At risk of sounding like a broken record like everyone else on the internet, I just want to convey what everyone else has already been talking about. Your health is the most important thing that you can take care of throughout your career. Hands down. If you aren’t healthy, you can’t take care of your kids, do the things you love, or give it your all in the world. This is done by maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
Especially when in your 20’s, you don’t want to get older and regret the damage you’ve done to your body.
Forget all the other posts about people who tell you that it’s ok to do whatever you want if it makes you happy because you’re young. They’re wrong. If eating Cheetos for every meal makes you happy but you spend all day in front of a computer screen, then ten years later you’re going to statistically be unhappy at all the things you can’t do, as opposed to the things that you did do. Your knees will hurt, it may be harder for you to breathe, you’ll feel sluggish, your kids will want to play and you can’t keep up with them…these are all adverse affects of not properly maintaining an active lifestyle. And I apologize in advance if this comes off as offensive or tough love. There is nothing to be proud of in not trying to make yourself healthy if your body is able to. There are those out there who wish they could do the things that you may take for granted.
The advice is extra prevalent if you are working in the tech industry. I’m there now. I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s long hours in front of a computer, deep in the code, and engaged in a process that makes you sometimes forget to eat or even move. That’s the price of passion! But I can start feeling how it takes a toll. If I don’t maintain my posture, then I’ll naturally hunch my back when coding. When I stand up, my body is stiff and everything just feels tight. Imagine that going on for the rest of your working life.
If you don’t care about your health, but instead your career is the most important thing to you, then still take this into consideration. Physical activity has been linked to better cognitive performance. It cleanses the body and clears the mind. You will be able to better approach problems with a clearer perspective and provide novel solutions. It’s why so many successful people always tout the benefits of exercise and healthy eating.
I’ll be the first, to put it bluntly, that developers get the nerdy stereotype because they would rather code in solitude then go out and pump some weights. Many sacrifice time for their career in the belief that it will portray them as better workers, at the cost of their health. As we move forward in society it’s time to redefine that stereotype and take advantage of the things that can make us better in our career and our life regardless of previous social stigma. Being healthy is good for you. It’s that simple.
You don’t need to work out to get an 8 pack or run a five-minute mile. What you need to do is be realistic about the goals that you set for yourself. It’s about moving and eating healthy and making simple choices. Start by taking a walk after work around the block. Stretch every morning. Swap soda for water. Discipline is more important than motivation and it’s the little choice you make day in and day out that build up the benefits you can reap later down the road. As long as YOU feel good about your body and feel energized, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re moving and taking advantage of what your body is capable of.
The worst thing you can do in life is to waste in front of a computer screen. I know it’s tempting because of the wide world of technology and the fact that the internet is so wonderful, but you’ll thank me later for getting out of your chair and moving about.
Think of this as a long term investment. Those are always the best kind!