December CBA Report

T he stress of being a lawyer gets exacerbated by unhealthy habits such as poor diet, exercise, and lack of sleep. Between billable hours, filing deadlines, and the adversarial context of work, it is very easy to fall into unhealthy routines. Being pressed for time makes it easy to pick up carry out food and the mentally exhausting work can lead to skipping exercise. Our client-centered focus can cause us to lose track of ourselves and what’s best for our well-being. Research on health problems facing lawyers reveals the prevalence of the client-centric mentality. Top Google results on statistics of common preventable health issues showed page after page of strategies in handling cases involving clients with those issues. Rule 1.1 of Ohio’s Rules for professional conduct states, “A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.” This rule encompasses all that is important within the legal community: taking care of your client. However, what is often overlooked in lawyer-client representation, is that it must begin with the lawyer being there, and an unhealthy lifestyle prevents you from being there. According to the Mayo Clinic, inactivity and unhealthy diet are two of the major causes of obesity. 1 Being overweight leads to high cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and can increase your risks for certain types of cancer or breathing disor- ders. The good news is that, according to the Mayo Clinic, “… even modest weight loss can improve or prevent the health prob- lems associated with obesity. Dietary changes, increased physical activity and behavior changes can help you lose weight.” My goal is to provide some simple strategies for maintaining good exer- cise and eating habits. During my athletic career my father, Bill Keating Jr., compared poor nutrition to filling the car’s gas tank with junk and expecting it to run well. The nutrition philosophy I have always followed is built around simple substitutions. The idea is to find healthier alternatives to eat, rather than sticking to a strict diet. For example, instead of eating potato chips, I would eat carrots. This method is popularized by David Zinczenko’s Eat this, not that diet series. 2 I am not saying one nutrition plan is better than another, rather any nutrition plan is better than none. Following any plan also helps with gaining a better understanding of nutrition. Another easy strategy for meal planning is to pack a lunch for work. Having food on hand will curb the temptation for going out to eat an unhealthy meal. Working as a police officer, I pack my lunch every day, mostly since the nonstop action of the job does not always allow me to stop for lunch. Having food handy also prevents me from skipping meals, an often overlooked and unhealthy habit. Skipping meals can lead to sluggishness, head- aches, and a lack of energy, 3 all of which negatively impact your ability to represent a client. The second major area in leading a healthy lifestyle is exer- cise. New research from the Cleveland Clinic has shown skipping exercise and leading a sedentary lifestyle can be worse for your overall health than smoking. 4 Long days at the office and family obligations can prevent all of us from going to the gym, running around the neighborhood or other more traditional versions of exercise. However, this does not mean you have to be stuck in a sedentary lifestyle. You can trick your body into getting more exercise within the normal course of the day. Taking the stairs (or even getting off the elevator a few floors early and walking the stairs the rest of the way), or parking further away can add a little extra exercise By Joe Keating 12 l December 2018 CBA REPORT Balanced Living