I've been professionally programming for the past 5 years and during that time I have neglected my personal health. It's not that I haven't tried to exercise and eat better, I was just not able to get into a consistent routine. It was only after a team outing with my coworkers did I finally realize how much I was out of shape. Where did all my youthful energy go?
So I decided to take control of my health and fitness this year. Below are a number of things that I've done to get on the road to recovery. (You can do them too!)
Walk to work
I'm fortunate enough to work in San Francisco where most locations are within walking distance. My walk to work is 1.2 miles and I've been walking it for over a year now. That's approximately 2.4 miles a day and there were 261 weekdays in 2012 so I've walked approximately 600 miles in 2012 (if you remove holidays and rainy days). Not a bad start to better health and fitness.
Find a personal trainer
I'm self motivated about most things in my life but keeping a regular workout schedule is not one of them. The only way that I can stay motivated is with someone to keep me accountable. That's where a personal trainer comes in. I didn't want just any trainer though. My fitness goal is to gain strength not bulk.
I found Nuey of AnthroposPerformance.com through a Google search for strength training. He is very knowledgeable about human physiology and how to get results through compound exercises. I've been training with him 2 times a week for the past 9 months and feel much stronger. My favorite exercise that we do almost every session is the deadlift.
Get a blood test
In my pursuit of better health, I decided to get a blood test. The search for different options lead me to WellnessFX. I've used their service twice now and it has been incredibly helpful. WellnessFX showed me what vitamins that I was deficit in and what supplements to take to correct it.
WellnessFX also provides a phone consult with a dietitian. She was able to help me improve my current paleo diet by instructing me to eat more sources of monounsaturated fats. Working out can only take you so far without a good diet. I've been eating salad for lunch over 6 months and ordering meals online from Evolution Meals for the past 3 months. Overall, I feel like I have much more energy during my workout because I am eat better.
Extract wisdom teeth
My wisdom teeth had been giving me migraines and toothaches for most of this past year. I should have gotten them out years ago.
Get adjusted by a chiropractor
Using multiple monitors while programming over the past couple of years has given me chronic neck pain. My monitors setup was horizontal so my neck move left and right all day. The pain started to really affect my work and sleep. So I decided that it was time to see a chiropractor. After 3 months of treatment and changing my monitors to a vertical setup (I look up and down now), I am mostly free of my neck pain.
Another side effect of sitting for hours on end is that my hip flexors and hamstrings were very stiff. So I found a great stretching coach that has helped me become more flexible so that I can workout more efficiently.
That was 2012 for me. My reasons for getting into better shape is that 2013 is going to be a very active year. I plan to learn many different skills, such as swimming, boxing, tennis etc, but I needed to be in good shape first.
What have you done in 2012 to improve your personal health and fitness?