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leonardo lucania
30 posts


#11560 Handmade lifestyle
2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited by leonardo lucania on April 1, 2017, 3:48 p.m.

I would like to open a discussion on how do we programmers attempt (because you do try to attempt right?) to balance our inevitably sedentary work with an healthy lifestyle, considering alimentation, sleep routine, and last but not least phisycal excercize.

I will start saying that living in Italy gives me a lot of opportunities to have an healthy alimentation, I basically eat 1kg of fruits and close to 1kg of vegetables every day, and I think they should be the basic starting point of every respectable diet.
Other then that, I try to limit as much as possible bread and pasta (when I'm not too stressed I'm able to eat them 1-2 times/week, substituing them with steamed potatoes and rice) and red meat. (I try to eat fish 1/2 day/week and white meat 1/2 day week). Generally I eat my irresistible pizza one day per week.
The main problem for me is that when I'm home programming my game for severals in a day (that happens only the weekend for now, unfortunately, but I think sooner or later I will quit my job, so stay tuned), I find myself too often in the kitchen to eat "bad" things, such as biscuits, snacks ecc. (I tried to say my mom that she has to stop buying those things, but she can't resists them either)
But at the end of the day I'm pretty much satisfied with my diet, I'm 1.75m tall and I'm 76kg, with 16% of fat mass.
Oh, one thing I was forgetting is that I pretty much always drink just vanilla water, no coke, no sprite, no nothing.
One year later or so I also started bringing a water bottle at my desk, "forcing" myself to dring more or less 2lt of water every day. My urine is amazingly transparent right now.
I've never touched a single sigarette nor an alcholic drink.

Moving on, sleep is definitevely my weak spot.
I mean, I don't have sleep problems, I'm able to take sleep in 5-10 minutes when I go bad, but I'm in the range of 7 and a half hours per night, and I would like a lot to reduce those to something like 6 and a half or 7.
But in my opinion sleep is a pretty delicate argument, and one can't just say "oh, you now, from now on I will try to sleep 7 hours instead of 8"... because sleep is not a "voluntary" thing, it's just our body that demands that amount of sleep to stay healthy.
Another problem I have is that someday I get too involved in programming my game, and I go to sleep when it's 1 or 2AM, and that's really bad.
And that's the reason why, even if I tried the biphasic sleep for a small period, I've wisely decided to regret that decision and to come back to my normal daily routine.
But I would like to know if there's someone in the community that has succefully manteined a biphasic sleep routine for a mid-long period of time, cause that options continues to intrigue my mind from time to time.

Lastly, I've always been a sportive guy.
My father approched me to tennis when I was 5, and since that I've always been doing sport every year. (I'm 24 now and I've had 10 years of basketball, and other various sports).
2 years ago I found myself in the need of a more flexible and stronger body, so I started to interest myself to calishtenichs. (I never liked gyms, in my opinion they construct a not so good body conformation over long period of time) I started learning exercize as the headstand, the muscle-up, the levers. It's tough, I have to say it: you have to work months and months to get result, sometimes it's frustating.

All considered, I'm pretty happy with my lifestyle.
I've a decent alimentation, I've never had serious stress problem, and I honestly think my physical form is pretty good. (both aestetically and functionally).
Oh yes, I also have a girlfriend that I love and some friends, and in one way or the other I see them every night basically.

For those of you interested in the discussion, I will post my weekly routine, so we can make more precise comparison/analysis if we want so.

8 AM: weak up.
9 AM: work stars
13 AM: launch pause (1 hour)
18 PM: I'm out
00PM: bad

after work I do my exercizes 3 times during the work days, and I also do so saturday and sunday morning. (I would like to do the workout in the morning also in the work days, but you know how it is... )
Then, I have 5 hours (7PM to 00) that I dedicate to my girlfriend/friends, and generally 2 times a week I stay home to program my game.
The weekend I just program my game 4 hours both saturday and sunday, and the rest is free time.
So that makes a total of 54 work hours more or less, and I think it's a pretty good number.

I would like to hear what's your lifestyle, how much work hours per day you have, and all these sort of things, so we can start make some interesting considerations. Also, I'm very interested to know if someone is successfully following a biphasic sleep routine, and if so other what conditions.
I guess you could also consider this thread as a "confessional", if you want. Maybe the community can give you some tips on where and how to improve.

As always, Sorry for the embarassing english. (you know, we already have spaghetti and pizza, we can't also have english)

88 posts

I use x86-64 assembly, Python, C, and SQL to fight malware.

#11586 Handmade lifestyle
2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited by Todd on April 4, 2017, 7:17 a.m.

This is what works for me:

1. Keep bad crap out of my pantry altogether.

2. Keep lots of fruits and vegetables around instead so that when I munch on stuff, it is those. Pretty much you can have unlimited fruits and veggies per day and not really get fat in my experience.

3. Try to focus on protein and reduce the amount of bread I eat. So instead of having a ham sandwich, I'll just grab a bunch of ham and eat it with some vegetables and without the bread. This also works with tuna and other sources of protein. I even have black bean high-protein veggie burgers I eat this way.

4. I go to the gym 5 days per week on average and I make it a point to challenge myself every time in different ways. One day, I may go super hard on legs, the next day super hard on cardio, the day after that, super hard on chest, arms, AND cardio... But I stir up the pot every week. For example, I may take 3 days off and then have a 2 hour long hell-fest of a workout, which freaks my muscles out and they get extremely sore, but they also grow in strength. I've found the key here is to not get into a boring routine or else the muscles and body get used to it and it does little good for improvement's sake.

5. If I have to, I focus on diet rather than exercise. Meaning, if I have limited time to workout, I don't stress. Instead, I focus on cutting back my carbs and calories for the day. If all else fails, I believe that extreme healthy eating, even in absence of any exercise, is the way to go if need be.

That's it for me. I think the most important thing is effort and consistency. Always push yourself and challenge yourself. It doesn't need to take all day either... If you are limited on time, run into the gym and give it your all for 25 minutes without any rest. Guarantee you'll be fit after a few weeks. :)

PS: Deadlifts seem to be great for strengthing the carpal-tunnel area, but be careful not to over-do it or it could affect your programming.

I'm the smartest man in Athens because I know that I know nothing. ~ Socrates