What is fitness? To me, fitness encompasses the mind, body and spirit. These three elements can work with and against one another. If you achieve a balanced level of physical fitness, you will in turn positively affect your mental and emotional health. Similarly, you will likely experience a regression in your mental and emotional health if you allow yourself to become physically unfit. John Ratey, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School and author of the book “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” states: “Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning.”
I believe most attorneys have a “control gene.” That is, most of us like to have control over our cases, the deals that we’re handling, the research project we’re tackling and really most aspects of our life—it’s part of our DNA! Your health is one of the most significant factors that determines the quality of your life. Unlike a lot of other things in your life, you have the unique ability to affect and control your overall fitness.
What are some of the benefits of exercise? It has been shown, by the Mayo Clinic and many others, that a person who regularly exercises has an improved mood, increased confidence and self-esteem, more energy, is better able to focus on tasks, has healthier sleep patterns and is better able to control his or her weight and fight off illnesses and diseases. It is easy to convince yourself that you don’t have time to exercise; however, I assure you that all of the things that are seemingly preventing you from taking care of yourself will actually benefit from your focusing on your own health and fitness. For example, if you feel better about yourself, you’ll be able to concentrate more at work, have more energy to devote to family and friends and will be a healthier and happier person overall.
Given all of these benefits, why not start now? Consider participating in the DBA Fitness Challenge. Since becoming the president of the DBA, Dan McCune has focused on improving health and fitness within our profession. He has established several programs to help members promote fitness, including free yoga, spinning CLE’s, nutrition classes and the DBA Health Fair. As part of these efforts, we have also created a Fitness Challenge for members to come together and train and complete one or more of the following activities:
- Sean May Memorial Run (Date: May 17, Distance: 5k and 9 mile).
- Colfax Marathon, 1/2 Marathon and Relay with DBA YLD and The Legal Center (Date: May 18).
- Courage Classic Bike Ride with the Wheels of Justice team (Date: July 19-21, Distance: 119-155 miles).
- Climb a 14er.
- Walk an average of 10,000 steps per day, five days per week.
- Engage in a minimum of three hours of physical activity per week.
Studies have shown that having a goal to work toward and others to train with are great motivational tools for people to improve their fitness. It is also important to find an activity that is enjoyable for you. Not everyone wants to train for a marathon or a 100-mile bike race, which is why our Fitness Challenge is designed to offer something for everyone. We will hold group training sessions, which will allow you to train with and meet others who share your interests and are similarly committed to improving their fitness. It’s not about how far or fast you go, it’s simply about keeping your mind, body and spirit active and fit. Please visit our website fittopracticedba.org and sign-up for the DBA Fitness Challenge.
By Lucia Padilla, who Co-chairs the Wellness Committee and sits on the Denver Bar Association Board of Trustees. She is the Assistant General Counsel for Denver Health Hospital.