One of the most pervasive stereotypes about tech experts is that they spend all day behind a computer screen and are therefore in poor physical condition. If this stereotype was ever true, it isn’t any longer. Plenty of computer programmers in Silicon Valley these days spend their spare time doing CrossFit and triathlons. So is physical fitness the key to success?
How Exercise Boosts Brain Power
Exercise can strengthen any part of your body, including your brain. Multiple scientific studies have confirmed the positive relationship between exercise and better cognition. Whether you’re sweating it out on a treadmill or doing CrossFit, the physical exertion causes your heart to pump more blood more quickly. Some of that nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood goes directly to feed your brain. The boost in oxygen and nutrients supports your brain fitness. Research demonstrates that regular exercise improves your:
- Problem-solving skills
- Decision-making abilities
- Psychomotor speeds
- Learning abilities
How Physical Fitness Is Going High-Tech
It might be a coincidence—or not—that computer programmers are more interested in getting fit during a time in which physical fitness itself is going high-tech. Wearable fitness trackers that sync with smartphones are just one example of the entry of tech into the gym. Gym equipment itself is getting ever more sophisticated, with some new models featuring Wi-Fi connectivity with live fitness classes on built-in screens. And then there’s the fact that exercising is a science in itself and so naturally appeals to STEM-inclined individuals. For instance, a software developer might research the average walking speed (3.1 miles per hour) and as a result, work on increasing his or her average walking speed to 3.5 mph. The high-tech nature of exercise science is also becoming increasingly personalized. Fitness devotees can send in saliva samples to DNA testing companies to get their own health profiles.
How to Get Started
The lack of time is often cited as the most common reason for not exercising regularly. The trick to making time to work out is to fit it into your schedule just like any other mandatory task. If you perceive exercise as a must-do, then you’ll get it done, even if you have to cut out some TV time. In addition to hitting the gym or hiking trails, look for ways of staying active throughout the day. Consider investing in a desk-treadmill or desk-stationary bike hybrid—more high-tech innovations in exercise science. Encourage your colleagues to join you for walking meetings. The fresh air will be invigorating, and the increased blood circulation is helpful for generating new ideas.
Grand Canyon University encourages all of our students to take advantage of our state-of-the-art fitness centers on campus, including fitness classes! We aim to support our students as they earn their degrees in STEM fields. Click on the Request More Information button to learn about joining the Lopes!
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.