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Cover image for First Steps Each Developer Should Take in Order to Get Fit

First Steps Each Developer Should Take in Order to Get Fit

proticm profile image Milos Protic ・5 min read

Hi people. It's time to get fit. It's time to start working out. In this article, I will try to provide a guide and list a couple of early steps each developer should do in order to change the lifestyle.

We as developers need to work out consistently in order to reduce the health issues possibilities, but this is a topic for another article.

TLDR: I'm proud to say that I've completed all of these steps and I do workout 4 times a week. I've changed my routine and switched from 6 to 4 times a week. Depending on the muscle groups you are working on per workout the count of it will vary.

Step 1 - Get Up Off of That Chair

Sitting is the new smoking they say. Well, I believe it's true. We, as developers, probably spend up to 75% of our working day in the seated position, hunched over our desk developing apps and writing code, and the other 25% we spend eating lunch, usually an unhealthy one :)

And then, when we come home, we read some of the articles on dev.to or other stuff we find interesting, again in the seated position. Ok, sometimes we ley down with a laptop on our knees, but you get the point.

Not so great for our body.

The easiest way to change this, and to do some body movements, is to walk to the office, if possible, of course. This way you will walk in the morning to get there, and you will walk after work on your way back home. This will provide a one hour walk for sure, if not more.

They say that 20 minutes of walking reduces the consequences of an eight-hour shift of sitting. Think about it.

Another funny but effective approach is to drink a lot of water. You are wondering how this will force you to get up? Read on.

In the morning, when you arrive at the office, go and fill a medium size glass of water and put it on your desk. In the next hour or so, together with coffee or whatever is that you drink in the morning, you should drink that water.

At that point you will probably be needing to go to the toilet, right? You will go but take the empty glass with you and fill it with water again, and voila, we have an endless loop of walking :)

Step 2 - Stop Drinking Carbonated Soft Drinks

The Coke, Pepsi, Sprite and other stuff is filling you with sugar and making you fat. This, combined with the seated lifestyle is a recipe to disaster.

If you are a junior developer you are nice and slim and you might think it's a good idea to do it, but trust me, a couple of years from now you will not be so sure.

fat-belly

The best we could do here is to fully replace these drinks with water. But this is hard, I know. At least, we could reduce the amount of the stuff we are drinking each day.

If you are buying them for yourself, try to buy a smaller bottle for starters. Define a time period and hold on it. During that period drink that smaller portion, the smaller bottle. Eventually, your body will no longer need the increased portion of the drink. Next, you decrease the bottle size again, and at the end, you can eliminate it entirely.

If it's available at your office, like in my case, then you are stuck with your will power. You willingly must not take it.

It will be hard at the beginning, but you will be thankful to yourself later.

Step 3 - Stop Eating The Pizza

I bet we all love pizza, but in order to get fit, we should find an appropriate healthy replacement.

I don't know what the replacement is, so moving on...:)

For starters, just try to limit yourself and eat it once a week.

Step 4 - Stop Eating So Many Snacks

Ah, the good old snacks and potato chips. These usually go well with the carbonated drinks. Together, they are like a time bomb full of salt and sugar ready to explode and extend our love handles.

We need to find a compromise. For example, do you like chocolate with hazelnuts? If you do, you are halfway there. Do the part where you remove the chocolate from the picture and eat hazelnuts only. Go to the store and buy around 50 g of hazelnuts and that should be more than enough to replace the chocolate snack.

If you can't do it, and it's too hard not to eat chocolate, you should try to eat dark chocolate instead. It's healthier and it has less sugar. After a while, it will be tastier than regular milk chocolate. At least it is in my case, especially if you mix it with some cranberry, blueberry or orange.

Step 5 - Do Not Eat Late at Night

You should define a time, for example, 10 PM, and don't eat anything afterward. Try to follow an eating regime in a way when you will go to bed 2 hours after your last meal.

Take a look at what you had been eating each day before and ensure a healthier replacement, or for starters, eat less.

Make sure that you go to bed 2 hours after the last meal, otherwise you will feel hungry again. We don't want that, we don't want facing hunger at 12 PM.

Step 6 - Hit The Gym

Now it is the time to strengthen the previous steps by actually doing the workouts at the local gym. This step is quite futile if we do not have an eating regime.

You cannot do the workout and go eat a Big Mac and 2l of Coke afterward. It just doesn't go that way. That is a waste of time and money.

And another thing.

Don't kill yourself in the first couple of weeks, but don't get discouraged either. After a while, you will feel more confident and stronger. At that point, you can increase the intensity of the workout. It's important never to lower the intensity and not to go in reverse.

Conclusion

That should be all. I believe that if you follow these steps results will be inevitable. They say repetition is the mother of knowledge. So, repeat these steps each week and you will not be disappointed.

Thank you for reading and see you in another post.

Posted on by:

proticm profile

Milos Protic

@proticm

I'm a passionate tech guy

Discussion

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Re: Step 2 – I always enjoyed the texture of soda/pop/coke with savory foods; when I gave up soda/pop/coke, I still wanted the carbonation, so I started drinking plain sparkling water. It's been a great replacement for the sugary foods since it contains no extra ingredients beyond carbonated water. Now if I could just kick the sugary foods...

 

It's an improvement for sure. Carbonated water can be useful sometimes. Try to replace them with foods with sugar replacement or eat dark chocolate. I still eat sugary foods, but not that often as before.

 

My #1 advice for avoiding putting on those 'senior pounds' is to lower your stress levels. It only took one, 8-month insane project to ruin years of training. XD

 

Yes, I agree. I try to reduce the stress by working out though.

 

yeah, stress will make you eat up much more, sitting down long hours and eating junk will prove to be a disaster for the body.

 

You cannot do the workout and go eat a Big Mac and 2l of Coke afterward.

So eating a Big Mac and NOT even hitting the gym would be better? As i see it, if you advice people to both stop eating and workout in the same time, they will quit really fast and go back to old habits. With 4 workouts per week they can pretty much keep eating and drinking whatever they used and keep the same weight :)

So I think the two main options for long term health?ness are : either hit the gym or take care with the diet when you are not. Going full healthy and workouty after years of coke is almost imposible imo

 

So eating a Big Mac and NOT even hitting the gym would be better?

Of course not.

My effort here is to move a person from a dead spot. That is why the gym part is at the end of the list. Also, after years of coke and unhealthy habits, you shouldn't go hard on your self. Start slow, and accelerate afterward.

either hit the gym or take care with the diet when you are not

That depends on the results you are trying to achieve. Taking care of a diet and not hitting the gym is going to maintain the current state of your body. That is a good approach after you get your body into the desired shape. After that, you can loosen up with the diet if you continue with the workouts.

 

I eiliminated all these problems by swtching from being a carbivore to a faithful keto dieter.

The steady energy levels that come with operating the body on fat and protein really helped me as a programmer. Gone is the urge to snack and eat carby crap. And also gone is about a hundred pounds from decades of poor eating habits that coincidentally all revolved around carbs.

 

I don't have experience with this diet.

 

You've given some really good tips. Although I think 10:00pm is still way too late. I feel guilty when I eat after 8:30pm.

I'm really glad there's no mention of coffee in your post though :-)

 

Ah, you want me to die? Coffee is good for us :) I've always had mine without milk or sugar.

 

you might have a very good sleep schedule then.

 

Sadly, sleep schedule is very poor. That's something I'd like to fix.