5 Things a Programmer Can Do to Stay Fit While Coding

Written By David Wright

Programming is one of the most sought-after careers as the world rapidly moves to an exclusively digital age. Everything we have is becoming “smart,” and at the core of every such product is a set of programming code written by someone. Being that person often means you have to sit for long hours, being productive and creating programs for your clients.

The typical day with this kind of work involves a lot of sitting, which is not good for one’s health. Programmers sometimes eat foods high in calories and low in nutritional value and stay up late, which is counterproductive, at least from a health point of view.

However, being a programmer does not mean you have to live an unhealthy life. Here are some of the most basic fitness soft skill tips so you can stay fit while programming.

Exercise Regularly

I guess you might be wondering why we are talking about something that is so basic and obvious. Well, here’s the thing: Programming is one of those jobs where people frequently forget about the importance of movement, or in some cases completely ignore the whole idea and choose to live an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle.

There is no alternative to having an active lifestyle, and the same is the case for programmers. Since it may not be possible to create time for physical activities during the day, programmers can look for alternative solutions.

One of the best ways is to start your day early and exercise before leaving for work. You can also pick up a sport that you can do at your local gymnasium, like swimming, badminton, or tennis—whatever suits you the best.

While having a proper exercise routine is important, a programmer can easily squeeze in some activity by doing pushups, stretching, or taking a short walk around the office every half-hour to keep the muscles active. Coupling that with a daily exercise routine would be ideal, though, and would benefit your health greatly.

Another great way to increase activity during the day is to ride your bicycle to work (if you’re not working from home). If the distance is too long, you can consider buying an electric bike or converting your regular bicycle using an e-bike conversion kit.

Maintain Good Posture

It is fairly common to see programmers slumped in their chairs as they stare endlessly at their computer screens. Having a bent back for long periods of time can not only cause temporary pain, but it can also lead to an incredible amount of back-related issues that are hard to fix.

To avoid such a situation, programmers should focus on keeping their posture straight throughout the day. Purchasing a chair that has a posture-friendly design is also a great help. In addition to that, it’s commonly considered beneficial to get up from the chair and stretch the entire body after every half-hour.

There are a lot of different exercises that you can do, like the forward fold, the cat cow, or the high plank. You can take a look at the exercises provided here to get detailed instructions.

Get Sufficient Sleep

There is nothing more important in the world than getting a sufficient amount of sleep no matter what your profession is. However, this is something that is particularly ignored by programmers.

The reason for this negligence is usually the long hours before project deadlines or the urge to finish a task before taking a break. Long nights leading to an early workday means programmers often skip on getting a proper night’s sleep.

Instead of snoozing at your desk and opening the potential for other terrible issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, it is highly important that you strike a balance between the number of hours spent awake versus asleep.

Control Your Caffeine Intake

Since programmers often tend to go for coding marathons and work long hours, it is not surprising at all that they tend to supplement their ability to stay alert by consuming huge amounts of coffee. While this may be considered a tried and true strategy, it is not a very healthy one. Taking too much caffeine can cause addiction, and that can lead to some very serious problems.

People who are addicted to coffee often find it very difficult to focus on any work without having a dose. This level of dependency can be hard to manage and can have severe negative effects on your health.

If you want to freshen up, try washing your face with cold water or perhaps taking a short walk. You will be surprised at how effective these things are.

Find Time to Be AFK

AFK is a well-known phrase in the coding and gaming community, and it means “away from keyboard.” Being in front of a screen all day long means you can get sucked into a spiral of monotony that can affect your ability to process other things. People who face this problem often seem to lose their thought process during conversations and get distracted while performing mundane tasks.

It is critical to strike a balance by leaving all the tech aside and just letting yourself unwind for a bit by freeing yourself from all the electronic gadgets. Spending time with your friends and family can help you a lot in regaining energy and feeling refreshed. Socialization is a critical part of the process, and we, being social animals, virtually depend on it.

This exercise will not only make you feel better, but it will also help you refresh your mind and body and connect with nature by going out for a walk or spending some time in a park or picnic spot.

Build a Balanced Lifestyle!

All the tips provided here are considered essential in terms of striking the perfect balance in the coding life of a programmer. Having that balance is critical for not only maximizing your performance but also ensuring that you stay happy with your work and life.

A lot of the steps defined here are meant to help you find exactly that balance. Try them out and let us know if they helped you in any way!