There will be plenty that will roll their eyes and skip past this article but you should not underestimate how important some of this information is.
Much is often said about how you need good strategies and good discipline in order to become profitable long term on Betfair. However, not much is ever said about the health and fitness side of things as these can be just as important in your quest in becoming a professional trader.
If you manage to keep a fit and healthy mind and body then you will definitely see better results and a greener screen in the long term. This is especially important if you have considered ever going full-time.
Here I am going to share some of the things I have changed about my own lifestyle habits that have definitely benefited me on Betfair.
It is important to always get a good nights sleep in general but you should really never be trading when you are tired. When trading on Betfair you have to be alert and able to make quick decisions. As I grew older in life I began to notice the big difference a solid 8 hours sleep would do for me on just a day to day basis. I would have more energy and feel more positive which then would make sitting and trading feel so much easier. I now avoid alcohol 24 hours before trading as I am a bit of a lightweight when it comes to drinking and a few drinks on one evening will render me pretty useless for the next day.
There used to be a time when I would regularly have some drinks on a Saturday night and then trade the Sunday matches however these would be a total disaster as my mind was not thinking right. If I know I have quite a fair bit of action to trade the next day I will not go anywhere near any sort of alcohol. Even one drink has been enough to give me a headache the next day so it is definitely not worth the risk for me!
Stretching & Exercise
Sitting still for several hours a day is not going to do anyone any good. Not everyone has time to go to the gym but we all have time to do some stretching. Every hour of sitting down should be followed by walking around the house and doing a few stretches to keep the blood pumping around the body. A high blood pressure is the last thing any trader needs. If you have time, a 20 minute walk before and after a trading session can work wonders.
Personally these days I find I feel at my best after a good cardio session like going for a run or spending some time on an exercise bike. I usually get this done in the morning and then I feel full of energy for the rest of the day but on some days just a 20 minute walk is good enough to get my blood pumping.
That is right, you need to stay hydrated. Famous racing trader Adam Heathcote was ridiculed for once posting on his blog that it was important to remain hydrated when traded. However, he had a point. Most of us never get enough water on a day to day basis and then wonder why we get headaches and other little illnesses constantly. Keeping the water going through your system will help you keep your focus on the task at hand. Most of us might have a cup of tea or coffee with us when we trade but nothing beats just a plain tall glass of water. Personally, I always have a bottle of water on the desk when I am trading and I make sure the whole bottle is gone within an hour of opening it. Since getting into the routine of doing this I have found I can concentrate for much longer when trading and I do not think this is a coincidence.
Eating Away From The Screen
These last two tips are for your mental health more then anything. For a long time I got into the routine of eating my lunch or evening meal at my desk if I was in the middle of trading. This would obviously depend on the time of the day but after a while I realised I was not doing myself any good by this. It is important to break up the trading sessions and each hour should be broken up with something that does not involve looking at the screen. I know many traders that have their wives bring their evening meals into them and they eat and trade at the same time but this is not good both for your marriage and your mental health. You will find you begin to resent trading the more it takes over your life and eating whilst at the screen is a definite sign it is taking over.
Winding Down In The Evening
Winding down and clearing your mind in the evening is something I have only just discovered myself in the past few years. There used to be a time when I would trade an evening football match till about 10pm then after I might sit on the sofa to watch the TV but still have my laptop with me checking the next days potential action. I would then read Betfair trading blogs and forums till I felt sleepy. Then going to sleep might be a struggle as I would begin thinking about potential strategies or angles to try out on an upcoming match. Funny enough, I would then have Betfair related dreams before waking up in the morning getting ready to go and do it all again. I found this funny for a bit until I realised I was becoming a bit too obsessed with trading and it was important to have some separation from it at times. Especially as I then found that I was not keeping up with day to day life and did not have much to speak about with others apart from sports related news.
These days, I now have a cut off time of 10pm. At this point I switch my mind off to all things Betfair and sport related. A good movie or serial is usually enough to switch the mind on to other things and from there I have found it much easier to relax and then have that all important good nights sleep that is needed if you want to succeed long term in anything, let alone Betfair.