Most law students begin their academic career sitting down to review their law school applications. Then when first year begins, the students are herded into classrooms to sit and listen to lectures. To prepare for those lectures and exams, they sit for long hours studying and taking practice exams. But the lack of physical activity creates a very sedentary life that can trigger depression and heighten anxiety which can ultimately sabotage their success.
According to World Health Organization, individuals who are “insufficiently physically active” suffer a 20-30% risk of mortality compared to people who are moderately active for at least 150 minutes a week. Regular physical activity lowers the risk of stroke, hypertension, and depression.
To remedy the problems of a sedentary lifestyle, students should incorporate daily exercise and a balanced diet to ensure longevity in a demanding and stressful legal career. Finding the time to take good care of ourselves while chasing those grades may seem impossible.
Arlette Scott, 3L honor student at TJSL, says this balance is possible! But instead of finding the time, she makes time for self-care by planning her healthy meals ahead of time and participating in fun, physical activities. “Everyone makes time to do the things they want to do. Diet and exercise should be a priority.”
Although Arlette juggles a full schedule working at Webb & Bordson, APC, attending classes full-time, studying, doing homework, and managing a coaching business, she balances her work life with lots of fun exercise: running, hiking, bike riding, and swimming. In addition to the exercise, she prepares her meals at home to avoid the temptation of quick fix junk food. The combination of daily endorphins and proper nutrition ensure longevity in her demanding schedule and stressful coursework.
A month ago, I sought out Arlette’s advice because I wanted to adopt her balance of health and legal studies. Since she is an effective Beachbody coach, she pushed me to jog in the mornings and revamp my diet to include fresh fruits and vegetables. I already see the benefits: 1) endorphins elevate my mood; 2) exercise relieves my stress; and 3) proper nutrition strengthens my level of concentration.
I see from Arlette’s example that we do not have to be an exception to the rule in balancing health, fitness, and student life. Arlette says that, “Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day.” If others can make time for self-care, then so can you and I.