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Cover image for 6 Ways to Start Getting Physically Fit as a Coder

6 Ways to Start Getting Physically Fit as a Coder

_patrickgod profile image Patrick God Updated on ・4 min read

Fitness is important. Period. Having a decent amount of endurance and strength benefits you in a lot of ways. You need less sleep, you become better at concentrating on your tasks, you’ll get more creative, fitness lowers your back pain, makes you healthy of course and perhaps most importantly you will be happy more often.

I’m not talking about going to the gym every day and getting muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger or preparing for the next marathon. This is for the beginners or the coders that have real problems to start doing anything at all. Shall we?

Doing housework

Yeah, I don’t like it, too. Vacuum cleaning, doing the dishes, cleaning the toilet, gosh. But chances are, you might sweat a little when you’re doing these ungrateful tasks. That’s awesome! And seriously, these tasks aren’t that ungrateful at all, are they? At least your personal living space is clean and you might feel a bit better. Plus, you’re getting off your desk and are moving your body. That’s everything you need to start getting fit.

Going for a walk

As mentioned above I’m not talking about pushing yourself to the limits and getting a biceps like Leon from Resident Evil. Going for walks is a great start to keep your body moving and getting fit slowly but steady. Be honest. When you come home from your job (or you’re done for today when you’re working from home) what’s the next thing you’re doing? Putting your bag aside and leaving the house again or do you grab a pizza and a beer, chill out on the couch and watch TV? Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing too bad with the latter, but it’s very likely you hardly moved your body the whole day. Not good. Sitting all day long is actually killing you to sound a bit extreme. So I highly recommend going for a 30-minute walk every two days.

And if you’re really getting into it, I also recommend going on hikes.

Leave the car

Do you have to commute to work? This is obviously not for everyone, but if your way to work or your grocery store is not that long, you might think about going there by foot or by bike. That way you actually save time, because you don’t need to go for a walk in the evening. Unless you want to, of course.

Fitness Tracker

Any kind of fitness tracker like the ones from Fitbit, Garmin, any Smartwatch, whatever, is a great way to push yourself and get out. And while doing so this little gadget informs you about your pulse and saves all kinds of statistics about your activities. Admit it, you’re a tech person, you love statistic analyses. If you still don’t want that gadget you can start to download one of the bazillions of pedometer apps for your smartphone.

Outdoor Hobby

Another perfect way to keep yourself moving is a hobby where you have to get outside. Again I’m not talking about the sporty stuff like going to basketball matches every now and then with strangers you don’t like and don’t want to get to know. I’m talking about stuff you could do completely by yourself – or with a friend (or spouse) if you want to. I already mentioned hiking. In essence, these are longer walks but can evolve into adventurous experiences. Climbing a summit, watching a marvelous sunset over the lake or watching wildlife on your doorstep not only benefits your body but also your mind.

And while you’re already outside you could also try photography as a new hobby. Capturing the sunset or wildlife is very satisfying and you’ll focus on something completely different from programming. Great!

Push-Ups

Okay, now it’s getting a bit harder. If you’re already moving now and then and want to increase your fitness level, you can start to work out a bit, of course. One of the best exercises to grow some muscles are push-ups. Do as much as you can every two days and after a month you will definitely see results – and so do the girls (or guys). If that’s still not enough, you might want to create a proper workout plan or join the gym. But that’s for another post.

And don’t worry if you can’t do one single push-up. Try one with your knees on the ground. If that’s still too hard, do push-ups against the wall or a chair. With time you will be able to get lower and eventually you’ll succeed with your first complete push-up. From then on, you’ll never want to go back.

This post was originally published on programmergoals.com


But wait, there’s more!

Posted on Dec 2 '17 by:

_patrickgod profile

Patrick God

@_patrickgod

Into code as long as I can remember. First games, then web, now both. Located in the sweet Taunus-region in Germany. Always eager to learn, create and teach something new.

Discussion

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Defnitely true. Thanks for the contribution.

 

Key to be healthy, even more so than exercising.

 

Playing a sport (lots of companies have company sports teams - tag rugby, 5-a-side soccer, etc.).

Join an expensive gym A cheap one also works but you'll be more motivated to go regularly if it cost you lots!! - Ok, I'm joking about the price! But, seriously, get into the habit.

 

Great tip. The gym is definitely the next level on getting fit. Going there two or three times a week will lead to results real quick.

 

Great post.

I recommend the "7 minute workout", it's scientifically proven to help.

I did a version of it for about two months, before moving to other things, and found it to be amazing.

I like them because you don't have to leave the room :)

Also there's this 60 year old that I look up to when it comes to fitness and he swears by this workout. If I remember correctly he can do 50 pushups in 60 seconds, and he says he does nothing other than the 7 minute workout.

 

Thanks! :)

I had the 7 minute workout as an app on my smartphone. It's definitely worth a try! I'm curious who this sixty year old is. Sounds amazing. And I think this shows once again that consistency and patience are the keys to great results.

 

His name is Craig Good, I've been following him for years in quora (all his answers/posts are health related and he writes in such a way that you'd know he's not just bragging).

It seems I've miss quoted him :)

Now I’m nearly 62 and can, for the first time in my life, do 45 pushups in 30 seconds. My reps are up across the board. While this is anecdotal, there’s nothing else in my lifestyle that can credibly explain the difference. quoted from here

He's talking about HIIT which the 7 minute app is a version of it.

After writing my comment here I tried to do by version of HIIT workout that I used to do some time back and I could not finish it! Something that I used to do twice. So yes practice is key.

At the moment I'm very "out going" meaning very into running and going into nature but knowing that there are such "tools" that I can do in any cubical life might throw me in, makes me very excited about the fact that unless I just don't want to, there's always a way to take care of yourself

 

Great post! I recommend getting a pull-up bar for your office or room. Every time you enter and leave the room do 3 or 5 pull-ups. Pull-ups are a great exercise and doing 3 or 5 every once in awhile really adds up.

 

Thanks! That's a great tip. I've got wall bars in my home office which enable me to do exactly that. Apart from that you can add some extensions to the wall bars, so that you can do triceps dips or even crunches on a bench that's leaned on the wall.

 

If you're working out in gym with weights, don't forget to do stretches.

My back used to hurt in the past and then I started to work with weights and most importantly - stretch before and after workout.

Also, like OP said, I feel that I've got way more energy, can sleep better and being physically fit makes me happier.

 

I work remote, so I bought a power cage for my sleeping room o,o!

 

That's great! Bet you can do lots of exercises then. :)

 

Wat iz outdoor? But seriously, what kind of outdoor things would be enjoyable this time of the year? I live in the mid-Atlantic, across the bay from DC.

 

Hey Ashley, Glad you ask. I think you can do outdoor things all year round. Again, hiking is great. Today is a snowy day here in Frankfurt/Germany and I'm looking forward to hiking a trail in the mountains. Of course, you need a proper outfit.

Apart from that, you could enjoy ice-skating in your next skating rink or just go for a swim. I know, not exactly outdoors, but you'd still be moving your body.

Hope this helps. ;)

Take care,
Patrick

 

Thanks. There are a lot of trails around here I need to explore...

Go for it! And good luck. :)

 

This is actually great topic. We sit too much.
Crossfit 3 times a week. Works great for me.