Fit Body, Fit Mind
There is a real connection between your physical body and your mind. I've found that I perform much better mentally if I am preforming physically as well. In this video, I talk about how being fit and exercising can have a positive effect on your ability to think clearly and solve problems. If you want peak mental performance, you can't neglect fitness.
By the way, check out this free Agile webinar my friends at Zephyr are doing on March 19th. I might even be making a guest appearance.
Full transcript below:
John: Hey John Sonmez from simpleprogrammer.com and today I want to talk to you about fitness again. I’ve done a video about why you should get fit and how important it is to your health, but one thing that I didn’t really talk about in that video and I think is really, really important is how fitness affects your mind. You can actually become a better programmer by being fit and I’ll tell you how next.
I found in my career that the times when I’ve been performing the best have been the times when I have been fit, when I’ve been on a running or exercising routine and I’ve been eating healthy. It’s kind of a strange thing how the fitness of your body affects your mind but it’s a very true thing. I’ll give you some examples.
If you look at some CEOs or entrepreneur, successful people in business and you think about those kinds of people, I want you to picture some of them in your mind, what else comes to mind? You probably are thinking things like triathlete, marathon runner, some kind of extreme sport person. This is what you think of when you think of these really successful entrepreneurs, CEOs or business people.
In fact, a lot of really successful people in many different professions are very fit and it’s no coincidence. The reason why is because there’s this connection between the mind and the body. I find this in my life to be personally true. When I am fit, when I go for a run my mind works better. I can sit down at my desk and work on a programming problem much better when I’m giving myself the exercise that I need. This is something that I didn’t really believe for a while but I’ve tested this. I’ve been in periods of my life where I haven’t been hitting the gym, I haven’t been lifting and I’ve been eating junk and I have not performed as well. I can look back at my life and my career and I can say, “Look, here are the periods where I was the most active, the most fit and this is where I was the most successful.”
In fact, one of the reasons why I continue to lift and run is not just to keep my body fit because I know that doing that will keep my body fit but I also know that if I fall off the wagon, if I stopped going running, if I stopped lifting weights, if I stopped eating healthy all of a sudden my performance will decline as well, because I’ve seen it happen in the past and I know it will happen in the future.
I really would encourage you to think about this connection between the fitness of your body and your mind especially as a programmer sitting there doing something that is very mentally exhausting. The work that we do writing code and solving problems is exhausting to the mind. We need to have that extra energy. We need to be super sharp at what we do. The best way to do that that I found is to work on your fitness. Go out for a run or go out for even just a simple walk. A lot of times I found that when I’m trying to solve a difficult problem, if I go out for a walk, get outside and get myself some exercise that my mind works better and it solves that problem. Sometimes even in my subconscious when I’m not even really thinking about the problem.
Check out my other video if you’re interested in getting fit. You can actually check out my podcast. I’ve got a podcast specifically for programmers on fitness called Get Up and CODE. You can go to getupandcode.com and you can find that on iTunes if you do a search as well. Hopefully this video has been helpful to you. It’s really important to get into shape, to be fit for not just your health but also for the performance of your job, to become a better programmer and to really push yourself to be the best version of you that you can be.
I’d love to help you out. If you have any questions just send me an email or put a comment down below and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel. Take care and I will talk to you next week.