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Summary:

It’s been a while since we’ve had a fitness post on WebWorkerDaily. The web worker lifestyle tends to be a sedentary one with many hours spent staring at the computer. Many web workers, and I put myself in this category, have a hard time getting away […]

It’s been a while since we’ve had a fitness post on WebWorkerDaily. The web worker lifestyle tends to be a sedentary one with many hours spent staring at the computer. Many web workers, and I put myself in this category, have a hard time getting away from work long enough to work out, but it is time well spent that will benefit you in the long run. Exercise isn’t just about losing weight; it has so many benefits for web workers, including keeping your brain working better, improved mood, longer lifespan, increased stamina and reduced risk for many health issues.

Last July, Mike Gunderloy wrote a post covering three fitness resources for the deskbound. His post discussed reducing tension and pain with stretching, trying isometrics instead of the gym, and getting more active. These are all great suggestions, but I wanted to add a few more that work for me. Since we, as web workers, spend our days in front of the computer, I’ll focus on a few online techniques to help you get (and stay) motivated to get off your butt.

@geekygirldawn getoffbutt hashtag

In early October, I decided to make myself accountable to my friends on Twitter for working out by using a new Twitter hashtag, #getoffbutt. My intention was to track my workouts while, at the same time, increasing my accountability for actually working out. What I didn’t expect was to start seeing a bunch of other people using #getoffbutt for the same reason! People seem to have found some value in using a Twitter hashtag to track workouts.

I recently started using Gyminee to track my workouts with more detail: workout type, calories, time, etc. However, my favorite thing about Gyminee is that you can invite your friends and all keep track of each other’s workouts. It also has plenty of special interest groups to join, pre-defined workouts, fitness challenges, and more. It even works great with the iPhone. I wrote a more comprehensive review of Gyminee in January if you want to know more about it.

I also schedule my workouts on my calendar. I have a daily recurring meeting on my calendar for 3 p.m. for my workout. While meetings tend to get in the way of any recurring appointment, I can easily see that something is scheduled over my workout and can move it another time. Realistically, I will probably never work out seven days a week, but I can make sure that I don’t cancel too many of my workouts.

The point isn’t about which tool you use to track your workouts or how you make sure that you find time for your workout. In the words of the famous shoe company from Oregon, Just Do It!

What are your tips for making sure that you stay fit? How do you balance working out with web working?

  1. I tend to hack all day and hack all night and getting off me behind is of paramount importance! I generally try to get in a 2.4 mile circle walk daily…it does help. And removing oneself from a keyboard is a Good Thing Indeed!

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  2. Three days a week, I get up a little earlier and start my day by going to the gym. It really helps to set me up for the day. As the weather improves here, I might start adding in a run on the non-gym days, too.

    One of the great things about being a web worker is you can be flexible with your time. My gym is virtually empty by the time I finish my morning workout :)

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  3. At some point every day I make time for 40 minutes brisk walking – 20 minutes out and 20 minutes back. Listen to a tech podcast on the way.

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  4. I’m a huge fan Gyminee and I schedule my workouts. Thankfully, my wife likes working out with me so we get quality time together as well.

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  5. I’ve recently started the Couch to 5K running plan (aka C25K). It’s designed to gradually start you running until you can run continuously for 30 minutes.

    What helps me stay with it is that I started developing an iPhone app for C25K, and naturally started a blog and twitter account to go with it.

    So now my workouts are also necessary QA time for my app… geeky I know, but it works :) It’s the longest time I stayed with an exercise program

    You should try the C25K plan, and buy my app of course :)

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  6. Alex,

    What a great excuse to get exercise & a workout! I often catch up on email, twitter, podcasts, and feeds if I’m doing a gym workout on one of the cardio machines. Multi-tasking FTW :)

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  7. Find a triathlon in your local area that’s about 3 months off. Go for either a sprint or olympic distance. Enter it.

    Tell your friends you’ve entered it. Tell your family. Blog that you’ve entered it. Tweet it.

    Then, when you realise that unless you do some serious traning, you’re going to make a fool of yourself, you’ll be very motivated. :) Worked for me. Although I’ve relapsed.

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  8. @timhaughton somewhat extreme, but I like it :)

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  9. @Simon – that’s not extreme. A couple of years ago I kept seeing this guy at the gym. He was dressed in lots of thick clothing with a heavy backpack on. Sweat just pouring off him.

    Eventually I had to say to him “Dude, what the hell are you doing?”

    He was training for the Marathon des Sables. When your entry fee includes a corpse repatriation fee – THAT’s extreme. :¬)

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  10. @timhaughton whoa, that is extreme!

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