading too much. This is my opinion anyway!

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Trading is a very sedentary lifestyle. I have started running up and down the stairs to get my heart rate up during the day, and increasing my fitness. My problem with exercise is that it becomes a chore that I don't want to do. So I'm focusing on keeping it quick and simple. No sweat, no clothing change, no need to shower afterward. I have been surprised at the increase in my endurance and cardiovascular health from doing stair climbing. I don't need to go outdoors. It is fast and convenient. I do a certain number of reps up and down the stairs, then take a short break. If you are not in good shape, just walk up and down the stairs. Just do what you can, and don't worry about it. I am always pushing myself harder and harder, but with exercise, it just doesn't work for me. I just give up after while. I actually like doing the stair climbing. I can feel myself getting stronger, and I see the progress very quickly. I'm impatient, so I want to see results, or I loose interest.

I'm not going to tell you how many times I run up and down the stairs, or how many cycles I do, because there is no correct number. Actually, I wasn't feeling well for a while, so I backed off for a while until I got over my viral infection.

Again, my problem is that I push myself to hard, and too quickly, then it's more pain than it's worth. So I had to change my attitude. My goal is just to get my heart rate up during the day. If my strength increases, fine, I do a little more, but if I start dreaming about being in such good shape that I could run a marathon, then I "bite off more than I can chew", and then I just quit.

I run up and down the stairs, then walk around the house for a minute of two until my heart rate goes down. If I feel like doing another round, then I do another round.

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I try to jump on my schwinn airdyne 2-3 times a week. it's a great all-around full-body exercise. i like it cause i don't have to mess with weights or different routines, like the P90X that my son uses. so if you're looking for something simple and effective, check it out

 

http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Airdyne-Upright-Exercise-Bike/dp/B000E158CK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1298843701&sr=1-1

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Exercise is important to life!

 

Also, If trading is so much like poker, then i would expect that a lot of traders look like poker players. I play poker in Connecticut and some of those guys are grotesquely obese. A benefit of screen trading is that I do not have to see your disgusting fat ass bidding and offering while you chow down Chinese take out.

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Exercise is important to life!

 

Also, If trading is so much like poker, then i would expect that a lot of traders look like poker players. I play poker in Connecticut and some of those guys are grotesquely obese. A benefit of screen trading is that I do not have to see your disgusting fat ass bidding and offering while you chow down Chinese take out.

 

Do you think that in long endurance type games of poker, these guys would have a better or a worse chance of success if they lost a little weight, got a little fitter and became less "grotesque"? I think trading does have similarities to poker. Some ways in which the games are played are technically very different in delivery though.

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Do you think that in long endurance type games of poker, these guys would have a better or a worse chance of success if they lost a little weight, got a little fitter and became less "grotesque"? I think trading does have similarities to poker. Some ways in which the games are played are technically very different in delivery though.

 

Of course eating healthy would help.

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It's amazing though how people eat. Traders and non-traders alike. There was a point when I first started where on my way to work I'd pick up a bacon butty or a sausage sandwich at least every other day. Then probably have a sandwich at lunch from a big chain shop and maybe a ready meal at dinner. All of which tend to use low grade high margin ingredients which just don't help your body out too much in the long run. I didn't want to have to be bothered with food too much and what/how I was going to eat. Once I realised I just didn't have the mental stamina to sit in front of a screen concentrating for any length of time, the question became one of could I afford to not be bothered...

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So a chemical specific change which may be due to the amount of exercise we take is the level/function of seratonin(this is also associated with diet). Seratonin is a neurotransmitter. It (among other chemicals) helps to balance mood by supporting sleep, easing anxiety and relieving depression. Hmm. Pretty good for traders if you ask me...

Edited by TheNegotiator

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One of the interesting things about exercise is that it is one of the very few things that has scientifically tested out to improve brain function and even offer resistance against dementia. Most things simply don't work to a statistically significant level but aerobic exercise does.

 

It seems that by improving the health of our circulatory system we don't just keep ourselves alive longer but keep ourselves thinking clearly for longer. I'm willing to bet that this helps us as traders. :)

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One of the best things I've done is set-up a treadmill desk. It's not my main desk I work from -- since you can't be 100% effective with other work from it, but for trading it's great. Basically a treadmill that slides underneath a work surface that is cranked to a desireable level -- meaning you're standing and walking on the treadmill and you can use the keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc... while moving. I'm not saying you'll get into a sprint, and trade but you can walk fairly briskly and what I've found is I can slow it down when I need to make a trade/changes and then a lot of the time (80%+) I'm just waiting for the market to do something. Those times I just hit the up arrow for more speed.

