What does it take to stay healthy as a software engineer? While sitting in front of a computer doesn’t sound dangerous, it does have some adverse effects. The good news is there are easy steps to avoid them. From time to time it is good to unplug, travel, and free your mind.
Get Proper Sleep
Do you know how much sleep we need each day? Sleep Foundation recommends we get 8 hours on average.
What happens to us when we do not get enough sleep? Are you planning on doing a 48-hour hackathon soon? According to Healthline, there are plenty of severe side effects that occurs when we lack sleep. I sure had my nights of losing sleep over coding sessions, but it doesn’t justify the risks as I age. At the end of the day, a well-rested person can outperform the sleep-deprived coder.
Exercise, Move Your Body
We should get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week. One hundred fifty minutes a week means we should workout 21 minutes a day, seven days straight. I challenge YOU to give this a try for seven days and let me know how you feel afterward.
It seems everyone has a secret to losing weight these days and want to charge money for it. Here is mine, for free. Maybe it could be beneficial for you, maybe not, who knows? The only way any diet will work is when you do.
My workout is rigorous as I follow different methods and strategies that sound a bit woo-woo, but I have found these methods to bring results. I have weeks where I lose 0.7 to 3 pounds of fat every week. The secret is staying away from sugar. Red light therapy does wonder in helping with weight loss and skin repair. Nothing can make a person more productive than getting in shape physically.
Step 1: Ten minutes using red light therapy
I use a handheld device by Mito Red first thing in the morning. All it takes is ten minutes where I let this machine shine its red-light six inches away from my skin. I alternate different areas.
Step 2: Ten minutes using a whole-body vibrating machine
Step 3: Thirty minutes working out on an indoor bike
Nothing fancy, just an indoor bike to break a sweat and push my limits. You do not even need an expensive bike. This one from Amazon has lasted me four years.
Here is my theory and why I do these three steps. Supposedly red light penetrates deep into your skin, and this helps stimulate cell production and getting rid of stuff that shouldn’t be there. After red light sessions, the idea of using a whole-body vibration is to help shake out the gunk that shouldn’t be inside our body and thus helps our body detox it out. I know I sound a bit woo-woo, but that’s okay as it has been providing results for my body. As long as I follow my diet, I quickly lose a couple of pounds every week.
“The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen.” -Anonymous
Should I Sit or Stand?
If you sit too long, it is terrible for you. If you stand too long, it isn’t good for you. How do we know if we should sit or stand or for how long? Why are there so many conflicted answers to this question? Although I could not find a reliable solution to this question, the best scenario would be to take breaks often. Go for walks, stretch, switch from sitting to standing after each break.
Need an idea on a viable standup desk? If you are like me, you need a lot of space. This sixty-inch wide desk should suffice. That desk has lasted me over 6 years and counting. It has wheels, can move up and down. Don’t forget about a comfortable and stylish chair to go with it.
Diet, What To Eat, What Not To Eat
Food is fuel. Ever wonder how certain foods are harder to digest than others? If you want to be more efficient and work smarter and not harder? If so, finding light foods that you know your body can handle is the way to go. Foods like fruits and veggies let you focus more on your work and less on trying to stay awake after eating that pizza. I’d recommend eating salads during work hours for intense work schedules, and we can always eat junk after hours if you truly desire.
Eating junk will start a vicious cycle of you trying to stay awake and productive when your body is too busy trying to digest that junk you just ate. Thus leading you to resort to more coffee and sugar. Or if it is out of hand can lead you to fall asleep at work. You will put your health at risk and your job since you are too tired and run down from all that processed foods.
I use a home delivery service where I receive shipments of healthy smoothies every month. All I do is blend it. This experience of eating more fruits and veggies has woke me up to the difference in my body’s ability to process the food I eat. I also stumbled upon ways to optimize my daily energy to be more effective in my work.
- Start breakfast with a smoothie from SmoothieBox.
- Lunch, something light such as a chicken salad. Lighter means higher productivity.
- Snack, water shakes from Kencko.
- Dinner, a protein meal.
Food for thought.