loading...
Cover image for 4 tips to stay fit as a software developer

4 tips to stay fit as a software developer

proticm profile image Milos Protic ・2 min read

You will agree with me that being fit brings a ton of benefits to our health, our state of mind and overall positivity. But nevertheless, most of the software developers prefer playing in the virtual world, spending time in front of the PC, laptop or some other gadget therefore postponing the day when they will start working out. Don't let this be you and change your lifestyle starting today.

The power of will

It's all about the mind, not the body. If you have a strong will, you can accomplish everything you set your mind to. Healthy lifestyle is no exception.

This is the most important tip I can think of. Personally, I try to use this approach in every sphere of my life, not just in fitness. If our will and passion are strong towards something and if we truly love it, then the final goal becomes brighter and easier to achieve. This means that everything we do to achieve it becomes just a part of the process which is not a burden, the opposite, it should make us happy while doing it.

Also, we should not forget that after seeing the first results, additional mood boost is guaranteed.

The strategy and goals

Take the time and define your goals. What do you want to achieve? In what period of time do you want the results? What daily routine will you use? What is the amount of time you will spend working out? Are you willing to follow a nutrition plan?

By answering to these questions, you can create a solid starter strategy. Open up an excel sheet, create a table or whatever you want and start organizing your workouts. Working with excel should, on one hand, satisfy you as a developer, and on the other hand, you will be doing something good for you and your health.

You can start with a light version and upgrade it later depending on your preferences.

The daily routine

This, even though defined in the previous section, deserves to be in one of its own. Without this, everything else is futile. I mean, you physically must go to the gym in order to work out...working out at home is also a good option. Personally, I prefer at home workouts.

On each day, if you've decided not to bundle the muscle groups, you should do a workout reserved for that day. One day - one muscle group. I prefer the 6 day strategy, and the 7th day is reserved for resting.

Fitness channels

This is very good for motivational purposes. Pick a YouTube channel, for example, and follow it. Listen to the advice they give you and try to be consistent.

We all know how hard it is to keep it going, but from my personal experience, I can say that the above tips work pretty well. I've been working out for about 6 months now, and that feels pretty good.

If you're interested, check out the channel I try to follow.

Posted on by:

proticm profile

Milos Protic

@proticm

I'm a passionate tech guy

Discussion

pic
Editor guide
 

I started running last year and energy level and fitness (and weight) definitely improved. Well recommend. Build up slowly though, it's easy to get injuries.

Long runs of ~1.5hr I now actually find relaxing, while listening to a podcast (can be tech related to keep up to date with your favorite tech, or ofc. just entertaining).

 

Yes, running is great. During last summer it was a part of my routine. Highly recommend as well, but as you said, take it slow at the beginning. Especially after a long period of not doing it.

Usually, I did 10-12 laps at my local stadium.

 

I'm a big gym enthusiast...but with family and stuff it's hard to fit it in...I get there at least twice a week but work as many muscle groups as I can in that session. Spend about an hour and a half to 2 hours there. That way you have time to spend a few minutes in recovery between each set.

 

I can relate with that since I'm married and a father of a small boy.

I schedule my workouts early in the morning. Usually, I get up at 6:30 and go to the gym, or do the routine at home depending on the workout. I do one muscle group per session, spend less time, and that way always arrive at the office by 8:00.

I have flexible working hours, so if I'm "late", it is not a problem.

Also, this way the whole afternoon is free to spend time with my family.

 

My gym isn't open at that time...I'm on flexible hours too but we have core hours so have to be in before 10. Plus a fair bit of travel. So the epic workouts work for me better for me lol.

I guess that's the main thing isn't it...find what works for you and your schedule. It'll be different for all

Yes, I agree. People are on different time schedules and everything else is bult on top of that.

 
 

I lift weights every weekday morning (blessed to have a gym in walking distance from the office), and do martial arts on weekends.

Lifting heavy things before I head to work lets me sit still longer without getting all twitchy because I've spent some energy. It also keeps me from murdering some of my coworkers some days (ha!) It helps my mental capacity as well, I feel sharper and more apt to solving problems.

 

:) Another reason why I like morning workouts. Mentally, I feel a lot better after completing it!

 

A lot of you guys who are already active may not be able to relate, but for those of us that have always been a couch potato or have cultivated that habit for the last some-odd years, just getting started can seem so difficult. I can relate to both ... I was in the USMC and used to do mad workouts but many years of working in this field gave me a great excuse to sit on my behind and forsake exercise.

If one can open their front door, walk outside, keep walking for 10 minutes and then turn around and come back home, that is a great start to fitness if you've either never done it before or if it's been a long time.

Eventually this gets the blood flowing and your body will start wanting more exercise. You will eventually turn this into an hour long walk and who knows -- you may find yourself doing it twice a day.

