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What’s exercise gotta do with trading?

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Take a break, go for a walk!

Take a break, go for a walk!

Today we’ll talk about a topic that may not seem very relevant to trading, exercise. However, exercise is something that can prove quite useful especially, if you are a developing trader. Exercise can be a wonderful antidote to this craziness that we love called trading. Below are a few things that may make your reconsider this topic.

Combat stress

Let’s admit it, trading is a stressful job. You have to keep track of what the markets are doing, how price is behaving, economic news and also the manipulation by the big boys. It is not for the faint of heart. You are like a Ninja, dealing with multiple threats all at once. I have found exercise helps relieve stress created by the sheer volume of data and information that comes at us. Let alone the emotions that are triggered during trading. When I go for a walk, I feel the stress fade away as I walk down the trail listening to my music or audiobooks. The outside air and open space does wonders for my soul and I come back refreshed and centered, ready to spend time with my family.

Think more clearly

Exercise also allows you to think more clearly and improves your focus. This is why many traders include some form of exercise in their morning routine. It allows you to become centered, focus on what’s important and reduce the noise around you. Picking out the patterns, recognizing price behaviors and taking action (or keeping yourself from taking action) while ignoring the noise in the market is an important part of our journeys to becoming successful traders.  So anytime you find yourself getting sucked into the market noise and the tops start to look like bottoms and you start making things up, setups where they don’t exist, step away from the computer, drop to the floor and do 20 pushups. Or you can be like me, go for a walk. I can assure you, it will clear the cobwebs and you’ll come back with a fresh perspective.

A sense of well-being

Exercise also promotes a sense of well-being. Moderately vigorous exercise, that gets your heart going, is a great way to feel good. I find when things aren’t going so well, exercise helps me clear my mind and get rid of negative emotions. Research done on this topic shows that body releases endorphins, natural feel-good hormones, during exercise that alter your emotional state and make you feel happier, giving you a natural high. So who needs a chocolate bar or a glass of wine when all you have to do is lace up and go outside.  I have to admit, the hardest part of this is making yourself get out of your chair and putting on your shoes but once I get past that part, I feel better with each step I take.

So next time, before you reach for that glass of wine after a stressful day, may I suggest you put on your running shoes and go for a 20 min walk instead.

(Psst, can always have that glass of wine later, with dinner;)).

How does exercise impact your trading? Share your stories in the comments section below.

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