Are You Fit for the Bench?

Often judges spend a lot of time solving other people’s problems, at the expense of their own.  Struggling with personal matters can affect your quality of life and your decision making on the bench.

Add this stress and excitement in the festive month of December, a time for overeating and ultimately an arduous attempt to reset your goals for 2016.

The holiday season can increase your risk for health problems, especially combined with a profession that leaves you sitting at a desk most of the day, dealing with high amounts of responsibility as well as stress.

Below we offer five quick tips to help you counter some of those problems. For an in-depth discussion from experts in nutrition, fitness and mental health, join our special webcast on January 12, 2016, where you can brainstorm solutions with fellow judges who have a similar lifestyle.

  • Just Breathe. Judges have a heavy stress load because of job demands, the restrictions that ethics places on their families’ lifestyles and the sedentary nature of their work. When a moment of high stress occurs a number of bodily reactions happen in about 45 seconds including: stomach shutting down, sweat, tightened muscles, blood pressure increasing, clotting chemicals in the blood, an increased breath rate and dilated pupils. The results of a stressful moment can stay with your body for as much as five hours. To counter this experts recommend exercise, nutrition, mental wellness. However, breath control can curb some of the immediate effects and ease physical tension. Inhale through your nose, slow and deep and count slowly to three. Exhale through pursed lips and count slowly to three. If you have time, experts also recommend 15 minutes of mediation or keeping a regular journal to help you plan your life road map and calm and organize your thoughts.
  • Catch your Z’s. You’ve likely heard this tip before. But in a high demand job that depends on accurate details, you’ll need every ounce of your attention capacity. Experts at the National Sleep Institute recommend seven to nine hours of sleep per night for most adults. Several nights of losing some sleep — even just losing one to two hours per night — hampers your ability to function as if you haven’t slept at all for a day or two, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
  • Get moving. Experts recommend five minutes of standing for every thirty minutes of sitting, stretching while you do this is an added benefit, according to the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. The movement prevents tissue breakdown that can occur after long periods of sitting. Using devices that track movement, such as a FitBit, can help you increase your steps every day and serve as a constant reminder. Fitness experts also say you can take a mini break for a stationary jog or try leg raises. While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds. Then, lower the leg back to the ground without letting the feet touch the floor. Repeat this 15 times.
  • Handle aging and memory loss. As you reach the pinnacle of your career, you also are likely dealing with issues that come with an aging body and mind. The MacCarthur Foundation study on aging predicts strong mental function at an old age if the person has regular physical activity, strong social support and a strong belief in the ability to be able to handle what life has to offer. One quick tip from Prevention Magazine is to keep eating that apple a day. Apples offer a dose of antioxidants that raise levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that’s essential to memory.
  • Take your B-12. So you are eating a healthy breakfast, making time to take a lunch break, sticking to your food groups and choosing nutrient dense foods, but if you older than age 50, you can’t forget one key component: taking Vitamin B-12. As you age, the body has trouble absorbing Vitamin B-12 from regular foods. Vitamin B-12 plays a role in red blood cell formation, nerve function and bone health. B-12 deficiency can cause tingling or prickly feelings in the legs or hands, difficulty walking, forgetfulness, weakness, changes in personality and anemia, according the Mayo Clinic.

Webcast: Staying Fit on the Bench

Sign up today for the January 12, 2016 fitness webcast from 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. EST (noon to 1:15 p.m. PST). Take charge of your health in 2016 with this program designed to teach you to handle stress, eat better, and replace body fat with muscle.

Learn from fitness and nutrition industry professionals about how to live life to the fullest while sitting on the bench. Experts in this course include:

  • Steven Haymon holds a B.A. degree in Education, M.S.W. in social work, and an Ed.D degree in Educational Psychology. For more than 40 years, Haymon has counseled patients with childhood disorders, dysfunctional families, veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and patients with chemical dependency. He completed Christian educational training at Bethesda Temple Bible Institute and is a member of Bethesda Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith in St. Louis. Haymon has authored several books dealing with stress.
  • Suzanne Doerries, RD, LD, CPT, holds a B.S. degree in Medical Dietetics. Doerries is a registered dietitian, and is certified in Training in Weight Management, and Functional Movements Systems Screening. She is a dietitian and personal trainer at Forward Fitness in Rock Hill, Missouri.
  • Kevin O’Leary holds a B.A. degree in Arts in Communication. He is a certified personal fitness trainer with The National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA). O’Leary specializes in heart rate performance, core training, and sports injuries. He develops fitness programs for individuals, groups and children through I AM Training/St. Louis Wellness and Personal Fitness. O’Leary coaches youth soccer teams. He holds a United States Soccer Federation National Grade “C” coaching license.
  • Suzette Carlisle is an Administrative Law Judge for the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation in St. Louis and serves as moderator for the fitness program. She holds a law degree and a masters’ degree in judicial studies from the University of Nevada – Reno (UNR). Judge Carlisle is currently a doctoral student in the judicial studies program at UNR.

The course costs $59. Learn more and register for the course here.

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