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How to stay healthy as a software engineer or IT professional?
I am a software engineer like you and by my second year I started feeling the unhealthy behavior of sitting down and coding for long hours.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise can help you maintain physical and mental health. Engaging in regular physical activity can help you reduce stress, improve your sleep, and boost your mood.
- Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet can help you maintain your energy levels and focus. Make sure to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit your intake of processed and sugary foods.
- Get enough sleep: Adequate sleep is important for maintaining physical and mental health. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
- Take breaks: It is important to take breaks from your work to avoid burnout. Step away from your computer, stretch, and take some time to relax.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and maintain your energy levels.
- Manage stress: Chronic stress can have negative impacts on your physical and mental health. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as through exercise, meditation, or talking to a therapist.
- Practice good posture: Poor posture can lead to muscle strain and fatigue. Make sure to sit up straight, with your feet flat on the ground and your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.
By following these tips, you can maintain your physical and mental health as a software engineer.
Below are the steps that I took:
- Avoid sitting down for more than 1 hour without getting up for a walk.
- Stand up for 15 minutes every hour to code.
- Take multiple short walks outdoor during working hours.
- Avoid elevators unless you have no choice, use the stairs to go up and down if your office floor is lower than the 5th floor.
- Avoid drinking sweet drinks or too much coffee during work hours.
- Avoid eating chips or almost anything while working.
- Instead of spending long hours reading manuals and documents on your computer, print them out, then take a walk and read them somewhere quiet while standing.
- Stretch often while working (extend your legs, arms, rotate your neck).
- Take short breaks of 2 to 5 minutes every 2 hours to read something different from your main topic. It can be news, sports, entertainment, or anything else you like. I read or write on Quora during my breaks.
- Change your position frequently and don’t hesitate to stand up at your desk from time to time while working.
- Make sure that your chair is always comfortable. Don’t hesitate to upgrade or get a better chair if necessary.
Here are the steps that I took to stay active and healthy:
- I am committed, no matter what, to playing at least 2 competitive games of soccer or basketball a week, either in an amateur team league or at drop-in sports leagues. Check out one of my drop in league chapter in your city at ShowUpAndPlaySports chapters – Djamga – ShowUpAndPlaySports
- I volunteer to organize soccer and basketball games every week via Home – Djamga – ShowUpAndPlaySports
- I walk regularly at lunch time, and try to get as much sunshine as possible.
- I visit a chiropractor once a month to adjust my back and neck.
- I visit a certified massage therapist regularly to work on my neck, back, hamstrings, and feet.
- I visit a pedicure clinic once a month for a good pedicure and foot massage.
- I eat a healthy diet of mostly vegetables and fish (mostly salmon).
- I drastically reduced the carbs in my diet. Every morning, I take one cup of coffee or tea with no sugar or milk and a small cake. Then, I am covered until dinner time. In the evening, I have a large meal of vegetables and fish, usually salmon.
- I drink plenty of water.
- I don’t drink alcohol or smoke.
- It is very important to sleep well; sleep at least 6 hours per day.
You spend about 25% of your life in your bed, there you need to invest on your mattresses, pillows, bed furnitures and upgrade them regularly.
After adopting these habits, my efficiency came back. I was able to work as hard as when I was a student . I even lost weight!
Now, I can go toe-to-toe with young players and students in their twenties on the soccer field. I easily work more than 60 hours per week and still have enough time to play with my kids and enjoy a fulfilling life with my family.
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I highly recommend these life-changing habits to all IT professionals and engineers so they can remain healthy and effective as they get older and busier.