Professional growth          Court news           Productivity           Technology          Wellness          Just for fun

Mindful summer workouts for busy legal professionals

Summertime is a great opportunity for busy professionals to get outside and exercise.

That’s a nice idea, but we all know it can be difficult to balance the demands of your legal career with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As much as you want to do both, the stress of managing your work schedule and maintaining the discipline to work out are often at odds.

This is where mindful exercise comes in.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the concepts of mindfulness and mindful exercise, and we’ll explore how those practices can be particularly beneficial to legal professionals.

Then, since we’re all looking forward to enjoying summertime, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to practice mindfulness whether you’re heading off on a summer vacation or stuck at your desk for the season.

What is mindful exercise?

Mindfulness is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the moment.

You might think of practices like meditation, gratitude journaling, or yoga when you hear someone mention mindfulness, but it’s really simpler than that. You can practice mindfulness any time, any place.

Mindful exercise requires you to practice mindfulness while you exercise.

In other words, you have to be fully present and engaged in your workout. To do that, you have to focus completely on your breath, body, and the movements you’re experiencing as part of your exercise routine.

Why is mindful exercise important for legal professionals?

Although mindful exercise may sound easy, it’s actually a lot harder than you think.

Most legal professionals have a hard time tuning out stressful thoughts about things like summary judgment motions, upcoming trials, and how many more hours they need to bill to meet their monthly goal. When those thoughts trickle into your brain, mindfulness goes out the window.

Yet, all those stressful thoughts have consequences.

Stress, as we know, is bad for your physical and mental health. With mindful exercise, you not only learn to leave that stress behind for a while, but you also reap the vast benefits of exercise.

Think of it as a two-for-one deal for your mind and body.

Why mindful exercise is great in the summer

Mindful exercise is good any time of the year, but it’s particularly helpful in the summer.

The truth is, once the summer sun comes out, we all want to be outside as much as possible. Nonetheless, the heat and humidity can make it extremely difficult to exercise.

Mindful exercise, however, teaches us to stay present and focused on our workouts instead of focusing on unpleasant weather conditions.

How to make mindful exercise fit into your life

You’ll never have a mindful workout if you feel stressed out about it. The good news is that you can begin your mindful exercise practice by incorporating it into other plans you’ve been looking forward to this summer.

Here’s how:

  1. Start your mindful exercise practice during a planned summer vacation: Lots of people take vacations in the summer. Even though legal professionals can expect a call or two from the office during vacation, the time off gives you the perfect opportunity to begin practicing mindfulness and mindful exercise.
  2. Make mindful exercise part of your tech detox: We’ve written extensively on the importance of taking a tech detox as part of your overall wellness plan. Why not make mindful exercise a part of your overall tech detox plan?
  3. Try mindfulness with your favorite summer fitness routines: Maybe you already have summer workouts that you’ve enjoyed for years. Why not try adding the mindfulness element to those tried and true exercises?
  4. Take advantage of the outdoors: Nature is one of the best and easiest places to stay present and connect to your surroundings. There’s nothing like an ocean breeze or the sounds of birds chirping in the forest to get focused on the present. Consider initiating your mindful exercise practice during a trail run or bike ride in your favorite remote wilderness area.

Using mindful exercise to fight office fatigue

Not all of us want to spend our summer engaging in heavy duty exercise.

That’s ok.

We can still reap the benefits of mindfulness by incorporating it into relatively mellow exercises that combat our most common office-related ailments.

That’s the beauty of mindful exercise; you simply add the concept of mindfulness to any type of exercise you might otherwise be doing.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Eye-strain: As legal professionals, we spend our days staring at screens. Over time, it takes a toll on our eyeballs. Why not try practicing mindfulness while engaging in these exercises for eye fatigue?
  2. Back pain: While many people associate back pain with heavy labor, the truth is that many people (including lots of legal professionals) get back pain from sitting at a desk for too long. When your back starts to cramp up, that’s your signal to do these stretches right from your desk. Add mindfulness to those stretches and you’ll come out of it feeling relief in mind, body, and soul.
  3. Neck strain and headaches: Office work is just as hard on the neck as it is on the rest of the spine. And we all know that once your neck flares up, a headache is sure to follow. Fortunately, you can perform neck exercises at your desk that will prevent (or relieve) all of that suffering. You can also, of course, double the benefit of those exercises by practicing mindfulness while you do them.
  4. Carpal tunnel: People who stare at screens all day also tend to type quite a bit. We all know that can lead to extremely painful carpal tunnel strains if we’re not careful. Add mindfulness to your carpal tunnel exercises and see if you don’t feel better all over afterwards.


If you simply can’t get away from your desk for very long, you’re certainly not alone. Summer is a particularly busy time for many practice areas, and it can be even harder to step away when the firm is already shorthanded.

We’ve got just the thing to help.

When you can’t walk away, you can always bring healthy practices right to your office chair. You can do a quick workout, meditation, or yoga series in 10 minutes or less. Download our free Daily wellness cheatsheets as a printable reminder to prioritize your mental and physical health, even on the busiest work days.

No matter where you find yourself this summer, mindful exercise is a great way to stay healthy and present during the beautiful weather. By following these tips and incorporating mindfulness into your indoor and outdoor workouts, you can achieve a greater sense of mental and physical wellbeing.


  • 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.

    View all posts

Our recommendations

Follow InfoTrack