7 ways you boost your career by getting fit
We're all about shaking things up. About embracing your lifestyle, Beyond Billables. Finding what makes you tick and what keeps you healthy - and doing more of those things.
Did you set a New Year's resolution to join a gym, only to leave your membership card to gather dust? Has your plan to drink green smoothies do yoga every day vanished? Did you bump exercise down your list of priorities as soon as work picked up the pressure? We've been there. Looking after your health has the obvious benefits - you'll lose weight and look good. Awesome, but what if I already have the body of a Victoria's Secret model? Well, looking after your health and wellbeing can make a real difference to your legal career too.
You'll be a happier lawyer
Exercise produces chemicals called endorphins and endorphins make you happy. Dreading going to work each day? Consider adding exercise to your morning routine. Struggling through a rough patch at work or at home? Smashing out some weights or doing some hill sprints can squash the anxiety.
Exercise doesn't have to be a big, scary activity, exclusive to an elite few - it can be as simple as a walk around the block with a podcast in your ears. Or it can be as challenging as a HIIT class. The key ingredient in making exercise a habit is discovering an activity that you love to do. One that makes you leap out of bed in the morning, because you're that excited.
You'll deal with stress better
Exercise is a great tool for dealing with stress. Endorphins don't only make you smile, they also help to calm the farm in a big way. Endorphins improve your threshold for dealing with stressful situations. This means you'll stay somewhat sane when deadlines are tight - and you'll become a far nicer person to work with.
If you rely on the office chocolate stash as soon as the going gets tough, try going cold turkey. Cutting out sugar makes you less anxious, less jittery and much more even-tempered.
Got a particularly stressful client meeting in the afternoon? Do a quick lunchtime workout to clear your head. You'll make better decisions when you have the evil stress-monster under control.
You'll sleep better
Regular exercise and nourishing food will have you snoring away in no time. This is partly due to the nutrients in real, unprocessed food, and partly due to endorphins. Someone should bottle endorphins to sell on the black market; they are that great. You will fall into more consistent sleeping patterns as soon as you stop relying on refined sugar and caffeine to keep you ticking along. Sign us up!
You'll take less sick leave
The fitter you are, the better your body is at fighting off infections. This means less sick leave, which means less playing catch-up at work. Research has found the fitter you are, the less likely you are to suffer from colds and flu in the winter months. If you're the only person well enough to work when the office flu does the rounds, it certainly won't hurt your career!
You'll think clearer
Do you suffer from brain fog before you've had your morning coffee? Or straight after you've eaten lunch? A morning or lunchtime workout can wake you up and have you thinking clearer throughout the day. Making healthier food choices will also help fight the brain fog. A nourishing breakfast with a good balance of protein, fats and carbs will set you off on the right foot for the day. Same goes for lunch - choose a low GI meal and enjoy the freedom from that dreaded afternoon slump.
What makes up a low GI meal? Well, if it is full of refined carbohydrates or sugar, then chances are that it's high GI. Sushi rolls are one example. Sandwiches on white bread are another. Pick real, unprocessed food instead. Salmon sashimi, baked sweet potato and steak are all healthy choices that don't involve eating cardboard.
You'll have more energy
While your colleagues stare blankly at their screens and reach for a caffeine hit, you'll be alert. You will be wide awake and feel sharp. When you cut out processed food and refined sugar, your energy levels even out and you break the non-stop cycle of sugar highs and crashes throughout the day. This means you'll feel less “wired but tired” and more bursting with energy.
You'll be more productive
When you're happy, healthy, calm and full of energy you will become a far more productive lawyer. You'll get more work done, in less time. That's a big tick in your favour next time you're pushing for a promotion.
You're probably thinking - how am I going to fit exercise and healthy eating into my already jam-packed day?! That's a poor excuse for not keeping fit and healthy. We're lucky these days that there is a myriad of apps, fitness ebooks and HIIT classes at our fingertips. You can get the benefits of a full-length workout in as little as 10 minutes. Too busy to cook? Not a problem; one of the many healthy meal delivery services will drop your lunch off for you.
If you're still sceptical about the health and wellness thing, we challenge you to try it for a week. 7 days, that's all. If you hate it, you can go back to doing whatever it was that kept you happy. If you love it, well, you can drop us a line and say thanks.