You may even add different types of exercise once the confidence soars (bicycling, weight-lifting, sports [ultimate frisbee, soccer, flag football, etc.]). I personally believe we are meant to move -- some of us more than others. The sky is the limit and it will benefit you in many ways :-)

Thanks for the post, Milos!

 

You've made some good points here! I wish you luck on your journey if you haven't started it yet :)

 
 

For those preferring to workout at home, I can recommend the exercises from Convict Conditioning. They are divided into 4 (6 for advanced) exercise types - push ups, stand ups, leg raises and pull ups, where each exercise has 10 levels of mastery. The book also explains why is it reasonable and healthy to start slow, instead of rushing into things and losing both motivation and even possibly injuring oneself.

Personally I progress with the exercises since the last few years (with breaks) and I feel much better mentally and physically.

 

I wasn't aware of the book, but, based on your description it seems similar to calisthenics, which is good.

 

Staying fit is mostly a mentality thing rather than a todo list, IMHO.

If it is really a priority for you, you will eventually find out some time to do it "officially".

Even if it is not a priority, by changing a bit your habits will lead you there.

Take the stairs. Get out of the train/bus, one station before your usual one and walk. Or ride a bike. Don't take the bus/car if the distance is less than 2km. Don't stuff your fridge with chocolate bars ( nutrition does matter).

It.might sound like a todo list in the beginning but if you shift your mentality it will be a way of life.

 

I totally agree and practice the mentioned principles in your comment :)

 

I recommend Kettlebells for home training, this guy Pavel exposed me to it that I'm doing the exercises on a daily basis.

 

I do classes at my local gym - it's nice to have your own space, your own equipment and an instructor to tell you what to do. It takes away a lot of the stresses of going to the gym, like finding equipment or knowing what you should be doing. And there are loads of classes, and some are really fun to do!

 

Group classes are good for motivation. You see the person next to you jumping and trying and try to keep up with the group. You push each other to do your best.

 

When talking to other developers in the past I have always emphasised making small changes to your life style first. Small changes get you motivated as they are quick wins and do not require a large lifestyle change.

  • at lunch add a portion of something green to your meal.

  • Park a little further from the office or get off the bus a couple of stops earlier.

  • one day a week switch you transport to a bike.

Starting the gym for a lot of people is a bad commitment. It involves going all in, and the change is too great to keep up.

 

Yes, this post is unclear about it, but you shouldn't jump to the gym right away. It doesn't cover early steps developer should take to begin the journey, as you mentioned in your comment.

I've written another post, First Steps Each Developer Should Take In Order To Get Fit and it should be more applicable for the one just starting out with the change. Sometimes to succeed, we need to make more radical changes.

Hitting the gym is the last step :)

One thing though, I don't understand why working out in the gym, I don't know does this apply to other types of workouts, is a bad commitment.

 

I can highly recommend doing a 100 day challenge where you need to workout at least 15 minutes each day. The day count also includes rest days. The challenge is a great way of getting into fitness without feeling overwhelmed, since you can increase the time as you see fit.

The most important thing is to find an exercise that you like to do. Running, yoga, weight lifting, pilates, zumba, cycling, HIIT, anything is good to start. Personally, I do Ballet-based workouts which make me feel really good without killing myself with cardio or weight lifting.

 
 

No problem mate.

 

No problem. Yes, that is pretty important, thanks for the update.

 

I think it is also important to mention diet. You can work out all the time but if you are not eating correctly, you can't out work your diet.

 

Yes, a nutrition plan will make a huge difference, if you are willing to follow it, of course.

 

What do you think about the time to workout?
Early, before work? or after work?

 

For me personally, it is always better to do it in the morning, before work. That way I get the free afternoon to do other things. Beside, working out in the morning, if you intend to lose weight, is better since you did not eat yet (maybe just an apple or something like that). That way you are burning fat that was previously stored within your body.

Do notice that everyone is different and what fits for me might not fit for you and your schedule.

 

For anyone who prefers home workouts, I recommend the p4p’s YouTube channel. They have a bunch of useful stuff.

Great article!

 

Thanks. The channel seems good with good advises.

 

Sorry I couldn't read it because I'm going to play soccer.
May be spending less time reading dev.to and working out.
Haha, just kidding about the latter, but I'm going to play soccer right now 😄

 

Ah, good old soccer...I was playing it once a week a couple of years ago 😉 Have a good game

 

failed at daily routine part 😿

 

Silly valley diet. Keto and HIIT, walk everywhere. #done

 

HIIT is one of my favorite. A lot better than just pumping iron. Plus, HIIT workouts usually contain a lot of compound movements therefore hitting multiple muscle groups.