For most lawyers, the legal profession isn’t one that keeps you on your toes, at least not literally. Most of us will spend a good chunk of our days sitting behind a desk. If we’re lucky, we might get a nice detour to a conference room or, on rare occasions, court – but mostly, legal brain work requires little physical stimulation.
All that sitting is terrible for you. Sitting for more than three hours a day knocks an average of two years off your life while easily adding an inch or two to your waste. You’re not about to give up the law for a career as a professional jogger, however, so here are five ways to combat the sedentary nature of the profession – all of which you can do at work.
1. Stand. At Your Desk.
Standing desks have been growing in popularity for several years — long enough that you should no longer write them off as just a fad. While standing isn’t the most vigorous exercise, it’s the sort of passive exertion that is great for the office: improve your posture, aid your circulation, burn extra calories, all while polishing off that motion in limine.
2. Take a Minute to Stretch
Stretching can help you feel better throughout the day. If you hunch over when you read or type, stretching your shoulders and neck will help keep you loosed up, instead of knotted and achy. Stretch your wrists when you’ve been typing or clicking for awhile and do ankle and calf stretches to invigorate your neglected lower half.
3. Copy Machine Calisthenics
Tell your paralegal that you’ll handle the copying, then spend a few minutes getting leg exercises in while your documents collate. Hold onto the copy machine for support as you do some quick leg lifts, leg swings, glute kicks, and calf raises. Voila: copies made, legs invigorated.
4. Take a Break to Pump Some Iron
Want something a bit more challenging than lifting your legs? Bring in some weights for a quick in-office workout. Companies such as Bowflex make compact, adjustable weights that are small enough to keep out of sight under your desk but heavy enough for a quick mid-day workout.
5. Isometric Exercises
Whatever happened to planking anyway? Planking and other isometric exercises — exercises where you hold a position with no visible movement — are great for building and maintaining strength. Since there’s little motion and no equipment, these are great for the office, whether you’re doing isometric crunches or simple calf raises.
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