 

This way you are putting in no additional time, yet you can get in several thousand steps over the course of a normaly daytrading session (let's say 1-2 hours) -- most people avoid exercise because of the time as well - but this is a great way to put in no additional time and you're basically just multi-tasking while trading....

 

MMS

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One of the best things I've done is set-up a treadmill desk. It's not my main desk I work from -- since you can't be 100% effective with other work from it, but for trading it's great. Basically a treadmill that slides underneath a work surface that is cranked to a desireable level -- meaning you're standing and walking on the treadmill and you can use the keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc... while moving. I'm not saying you'll get into a sprint, and trade but you can walk fairly briskly and what I've found is I can slow it down when I need to make a trade/changes and then a lot of the time (80%+) I'm just waiting for the market to do something. Those times I just hit the up arrow for more speed.

 

This way you are putting in no additional time, yet you can get in several thousand steps over the course of a normaly daytrading session (let's say 1-2 hours) -- most people avoid exercise because of the time as well - but this is a great way to put in no additional time and you're basically just multi-tasking while trading....

 

MMS

 

I can completely envision you on the treadmill and trading at the same time. However, in my mind you get into a bad trade and are trying to manage the trade and the speed of the treadmill at the same time. I can hear the Benny Hill music playing.

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I used to sit in on a signal service where the guy calling the trades was on one. He said the key for him was to always maintain a pace where it was brisk, but never out of breath or breathing heavily. That always helped him maintain control.

 

Thought it might wreak havoc on the coffee drinking.

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One of the interesting things about exercise is that it is one of the very few things that has scientifically tested out to improve brain function and even offer resistance against dementia. Most things simply don't work to a statistically significant level but aerobic exercise does.

 

It seems that by improving the health of our circulatory system we don't just keep ourselves alive longer but keep ourselves thinking clearly for longer. I'm willing to bet that this helps us as traders. :)

 

So True Kiwi, there have been extensive scientific studies on the positive effects of endorphins released form exercise and a direct lift in mood. Not only do feel better after I exercise, but I think clearer and come up with some of my best ideas while I'm exercising. I ride bikes and hopping on the bike after trading keeps me balanced and my head clear for trading the next day.

 

I also find that breaking up my day into chunks or time blocks helps recharge the system.

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extremely true kiwi,me too in two post that i wrote i talk about the positive effect that sports had to our health and brain.especially when we feel us confused and tired,training help us to improve the psycho-phisical condition and also trading get better.

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One of the best things I've done is set-up a treadmill desk. It's not my main desk I work from -- since you can't be 100% effective with other work from it, but for trading it's great. Basically a treadmill that slides underneath a work surface that is cranked to a desireable level -- meaning you're standing and walking on the treadmill and you can use the keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc... while moving. I'm not saying you'll get into a sprint, and trade but you can walk fairly briskly and what I've found is I can slow it down when I need to make a trade/changes and then a lot of the time (80%+) I'm just waiting for the market to do something. Those times I just hit the up arrow for more speed.

 

This way you are putting in no additional time, yet you can get in several thousand steps over the course of a normaly daytrading session (let's say 1-2 hours) -- most people avoid exercise because of the time as well - but this is a great way to put in no additional time and you're basically just multi-tasking while trading....

 

MMS

 

Haha, that actually sounds awesome. When I do long endurance training rides on my bike I will throw an audiobook on my ipod, that works really well. If only there was a way to jot notes while out riding. Perhaps an audio recorder that clips to my jersey :)

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Found this on "The Mayo Clinic" website:

 

 

Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look no further than old-fashioned exercise.

 

The merits of regular physical activity — from preventing chronic health conditions to promoting weight loss and better sleep — are hard to ignore. And the benefits are yours for the taking, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. Need more convincing? Check out seven specific ways exercise can improve your life.

1. Exercise improves your mood.

 

Need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help you calm down.

 

Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. You'll also look better and feel better when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Regular physical activity can even help prevent depression.

2. Exercise combats chronic diseases.

 

Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent osteoporosis? Physical activity might be the ticket.

 

Regular physical activity can help you prevent — or manage — high blood pressure. Your cholesterol will benefit, too. Regular physical activity boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol while decreasing triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly by lowering the buildup of plaques in your arteries.

