The Street Smart Law Blog

Writing 2
  • Alan Golik

Attorneys & Fitness - Journey Tips for Wellness

Working in the legal industry takes a toll on people. This isn’t a hot take, it’s a harsh statistic. According to the Journal of Addiction Medicine, in a survey of 13,000 practicing lawyers 28% said they suffer from depression, 19% have severe anxiety, and 11.4% had suicidal thoughts within the year. Legal professionals typically have to get to work by 7am and clock out an entire 12 hours later. It’s strenuous, obviously. Yet it’s still imperative that they incorporate fitness into their lifestyle to reduce stress, strengthen the body and mind, combat health conditions, boost energy, and promote better relaxation & sleep. The following points are four easy shortcuts that any attorney can apply to their legal life in the aim of ameliorating their way of life.

Calendar Obedience

A calendar is an attorney’s bread and butter. If something isn’t on there, it’s more than likely not going to happen (or be forgotten). Using a calendar for everyday undertakings can also include workouts. You can block out a little bit of time the night before the day / week starts, plan out your schedule accordingly, and make room for all necessities. The best recommendation though? Just get your workout out of the way and completed in the morning.

Morning workouts have been shown to improve a person’s daily habits through a phenomenon known as Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR). When we all wake up our levels of cortisol, aka the ‘stress hormone,’ are usually higher upon our awakening. By implementing exercise as first thing in your morning, you are empowering your body to release endorphins that can offset those immediate cortisol quantities.

In addition, morning workouts grant you the benefits of an instigated metabolism throughout the day, in what’s called the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) theory. As per the American Council, “Similar to how a car’s engine remains warm after being turned off, once a workout is over and you’re back in your daily routine, your body’s metabolism can continue to burn more calories than when at complete rest.”

Break It Up

There are many misconceptions when it comes to fitness, one of which is the amount of time one should spend to get results. The more neutral truth is that no one needs to be spending hours every single day of every single week to be fit. It’s all dependent on a person’s lifestyle, availability, and commitment. Simply dividing a little bit of time for one, two, or three quick workouts that incorporate multiple muscle groups can do the job perfectly for you. I used to teach group fitness for full body hour long workouts, as well as abs/core sessions that were only 20 minutes long. I can tell you that I easily saw plenty of changes in participants from both of my classes, as quick burnout exercising can be just as effective as an hour or longer. You simply have to research, develop your own simplistic in design workout regimens, and execute.

Aristotle – Talk the Talk, Walk the Talk

We’ve all been cooped up in a chair for countless hours some days. Sitting down for extended periods of time can be detrimental to our spine compressions, alongside an enfeebled core and flexibility limitations. Any of us could learn something from profound speaker Aristotle. The philosopher was known to conduct student lectures while traversing, even to the point that his students became known as Peripatetics, meaning ‘traveling from place to place.’ Granted, back then people were not surrounded by environments full of stimuli like computers, LED billboards, TVs, etc. But the next time you’re on a more casual call, listening in on a meeting, or just relaxing at the desk, stand up and take 10 minutes to stretch and pace around. We all have random moments in our day where we’re stagnant, check up on our phone. Use that free time to get your steps in. If it helps as well, investing in a Fitbit or other fitness watch is a nifty way of tracking and meeting everyday goals. Didn’t get your steps in for the day? Now you know to do so after work.

Keeping Up with the Weekend

No one has the perfect, optimal schedule every single day and week. Things change, scenarios pop up, or work just has you super busy. I understand that, I’m human and acknowledge how life goes. With that said, if you miss workouts than what you usually do in a given week, playing catch up on the weekend is an excellent alternative (fitness) resolution. A weekend workout should be treated as an opportunity to go a little harder, a little longer. If you usually workout say 45 minutes on an average weekday but miss a day, go for 60-75 minutes. Supplement an extra 15 – 30 minutes in your usual routine. You have a little more time on your hands, and the case you’re working on isn’t going to undergo major changes with you in the gym another half an hour. It’s the weekend. Focus, reduce your stress, and come back ready than ever for the next week.