Bench & Bar

JUL 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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51 BENCH & BAR | Exercise lowers stress, decreases anxiety and depression, reduces negative mood, en- hances positive mood, and decreases the likelihood of devel- oping depression and diabetes. It can decrease high blood pressure and even helps people quit smoking. Physical exercise, in and of itself, is stress relief. Physical exercise increases the brain's con- centrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain's response to stress. Biologically, exercise seems to give the body a chance to practice dealing with stress. It forces the body's physiological systems—all of which are involved in the stress response—to communicate much more closely than usual: e cardiovascular system communicates with the renal system, which communicates with the muscular system. And all of these are controlled by the central and sympa- thetic nervous systems, which also must communicate with each other. is workout of the body's communication system may be the true value of exercise because the more sedentary we get, the less efficient our bodies become in responding to stress. Must we exercise at the 90 percent heart-rate level required for an Orangeeory or HIIT (high-intensity interval training) class? Is that the only way to benefit from exercise? As perfectionists, lawyers naturally think that we begin (everything) somewhere near everyone else's finish line, but it's just not true. Any movement at all can help save your life. Just persevere, no matter how slow the start. THE KEY IS TO START. Scottsdale real estate and tax attorney Stanley Bronstein (who described himself as "a heart attack waiting to happen") wrote about his own journey of life-threatening habits while practicing law – habits which resulted in his weighing 367 pounds. At age 50, Bronstein decided to reinvent himself. It all started by taking a walk. Now six-years later and half of his original weight, Bronstein promotes walking, (not running) for lawyers. Slow walking. Bronstein says "I'm as steady as a snail." e move- ment itself is the key, says Bronstein. Need another reason to exercise? Not only does it make you physically healthier and mentally stronger, it may also stave off brain disorders like Alzheimer's and dementia. In 2014, Finnish scientists published data proving that being physically active during middle-age can prevent the onset of dementia later. e scientists involved in this study sug- gest that leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) performed at least twice a week yielded maximum neuroprotective effects for people across ages, sex, and varying degrees of genetic sus- ceptibility. e cognitive benefits of LTPA in mid-life subjects is that they have a lower risk of developing dementia and Alz- heimer's disease in their old age than those who do not exercise. e cognitive benefits of LTPA in mid-life were most prominent in overweight and obese persons. It can be assumed that most of these individuals led sedentary lives up until then. For a more scientific (and interesting) explanation of how and why exercise makes us smarter, staves off degenerative brain disorders, and causes us to live longer, pick up a copy of "Younger Next Year," 3 or "Younger Next Year for Women," 4 both written by a New York City trial lawyer in his 70s and his cardiologist, who was in his 50s at the time. 5 ey're both great reads and will inspire you to look at your body, your longevity, and your quality of life in a completely new way. And they will make you want to move. Are you "fit" to practice? Physical exercise will improve your phys- ical and mental health in a host of ways. Physical exercise helps reduce the impact of stress on your body, allows you to manage anxiety better, lower your blood pressure, and improves a number of other stress-related psychosomatic symptoms. ere are so many benefits that physical exercise gifts to your legal mind, it may be negligent not to do it. And remember, when it comes to exercise, slow and steady is just fine. Eckhart Tolle said "It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living." You work hard for your clients and your families. Work hard for yourself, too. Don't wait to take care of your physical and mental health "when things lighten up" or when "they get easier." It doesn't lighten up or get easier. It only gets different. Most of our work stressors today will be our same stressors tomorrow, but we can learn to manage them better. We must begin to live in the now, and take care of these amazing vessels (our bodies and brains) that have served us so well thus far.

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