Most software developer spend quite a bit of time at a desk, sitting down all day. As software developers, we stand to benefit greatly from learning how to get fit and healthy, because our jobs tend to push us in the other direction.
In this article, we’ll take a more in-depth look at some of these reasons for getting in shape, and I’ll try to convince you that you should start right away-as in now, not tomorrow or next week. Getting fit can make you a batter software developer. Here’s why.
I’m not going to start by trying to appeal to your actual desire to be healthy. We all want to be healthy, and most of us have at least some idea of what we need to do to become more healthy, but we still pick up that slice of pepperoni pizza or make the late night Taco Bell run. Being healthy by itself, isn’t a strong enough motivator to get into shape – at least, not until your life is directly jeopardized, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Instead, I’m going to start off by focusing on one of the most important benefits of healthy eating and exercise: confidence. You might thing confidence isn’t that important, or perhaps you say ” Hey, I’ve already got confidence, bro.” But whether you already see yourself as having some extra to spare or you don’t see why it’s so important, I’ll tell you why you’re going to want to have it and have as much of it as you can get.
A study performed by researchers at the University of California Berkley’s Haas School of Business showed that confidence was a better predictor of success than talent. There have been other studies that show a similar correlation.
But how can being fit gain you confidence?
Simple: getting in shape helps you to feel good about yourself and the fact that you can accomplish the goals you set out to accomplish. That self-confidence carries outward and is projected in your conversations: when you look good, you feel good.
Imaging how good you’ll feel when you’re fitting in to those skinny jeans or popping the threads on the arms of your shirt. Feeling fit, feeling like you’re healthy, changes the way you act. It changes how you view yourself and how threatened you feel around others and by their accomplishments, and it changes the way others see you and feel about you as well.
Is it really true that exercise can make you smarter? Well, I’m not sure about smarter, but a recent study at StanFord University showed that walking was able to substantially increase creativity – by about 60%. In the study, Dr.Oppezzo asked a bunch of students to complete some creativity tests. The tests involved coming up with uses for objects and other activities that could be attributed to creativity.
Students first sat at a desk and completed the tests, and then they were asked to do similar tests while walking on a treadmill. Almost all students showed a large increase in creativity. Even when the test was performed with students walking and then sitting down, the results still showed an increase.
What does this mean? It means that walking has a significant effect on at least one function of your brain – creative power – but I suspect that it also affects quite a bit more.
I can tell you from personal experience that the more I exercise and the healthier I am, the batter I seem to perform at my work. I notice that I’m considerably batter at focusing and being productive when I’m at my best physically.
I can’t say for sure whether the actual exercise or body-fat percentage of my body causes chemical or structural changes in my brain that makes me smarter or more focused, or whether I just feel better and therefore work harder, but does it really matter which it is?
If you’re always feeling tired and unmotivated to work or you just don’t feel like you’re performing at your peak, you might find that a change of diet and exercise can renew both your body and your mind.
I didn’t want to pull the fear card right away, but I think it’s still important to mention that if you’re overweight and generally unhealthy, you’re putting yourself at a considerable risk for all kinds of preventable diseases. Don’t lat it be too late for you. Get serious now. Don’t wait until you have a health problem to start caring about your health.