Programmers Should DEFINITELY Exercise (If You Don’t Want To… DIE?)

Programmers Should DEFINITELY Exercise (If You Don’t Want To… DIE?)


If you’re a programmer and you do not exercise,
you must watch today’s video to understand the importance of exercising for programmers. What’s up everyone? I’m Antonio here at Simple Programmer and
I’m a senior software engineer. If your job’s anything like mine or like any
other programmer, than I bet you’re probably sitting down for a large portion of the day. In fact, you’re probably sitting down in front
of a computer for every second other than going to the bathroom, getting your food and
doing standup meetings. And even then some of your standup meetings
probably involve you sitting down. So first I want to talk about why sitting
down for so long is so bad for you, and this is the core reason why programmers need to
exercise. And then I’m going to go into the things you
can do to counteract that, the negative things that will come from sitting down. So while we need to sit down at a computer
in order to get our job done, it is super, super detrimental to our health. Our bodies were not created to sit in this
position. The average American actually spends 10 hours
a day sitting. And if you ask programmers out there, they
probably sit more than 10 hours just because of the nature of our jobs. While we sit down, parts of our bodies just
actually shutdown. Here’s the list of things that are likely
to happen. First, your blood starts flowing slower and
your muscles are stopped being used to burn fat. Then your pancreas starts releasing more insulin
due to lack of activity, which can increase your risk of diabetes upwards of 90% if you’re
sitting eight hours or more a day. The increased insulin production now contributes
as well to two different types of cancers, colon and breast cancer. Sitting in this position crunches some of
your digestive system and it causes your digestion to slow down. Since you’re not moving, your heart is not
pumping as much blood, it’s not taking in as much oxygen which causes your brain to
slow down its processing. Sitting in positions like this can hurt your
neck and shoulders. It can cause extra spine pressure, which hurts
your back. You’re not using your abs and your legs as
much to hold you up and to walk around, so those muscles become weaker. Because those muscles are getting weaker,
the bones associated with them are also getting weaker from lack of use. And on top of that, you get muscle tightness,
especially in your hips and glutes and your lower back area. So that was a lot of things, but let’s sum
it up into three main areas in which sitting down for long periods of times hurts us as
programmers. First, it weakens your muscles and bones. Second, it increases your chances of deadly
cancers and diabetes. Third, it reduces your ability to process
things. So if our muscles and bones are weaker than
we are going to struggle to do everyday things like picking up our computers and taking them
to a meeting with us or commuting back and forth to home and work. Not only that, it affects our appearance. If our muscles are smaller and our bones are
smaller, we’re going to look frail and shriveled, which is going to affect us and our confidence. So I think we can all agree that having healthy
muscles and bones are important for us as programmers. The second thing that happens if we work and
sit down for long hours is it increases our chances of dying sooner. Now going to work every single day is a waste
if you’re going to die sooner and not be able to enjoy any part of life. We obviously want to live as long as we possibly
can. We don’t want to die. So I think we can all agree on the second
point, that dying from cancers or diabetes is not something we want to do. And third, thinking straight and solving problems
is huge to our careers. Programmers are literally solving problems
using math and computers. That’s what we do. And if sitting makes us worse at this over
the long term and the short term, then we seem to need to not be sitting. Now I know we need to set for our jobs, and
I stated that. So here are five things that I am suggesting
we all do and things that I do in order to make sure that you can decrease the effects
of sitting. First is at least once a day workout intensely. This is when you do weightlifting. Like for me, I go weightlifting or I do at
least one intense workout six days a week. This gets my heart rate up, it gets my muscles
and bones being used, increasing my insulin sensitivity, increasing my brain processing. All of these things help counteract the effects
of having to sit all day long. It makes me stronger mentally and physically
and that’s exactly what we need. Second is working in time breaks. John [Simons 00:04:31] is popular for talking
about using the pomodoro technique, and that’s when you do things like work for 25 minutes
and then take a five minute break. But when you’re using the pomodoro technique,
or any other technique where you’re working for a period of time and then taking a break,
make sure that break involves activity. I walk around. I’m currently in an open office environment,
I’m walking around at my desk or I go outside and take a walk. Or when I used to have an office I used to
do jumping jacks in my room every 25 minutes in order to make sure that I stayed focused
and sharp. Sometimes I even sit, get on the floor and
do some ab exercises or stretching. Anything to get the heart rate up and get
you moving is important. The third thing is when you need to go to
the bathroom, go walk across the office. Go out of your way to the far bathroom or
one on another floor in order to take the stairs or walk across the office. Anything to get a few more steps in in order
to make sure that you’re burning calories and keeping your blood flow high while you’re
supposed to be sitting all day long. And the same thing here is for getting water
or going to get lunch. Take the far route, take the longer route,
anything to make sure that you can actually walk a little bit longer, get the heart rate
elevated higher. The fourth thing is have a standing or walking
meeting. Now this might not work with everyone in your
office and some of you are going to be 100% scared for this and not actually ask someone
to do this, but what if you took a walk for your meeting. Instead of sitting down on the couch like
we are right now and I’m talking to you, why don’t we just get up and start walking? It’s simple as that. Getting some calories in when you normally
would have to sit at your desk or sit in a meeting. And fifth is to go walk around when you need
to solve a bug. I can’t tell you the amount of hours I saved,
days I saved, by getting up and walking outside to solve a bug that I had. The ideas started flowing to me when I was
walking rather than when I was sitting at my desk trying to log out a bunch of different
things to figure out what was going wrong in my program. So instead of sitting at your desk to try
to solve a bug, walk around and try to think about it or get up and go to a whiteboard
where you’re standing up and writing things down, walk around the room a little bit. Get the blood flowing to your head, being
able to solve your problems way easier. Look, those are a few ways which you can reduce
the amount of negative effects you’re going to have of sitting down all day long as a
programmer without taking away from your time that you need in order to get the problems
done. The exercise is so crucial and you need to
see this as an investment rather than something that takes away from the work that you need
to get done. Right? If you’re not sitting at your desk, you’re
obviously not programming. But every second that you spend walking helps
your brain and helps your body work more efficiently to get the problems done faster in a shorter
period of time. And ultimately, you’re going to get paid in
the end for being able to solve bigger and better problems in a quicker time period than
your counterpart. So health is super important for you programmers
out there, along with myself. Click on the video on the screen right now
in order to check out another video to make you a better programmer. I’ll catch you guys all in the next one.

