January-Report - page 12

January 2013 CBA REPORT
balanced Living
don’t have the time. I’m too tired. I
had a hard day at work. I don’t like
sweating. This is the time of year
when New Year’s resolutions to start an
exercise program are often made, only to
give way to excuses like these. Given how
stressful and demanding our profession
can be, making the time for regular exer-
cise is an important component for good
health and managing the stress.
There are a wide variety of fitness
programs out there that can be tailored
to fit a wide range of preferences, physical
capabilities and busy schedules. Contrary
to some misconceptions, you don’t need
to set aside large chunks of time, and you
don’t have to do anything extreme like
triathalons, marathons, or powerlifting
to stay physically active. Even setting
aside 30 minutes a day for a walk will
make a difference.
One key component of starting an
exercise program is learning how to do it
properly. Watching a beginner at the gym
who isn’t trained can be a lot like watch-
ing a pro se party in court. Much like
with the law, there are professionals at
most gyms who can teach you proper ex-
ercise techniques and help you design the
right exercise program. You will be more
encouraged to stick to your program and
in turn, enjoy the benefits.
The first benefit of exercise is that it
improves your mood. One way it does
this is by stimulating various brain
chemicals that can leave you feeling hap-
pier and more relaxed.
Regular exercise
can also make you feel better about your
appearance and yourself, which can
boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Regular exercise also boosts energy. It
improves muscle strength and endurance
and helps your heart and lungs work
more efficiently.
The more energy you
have, the more productive you will be
throughout your day.
Exercising regularly has also been
shown to improve cognition and mem-
For instance, older adults who
engage in regular physical activity have
better performance in tests that relate to
decision making process, memory and
problem solving.
Do I even need to say
how this is a plus at a law office?
Probably the most widely known ben-
efit of regular exercise is that it controls
weight. Simply put, when you engage in
physical activity, you burn more calories
and speed up your metabolism.
eating less and not exercising does not
help. In fact, that will slow down your
Regular exercise also has a number of
other widely known health benefits, such
as increasing longevity, lowering choles-
terol and blood pressure, and preventing
other health conditions such as diabetes,
arthritis, osteoporosis, among others.
My own weekly regimen consists of
heavy weight training, targeting different
muscle groups each day, and cardio-
vascular exercise. I also make a point
to work on my flexibility, which helps
prevent injury and improves muscle
I also like to be conscious of other
details of my daily routine, because
everything adds up when it comes
to overall health. I stick to a gener-
ally healthy diet, and normally eat five
smaller meals instead of three larger
meals. During the day, I like to do little
things like use the stairs most of the time
instead of the elevator. I also park almost
a mile from my office. Everything adds
And what does this do for me? When
I am sticking to my regimen, I feel more
energetic throughout my day. In turn,
this makes my time at the office or in
the courtroom more productive. I feel
more focused in high-pressure situations.
While stress will always be there, I am
more able to channel it productively into
my work.
What I do is definitely not for every-
body, but I hope I have illustrated the
importance of regular physical activity
and encouraged you to make the time to
be more physically active. Notice I keep
saying “make the time.” It’s not just about
trying to get around to it next Tuesday or
Wednesday. It’s about making a lifestyle
change. Good health doesn’t just happen
by itself. Make it happen.
Bogen is a member of the CBA Attorney Health and
Well-Being Committee. He is an attorney in solo
practice. His practice focuses on criminal and DUI
defense. He was also a 4-year letter winner for the
University of Cincinnati swim team.
2 Id.
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By James F. Bogen
Starting a Fitness Program:
Sound Body, Sound Mind
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