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Fitness tips for busy attorneys

tips for attorneys to prioritize fitness

Well, it looks like we made it through the first month of 2022. How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? Are you still working out at the gym four days a week for at least an hour each time, including both weight-lifting and cardio?

Yeah, me neither.

If you’re an attorney, you’re probably still reeling from your billable-hour total from 2021. That can go one of two ways:

  1. Either you met your goal, earned a sweet bonus, and completely lost touch with your life away from the office; or
  2. you can’t believe how hard it was to meet the minimum requirement and now you’re stressed at the thought of ever leaving the office.

Either way, making time for the gym just doesn’t seem feasible right now. Here are some simple tips for keeping fit on a busy schedule:

#1: Walk more

I know, I know…everyone talks about walking, but does anyone ever do it?

It’s actually simpler than you may think and, as it turns out, walking is one of the very best things you can do for your mind and body.

But if you don’t have time for the gym, how can you make time for regular walks? Easy. Walk to some of the places you normally drive to. If the courthouse is near your office, walk there. When you shop, park in the back of the lot and walk in. Walk to lunch. Walk an extra couple of blocks to the other Starbucks.

The good news is that multiple short walks are as beneficial to your health as one prolonged walk.

#2: Make fitness part of your family life

There are not many attorneys with children who feel like they get to spend enough time with them. Missing your family can make things like going to the gym even less enjoyable than normal.

So why not combine fitness and family? Chances are, you can find something everyone enjoys, whether it’s bike rides, beach walks, or family hikes.

Sure, the kids may grumble at first, but you’ll be modeling good habits for them while maintaining your own fitness goals.

#3: Ask your firm to prioritize fitness

Law firms were not immune to the “great resignation.” Like other businesses, they’re having to offer extra incentives to retain top talent.

Why not ask your firm to initiate some sort of fitness perk?

For example, some law firms have hired personal trainers for their staff. While those sorts of perks may not be any less time-consuming than working out on your own, at least you’ll know your employer has your back when it comes to prioritizing fitness.

#4: Hold interoffice fitness contests

Lawyers are some of the most competitive people on the planet. In light of that, come up with a way to use each other to get motivated about fitness.

There are all kinds of interoffice competitions you can organize. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily push-up challenge can get everyone moving. Another idea is encouraging people to use stairs instead of elevators (while counting the number of floors climbed, of course).

#5: Organize an office fitness-for-charity event

Despite what some people may think, lawyers also tend to be very charitable. Therefore, another way to bring fitness into your busy life is to have your firm participate in a charitable fitness event.

There are literally thousands of these events held around the country each year, the most popular of which may be the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure.

Regardless of the cause, you and your colleagues may find it easier to make time for fitness if your efforts will help somebody else have a better life.

#6: Combine mental health with physical health

Law is a stressful business and, as we all know, stress can take a toll on your mind as well as your body.

Bring fitness to both with an exercise like yoga. It will not only make you stronger, but can also calm your mind through careful breathing and mindful relaxation. Does it get any more efficient than that?

Mental and physical health are closely related. If your mental state is unhealthy, you’re more likely to suffer from physical conditions. The reverse is also true; people with chronic physical health conditions are much more likely to suffer from mental health issues.

As you prioritize your fitness, embrace strategies that improve your state of mind, too.

#7: Watch your mouth

No, I’m not telling you what you can and cannot say. I’m simply suggesting that if you’re too busy to work out regularly, perhaps you should pay closer attention to what you eat.

It’s all too easy to snack the day away at a law firm. Most attorney lounges are filled with chips, candy, and every soda you can imagine. The temptation is hard to resist.

If you’re going to sit at your desk and bill all day, however, it’s probably a good idea to pick the right foods for your sedentary lifestyle. Keep your favorite healthy snacks on hand so that you can make a better choice when cravings strike. Better yet, drink fruit-infused water or unsweetened herbal tea instead.

#8: Tell lawyer jokes

Did you know that laughter is really good for your health? It’s true.

While you don’t have to limit yourself to lawyer jokes, taking the time to read or watch something funny may actually improve your fitness. If you laugh hard enough, it can also act as a great ab workout. It’s hard to imagine a better workout tip than that.

Bonus tip: get the free daily wellness cheatsheet

Staying active and prioritizing your health can be tough, especially when there’s so much else to think about. Download our free printable posters for quick exercises, mindfulness activities, and tips to help you remember your personal wellness goals.

Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up for missing a workout here and there. When you can, incorporate these simple tips into your everyday life. When it comes to fitness, every little bit counts.


  • Jennifer Anderson

    Jennifer Anderson is the founder of Attorney To Author, where she helps legal professionals bring their book projects to life. She was a California attorney for nearly two decades before becoming a freelance writer, marketing/branding consultant, ghostwriter, and writing coach. Her upcoming book, Breaking Out of Writer's Block, Exercises and inspirations for getting the words out of your head and onto the page, is due out in September 2023.

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