Exercising Your Right to Physical Fitness

Julie Sopchak
Get yourself a standing desk, and when you need to sit, use a stability ball.

Get yourself a standing desk, and when you need to sit, use a stability ball.

Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision via GettyImages

To be a lawyer is to be busy. It is not a relaxing job; it is full of stress, pressure, and high expectations. With all this responsibility, leisure time is a hot commodity. For some people, exercising is not a desirable way to spend it. Mental exhaustion is certainly something that can be felt physically, but, sadly, that does not equate to physical activity. Remaining physically active is a daunting challenge when work takes a large portion of your time. When you finally leave work, all you want to do is go home, eat a nice dinner, and transform into a couch creature. Unfortunately, the habit of shuffling back and forth from work to home with no activity will take its toll on your body. The human body is meant for movement and physical stimulation. If we do not provide it with this, well, the body goes to waste. How can you sneak in this exercise?

Stop Making Excuses

Retire the old habit of making excuses. Force yourself to go and exercise (go now!). Are you too exhausted to go after work? Try going before. Yes, you will have to get up earlier, but it will kick start your energy for the day, not to mention the amazing sleep you will get when you finally crash at night. Give yourself a little bit of time to get into that routine; once you do, the benefits will be worth it.

Working Lunch

Budgeting time is a talent and true art form where there are no seconds to spare. To maximize the minutes in your day, try office workouts that involve a minimal amount of equipment. If that means you need to start lunge-walking your way to meetings, then so be it. You do not need a room full of weight machines and dumbbells to workout. If there is no time to spare, consider using your lunch break to work out, and try to scatter nutrition throughout the day in smaller doses to keep your energy up and avoid a post-lunch crash. Load up on healthy foods and ensure you eat appropriate amounts. Finding a comprehensive database of nutrition for all types of foods is an excellent way to start restructuring your diet to benefit your body the way it should.

Office Workout

While at the office, one might find a few minutes of downtime. If you have a minute, which is all you need, instead of surfing social media bust out a set or two of squats or pushups. They are convenient, low-impact exercises and the only equipment you need to execute them is a floor. If you are sitting down, do a couple of leg raises to get your abs engaged (this could help stretch out your lower back, too). All you need to do is hold on to your chair, and then lift your knees to your chest. Even if you have been burying your face in piles of paperwork, take a minute to come up for air and do those sets. These simple exercises can help reset your brain and rejuvenate your mind in a way that will have you ready to get cracking again. While you are at it, why not just get rid of the chair altogether? Get yourself a standing desk, and when you need to sit, use a stability ball. These can be purchased cheaply and are great for helping you to avoid slouching and to keep your postural muscles properly engaged. That ball is also very versatile and can be used for a plethora of exercises.

Accountability

Do not forget the powerful tool of accountability. Use your buddies to keep you on track in making sure you put in your time; chances are, they will be counting on you, too. Finding time is a mindset. We all know how powerful the mind of a lawyer is, so put that brilliant brain of yours to use and get exercising! After all, if Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was able to find time to work out during her pancreatic cancer treatments, what is your excuse?

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Julie Sopchak

Julie Sopchak is a former journalist and currently an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer from Berlin, Connecticut. She holds a BA in journalism and an MS in exercise science, both from Southern Connecticut State University.