Exercise and Trading

I read a good post on Brett Steenbarger’s Traderfeed on the topic of Best Practices in Trading: Using Movement to Gain Emotional Control.

It is true that you do not often see much about the effects of staring at a screen for hours on end. I have recognised that my best trading occurs during momentum times, as in first 2-2.5 hours of the European / US equities sessions and the first hour after US lunch. I found that if the market is drifting sideways (building energy) and I am waiting to see if a trade is working then I can stand and burn nervous energy instead of increasing stress. This comes from using the blue one of these to do one of an endless number of exercises.


Some of the exercise are focused on stretching muscles back to where they should be. This is a consequence of sitting still with my hand on the mouse / keyboard for too long.

I am becoming comfortable with missing moves – it is better than overtrading. I am looking for things that are developing over a few days and looking to see where we are in the market cycle (this works on large timeframes daily/weekly/monthly and shorter timeframes – intraday).


I am looking for one good setup every day, try to have enough size on the trade to be satisfied with the outcome, the R:R, being able to scale some at a zone you identified and letting the rest go to one of your further targets. This brings satisfaction. If it doesnt set up then I get satisfaction from building discipline. It hasn’t or isn’t smooth sailing. I dont want to seem delusional. It is hard as hell.


I think a good parallel for traders is to try a spin class or some circuit training with a group at a gym. This will show you how fit or unfit you are. If you are totally unfit exercise wise and you do manage to work hard you will get some results. You can see how difficult it is to improve (but not impossible given realistic objectives). This is like trading.

During the last 2 minutes of a 10-15 km cycle on the exercise bike I used to practice “to expand my threshold of pain” *. I would do this by going the fastest I can using the most resistance I can . I would compare it to trying to let a trade run.

* This is not because I like pain, the words are from a song I like.


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