Coding can be mentally taxing, I know you would agree. But it also takes a toll on your physical health, so much so that you must become proactive in cultivating healthy habits, physically, in order to succeed, mentally. I experienced this firsthand over the past two weeks.
Now I try to run a couple of times a week and I try to eat fairly healthy. I’m 36 so I am at that age where its becoming a necessity, not a fad.
Yet sometimes work can take over our lives if we let it. In addition, sometimes we get so close to solving or completing a coding task that we just have to keep going, even though you know you’re mentally exhausted.
This is how I felt this past Friday. I had a number of projects that had been drawn out over the week and needed to be completed. I had put in many hours and was at that point mentioned above where I “just need 10 more minutes” (most of the time if you just step away for 5 and come back, you will solve it in the next 5!!).
I ended the day discouraged and had a hard time switching from “work mode” back to “family mode” and “real-life mode.” I was like a zombie strolling around the house.
Add on top of this the snow we got during the week that kept us all cooped up in the house.
Now I say all this not to be pitied. Not at all. But I mention this as a reminder that we should never even get to this point in the first place!
Optimal Physically = Optimal Mentally
In order to be optimal coders mentally, we need to raise our standards and become optimal coders physically as well.
I’ve met people that love coding, but hate life. Their bodies are worn out, they are depressed, they have back problems, etc. And much of this is from the sedentary lifestyle that the job unavoidably demands.
Well let me finish the story:
I woke up Saturday determined not to do any work. The sun was out. It was 60 degrees!! I got fresh air. I got sunshine. I walked around the yard, played with the kids, did some physical exercise, and was instantly rejuvenated.
I need more of this! YOU need more of this!
You can’t work forever. You can’t code forever. You’ll burn out. You have to do something different sometimes, rejuvenate, and take in life.
All in all it was a reminder to me that my physical health is a major factor in my mental health, my programming sucessess, business sucesses as well as my failures.
Bottom line: Your health should be a top priority.
I see people boasting on Twitter often about their having been up all night working on a coding challenge, their lack of sleep, or their long and groggy work days. These are either very young adults who can keep up this rigorous routine, or they are people who are miserable in real life.
As we are sitting all day, facing a glowing screen, running numbers and logic through our heads…..we will struggle if we don’t take time to step away and revitalize the body!
When I left my 9-5 I had a lady (around 60 years old) tell me this:
“Travis you are young. Be sure you don’t spend all your days sitting at a desk. I did for years and years and I now experience pain constantly when I sit and try to work.”
She was miserable. Let’s not make the same mistake.
5 Top Exercise Plans For Coders And Programmers
So in this post, if you are feeling like your physical health is suffering, I want to point you in the direction of a solution. I want to mention 5 top exercise plans for coders and programmers, 5 routines that I would recommend you to look over, choose one or two, and make part of your daily or tri-weekly regimen, a regimen that you will commit to sticking to.
Your life will change for the better, I guarantee. Its time to raise your standards of living. Remember, your physical health needs to be cultivated in order to suceed mentally.
So lets look at 5 exercise plans for coders and programmers:
An 8 week course for those looking to toughen up the body a bit.
I’m currently going through this. It consists of an 8 week progression meant to add some toughness to your body. It goes from a basic everyday warmup routine, to proper rolling, handstands, sprints, and more.
I’m on week three and its been quite interesting. You wouldn’t think rolling around could as be physically draining as it can be but it is. Its an art that comes naturally as a kid, but forgotten as a grownup.
I recommend this course for the programmer who sits a lot, the body has gotten a bit weak and needs a little touch of toughness. You can find it here on Udemy.
7 MINUTE WORKOUT
High intensity traning that anyone can fit into their day
The exercises include things like jumping jacks, situps, planks, etc. Anyone can do it, and you can do it twice if you’d like a longer workout.
I recommend this for anyone who just wants to get in better shape. It’s well rounded and easy to
fit into any daily schedule.
For those active types looking to go to the next level
This is a 12 week plan for those who are already in shape and are looking to tone up the body.
The good news is that it consists of bodyweight exercises (pushups, lunges, planks, etc.), so no need to purchase any weights, AND you can download the app as well to give you instructions and time your workout.
Couch Potato to 5K in 8 weeks
In our fourth example of exercise plans for coders and programmers, the title says it all. I did this one with my 9-year-old daughter. She made it about 4 weeks and it was a great challenge.
You start off walking a lot and running a little. You advance to running some and walking some. And by the end you are just running the whole thing.
I recommend this for those who are out of shape and want to start running. 8 weeks! You can do it.
10 minutes a day to give your heart a workout
I do this workout often as well. You can pick 5, 7 and 10 minute intervals. It times you and there is a lady that shows you what to do in case your not sure how to do things like mountain climber pulls!!
Its funny, you wonder how she can keep going without any struggle at all. Well, look long enough and you find out the video is looped!!! HA!
This is also available as a free app and I would recommend it to anyone that wants a good cardio workout. It may be beneficial to run 2 ten minute slots or combine it with another workout.
So take the time to cultivate your physical health. Make it a priority. Raise your standards of life, physically. These 5 exercise plans for coders and programmers will get you back on track.
Look through them and find one or two to suit and get started.
Take charge of your physical life today, exercise, and be sure to take breaks (including weekends!!!).
Cultivate your physical, to suceed in the mental. And coders, we need all the mental we can get.
Do you have a favorite exercise plan? Have you found coding to be mentally draining without proper rejuvenation? Lets discuss!