 

And there's more. Regular physical activity can help you prevent type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer.

3. Exercise helps you manage your weight.

 

Want to drop those excess pounds? Trade some couch time for walking or other physical activities.

 

This one's a no-brainer. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn — and the easier it is to keep your weight under control. You don't even need to set aside major chunks of time for working out. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk during your lunch break. Do jumping jacks during commercials. Better yet, turn off the TV and take a brisk walk. Dedicated workouts are great, but physical activity you accumulate throughout the day helps you burn calories, too.

 

4. Exercise boosts your energy level.

 

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Don't throw in the towel. Regular physical activity can leave you breathing easier.

 

Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. In fact, regular physical activity helps your entire cardiovascular system — the circulation of blood through your heart and blood vessels — work more efficiently. Big deal? You bet! When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you'll have more energy to do the things you enjoy.

5. Exercise promotes better sleep.

 

Struggling to fall asleep? Or stay asleep? It might help to boost your physical activity during the day.

 

A good night's sleep can improve your concentration, productivity and mood. And you guessed it — physical activity is sometimes the key to better sleep. Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. There's a caveat, however. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you may be too energized to fall asleep. If you're having trouble sleeping, you might want to exercise earlier in the day.

6. Exercise can put the spark back into your sex life.

 

Are you too tired to have sex? Or feeling too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Physical activity to the rescue.

 

Regular physical activity can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. But there's more to it than that. Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women, and men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don't exercise — especially as they get older.

7. Exercise can be — gasp — fun!

 

Wondering what to do on a Saturday afternoon? Looking for an activity that suits the entire family? Get physical!

 

Physical activity doesn't have to be drudgery. Take a ballroom dancing class. Check out a local climbing wall or hiking trail. Push your kids on the swings or climb with them on the jungle gym. Plan a neighborhood kickball or touch football game. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and go for it. If you get bored, try something new. If you're moving, it counts!

 

Are you convinced? Good. Start reaping the benefits of regular physical activity today!

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Exercise makes it possible for traders to feel free form all sorts of stressful situations, it is not easy to keep our mind cool, when big money is involved in business, hope everyone will remain healthy and then we can perform well at trade market.

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Here's my routine:

 

Weekend: At some point I jog for 45 min. I do around 6-7 miles in that time. I would do more - I'd kind of like the thought of it, but if Im honest, its a real struggle to do what I do as it is. Its only discipline that makes me do it. Im always glad I did it afterwards. kind of like a mental re-boot for the week.

 

Every trading day: I take a walk for at least 20 min, just to get outside and some fresh air. I often do this at lunch or before the day starts. Most morinings I try and do some pushups. Im pretty slack at this. I dont bother if Ive got a hangover if ive been out on the town the night before. I can do 40, I used to be able to do 60. I know a bank trader in his 60's, He does 100 without fail EVERY DAY. I find press ups good for the back/posture that some here have complained of.

 

'Trying' to keep a healthy diet and less booze is also helps.

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I work out at the gym 3-4 times a week. In my training I prefer barbell, dumbbells and chinning bar.

 

After a couple of months of exercising I noticed that the pain in the neck and the lower part of the back disappeared, the whole myotonus significantly improved.

 

Strongly recommend everyone not to just sit in front of the monitor but sometimes do some sit-ups and jumps.

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When you excercise you release your brain's happy chemicals, with continual activity we can maintain a more positive outlook and keep our minds sharper.

 

I am a cyclist, runner and triathlete, I am running, cycling or swimming almost every day.

 

I think people approach trading the same way the approach exercise..... they shoot for the moon and are constantly dissappointed when they do not achieve their desired result.

 

For example I hear this all the time, I'm going to start running 1hr everyday. Now how realistic is this for a non runner? What happens is that this is a daunting goal, and not enjoyable, so the person dreads the run, maybe they do it 2-3 times then quit. Would it not have been better to run 20 minutes 2-3 times a week? It would have been achievable and built confidence and maybe a love for running, instead beating up our self esteem. I think a link can also be drawn to profit goals of new traders. Generally they are too high, and work against the trader's confidence and profitability in the long run.

 

On of my past coaches always said that 15min is better than nothing, this has always worked for me when I am tired and do not want to do a long run, for example, and you know what happens some times, after 15min I don't feel so bad and keep going.

 

When starting an excercise program keep it managable and fun and you will probably stick with it.

 

Get active, there is lots of great crosstraining for our bodies and minds that can help us with our trading.

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