7 thoughts on “Programmers Should DEFINITELY Exercise (If You Don’t Want To… DIE?)”

  1. I guess I would die then.. but death is unavoidable to 100% of living things. The key is to live a great healthy life.

    So yes these jobs can be the most fulfilling ones yet very unhealthy if you don't have a healthy lifestyle.

  2. listen to this man and do what he tells you. great advice. look into H.I.I.T(high-intensity-interval-training) if you don't know about it already. I think of it as a 80/20 principle hack into this topic. don't start with hiit though.

    A letter to all the couch/computer-chair potatoes like myself,

    It is challenging to find and stick to a workout regimen if you are starting from sitting on your ass 10+ hours a day so good luck to you all. If you don't think so then great, keep doing what you're doing. Personally, I find it most doable by finding the nearest hike/trail or hill with an incline based on your fitness level and just walking reasonably quickly, keeping a pace, up and down it everyday or so. Make sure you are breathing quite heavily at your selected pace. In order to select an appropriate pace, start faster than you know you can maintain and slow down from there. You will naturally slow down intermittently while exercising; to combat this effect always push your pace and you will end up just maintaining your original pace. It may take awhile to figure out a place accessible to you that has appropriate incline and length; if not then count yourself lucky. If you can't then you are an unfortunate soul that has to go to a gym and use the stair-master to achieve a similar effect. Graduate to a H.I.I.T routine or jogging or a rec. sport and enjoy your new lifestyle. Enjoying your new lifestyle is the key to maintaining your fitness. Remember to balance strength and cardio in your activity(ies) of choice. If you do this you will feel like superman/superwoman.

    This is the minimalist approach, very low bar for entry. Almost everyone will be able to walk 30-60 minutes, and it is a great place to start to build your confidence. Again, maybe you start with no-incline or you start with a very steep incline. Either way it will propel you forward in developing your exercise habits.

    Always do strength training before you think about running if you are out of shape. Shin splints suck but you could hurt yourself much worse. In fact, just do strength training regardless. As soon as it hurts, not in a good way, lower the intensity and try again. Be safe my friend, don't be reckless with your short-term health in trying to do something good for your long-term health.

    These are tips from a very seasoned marathon sitter 12+ hours a day for years. I obviously developed problems (I'm not going to go into here) from living like that and so I looked for answers online, from books, from reflection of past personal experience, and from friends/family who live healthy lifestyles.

  3. I agree with you!
    My schedule is 3 workouts with weight lifting, 2/3 cardio including long and hard hiking.
    In the office I take a walk.
    Right on solving a problem when you’re walking or doing something different. My ideas came to me either when I’m working out or walking or after that.

  4. Don't want to work out?
    I use a medicine ball to help me stretch. Something as little as 5-10 minutes really refreshes those stiff muscles.

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