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Healthy Desk Jockeys

Because i code… and code… and code… then code some more (you get the point) i tend to spend a fair amount of time with my fingers on the keyboard, an open LCD monitor staring back at me and worlds of awesomeness (all disguised as code) swirling around me. And then every so once in a while I’ll get some fresh air and go do something else “cool”.

But for the most part, i sit. Sometimes slouch. Badly.

Then a few years ago i started with regular back pain. I won’t bore you with the details. We have all back pain somewhere between the thoracic and the lumbar. It happens. And so i tried almost everything to correct my bad posture. Surfing helps keep that back flexed “the other way” but you can’t -always- surf. Ok, so you can. But unless you’re really really (really really) good or have rich grandparents, you’re not going to eat nicely (an entirely different problem altogether).

Alexander Technique, sitting on a oversized (and somewhat colorful) swiss ball, taking frequent breaks; all the tips you can throw a Google search at. Even tried changing my desk setup and “sitting correctly”. I followed the diagrams and posters on the walls of the physio to the ‘T’. None of it was that practical and most of it interfered with “me”. The ball actually made my shoulder/back problem worse.

Then I got a Mac and that all changed. Just kidding. It wasn’t the Mac 🙂

No, quite accidentally, i came across working out with kettlebells right about the time my brother started working at this gym in cape town: one80. Of course he learned a lot working there and he shared his knowledge and as he settled in, i spent some time working out with one80 here and there. The short times that I have spent in their gym inspired me to do more body-weight and kettlebell workouts. The result: no more back pain!

I can code for hours longer… i can swim way more than i used to… i feel “lighter” on my feet and i’ve had to do some pretty amazing things around the house. For example; fix a curtain rail from a very awkward angle (which, in a thousand words i won’t get right in describing) needless to say when my daughter walked into the room and saw me she said: “Wow, Mommy. What’s Daddy doing?”

No to mention the almost-daily heater-goblet-squat up and down two flights of stairs (once in the morning, once at night). Not that easy when you have a baby-gate to navigate and the gas bottle is full. And of course, playtime is so much more fun when you can squat, press and launch a 13kg toddler for 20 quick reps.

So, yes. If you just know you need to get back in shape -even if it’s just so you can code for longer or survive behind the keyboard for those extra hours- turn your life around, one80 degrees.

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