Interested in a Fitness/Wellness for Geeks Programme?


This is something I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years and was recently prompted by a comment from @bolster. It’s a broad idea around us helping ourselves and fellow members to become fitter and healthier, in both mind and body, without the fluffy bullshit that surrounds so much of nutrition, exercise, meditation, yoga, you name it.

I’m gauging interest levels for now. A handful of us could work together on this. I could lead it but only if we agree that that’s useful. And it could evolve into a commercial programme of regular sessions but again, only if that fits.

I have lots of ideas to input but in general, I think the focus will be on identifying Archimedes levers that work for you: quick, small changes and nudges that make a big difference. Most of us would benefit from looking after ourselves better, wouldn’t you say?

I am in no way qualified to teach any form of fitness, wellness, exercise, mental health development or anything else of the sort. Clearly, anyone joining this project would be taking responsibility for their own health and any injuries or issues that incur. I’m not exactly a bastion of fitness, health and productivity myself. But I’m trying, and I’m learning little tricks as I go.


I’ve been interested in this sort of thing for a while. Wasn’t aware anyone else in Farset was interested. It will be good to hear other people’s ideas.

After little movement for a large portion of the day the balance is needed:


Nice. I watched most of that standing up.

You’ve raised a good point: mobility should be a part of this. Mobility and flexibility maybe together.

Other headers are likely to be:

  • Diet.
  • Fitness/exercise.
  • Mental fitness.


Good and basic. I like it


We could call it “Fitness Hacking” :stuck_out_tongue:


Is it possible to put a moratorium on the word ‘hacking’ in a hackrrspace? :stuck_out_tongue:



Spoilsport :stuck_out_tongue:

Honestly though, don’t sites like et al undermine the meaning/point of ‘hacking’?
“I hacked my finances!” No, you finally worked out what a budget is.
“I hacked my business!” Well done, you finally sorted out your marketing and management.
“I hacked my biology!” You do know that swallowing 2 litres of food dye to turn yourself orange is generally a bad thing?
“I hacked my leg open!” Erm… you probably shouldn’t have done that. You’re getting blood on the carpet.

Hacked off.


@ben, umm, on the discussion of your lack of qualifications, you buggered off to Nicaragua for 10 months to teach yoga and surfing.


Ha. Can’t argue with that one.

@Adam_Turner – Fitness hacking is the right approach, yep, optimal-minimal as Tim Ferriss puts it.


Ideas on a starting point / time?


I’m tempted to say wait until the new year, as things will be increasingly hard to organise before Xmas and there is always a glut of good intentions in January. But if others are keen to move faster, I could go with that.


#Showerthoughts just now – I’ve codenamed this project “Grasshopper” for fun. It maintains our insect-based naming convention and hints at a healthy, fit insect (that’s also nutritious to eat). Yay.

Anyway, here’s a GDrive folder to get things moving. It includes a spreadsheet that is an example of what we might use to work as a team in achieving our individual goals. It’s all just made up for now.

I’m wondering if we take a little Scrum ideology and apply it to our regimes, so we each work in sprints (eg. four weeks) and reconvene to discuss what we’ve achieved, what’s next and how to remove impediments. Part of my idea here is to set total targets for the entire sprint (eg. 1000 press-ups) which sounds hard but is totally doable if you keep it up, eg. doing short sets several times a day most days. It allows flexibility and a big sense of achievement.

Also, a thought for the actual name in time: “BitFit”.


Oooh, health stuff!

I do quite a bit of mental health support work & self-care advocacy stuff these days and am more than happy to help out with this if it’s relevant at all? Mental health for boys & men aged 16-30 is a big focus right now (or at least it’s becoming one). With depression and social isolation being such issues in tech communities it might be a good one to cover.


I think the remit is wide open, and the objective is something vaguely about helping each other to get towards optimal health of all sorts. So I imagine each person will have their own needs and goals, and we just get our heads together to figure-out tools and regimes for ourselves.

I’ve no plan other than to maybe get any willing people together in the new year to kickstart the process. The more the merrier.


I like the idea of incorporating mental health as you’ve mentioned (CBT in particular from my own POV) though measuring outcomes and progress with mental therapies is much more difficult than with straight physical exercise. How to quantify progress?

Self-administered CBT definitely benefits from repetition, particularly if someone isn’t quite buying into it, as it means that they at least ‘go through the motions’ to give it a chance, and there are at least apps out there to aid self-assessment. Just for building coping mechanisms and re-evaluating thinking without significant mental distress, this can be very beneficial.

IMHO CBT for significant bouts of depression or anxiety without someone with a reasonable grounding as a counsellor to listen and counsel at the start can be very difficult to make progress with. Yet I wouldn’t want us to have to tell people ‘go see a counsellor’ by default, as getting access to that service these days involves a very long wait. Tricky. Particularly if someone is seeking help that they should really contact their GP about first.


Is this idea still breathing?


Well, I think it’s a good idea. Ironically though, I’ve been too lazy and distracted to organise anything.

What you thinking?


An initial sub-meetup within a town hall or another meetup of interest. Chatting the on topic can kick off the mindset, but it doesn’t have to be the main event. An easygoing chat throwing around thoughts on the topic; little organising required.

This idea is already well developed. Let’s use the same concepts (with less effort):


Easiest thing to do (and might be a nice standard to set) is to schedule something for after the next town hall while we’ve already got a number of “engaged” members in the space.