Programming is mentally taxing, but it also has a big impact on our physical health. You may be able to get by on pizza, energy drinks, and sleepless nights when you’re young, but as your career develops, you’ll need to put more focus on taking care of yourself in order to stay sharp. Your health is crucial to your well-being, and issues with your health may contribute to issues in your career and personal life.
If you take care of your diet and your physical health, improvements in your physical and mental health will follow. A few changes in your lifestyle can snowball into daily habits and routines that can pay dividends well into your future, and it doesn’t necessarily take a big time commitment each week to see results.
exampleImproving your diet and physical fitness will:
Increase energy levels
Improve mental health
Help with weight management
Strengthen your bones and muscles
Reduce chronic pain
Reduce the risk of depression
Reduce the risk of disease
Help improve your sleep
The hardest part about improving your physical health is finding motivation, especially if you have a busy schedule and are under a lot of stress at work. Building up to a consistent routine takes time and dedication, but once you get the ball rolling, it will be easier to stay motivated and continue.
exampleHere are some ways to find motivation:
Look for opportunities to make small changes to your lifestyle. For example, go for a walk after each meal to help your body digest instead of sitting down at the desk after lunch or on the couch after dinner.
Set aside time in your day for physical activities. Block off time on your calendar to go for a walk in the morning or a run during lunch. Set it up on a recurring schedule to help build a daily or weekly routine.
Start with activities and locations that you enjoy. Take a hike on your favorite trail with great views, or bike around your favorite neighborhood. Making sure you enjoy what you’re doing and where you’re doing it will help you stay motivated.
Try exercising with friends. They can hold you accountable if you try to skip a workout, and you can hold them accountable as well.
Use fitness trackers as a way to gamify the process and compete against yourself or your friends.
Start slow, and only work up to more intense workouts when you feel like you’re ready. It’s okay to progress at your own pace, and there’s no need to compare yourself to others who may be farther along in their fitness journey.
Exercise and physical activities are an excellent way to improve your mood, your health, and your overall well-being. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you choose, whether it’s cardio or weight lifting. What’s more important is that you get up and move. Your body will thank you for it, and it’ll help keep you feeling young.
Reading is a great way to unwind at the end of the day, and it’s an easy way to avoid staring at a screen before going to bed. There’s nothing better than getting lost in the pages of a book that you can’t put down.
It doesn’t matter what kind of books you read; the only thing that matters is that you’re reading. In doing so, you open your mind up to new ideas, new characters, new feelings, and new ways of thinking. You can get lost in a fictional world with vivid scenery and a protagonist, or learn about the history of a famous figure that changed the world. You can improve your confidence with a self-help book, or even expand your skill set with a good technical book. Just pick a book or a topic that sounds interesting to you and start reading.
The hardest part is actually finding the time to read. For busy professionals, good times to read are in the morning right when you wake up, or at night right before going to bed. Try to find time in your schedule that works for you. The good thing about books is that you can take a break and pick up right where you left off, so even if your schedule is busy, you can still read when you’re able to find some time.
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