Teacher Fitness Tips

Janelle Cox
Janelle Cox
M.S. in Education
A woman in workout attire stretching before a run outside.

Whether you’re in the classroom or teaching distant learning classes from home, your days are busy. The thought of squeezing in time for fitness may seem daunting, but as you know it’s highly recommended for both your body and your mind. Here are some teacher fitness tips to help you adopt a fitness routine into your busy day.

Schedule Your Fitness Like You Would any Appointment

According to the New York Post, a survey conducted by the fitness app Freeletics found that the most sited reason Americans don’t work out is they are too busy. While everyone can find a reason to justify why they should skip a workout, the fact doesn’t change that you shouldn’t. The number one best teacher fitness tip you will ever hear is to schedule your fitness into your calendar like you would any other appointment. The reason that this works so well is because it keeps you accountable. If you made an appointment for your annual physical at the doctor’s, would you skip it? Most likely not. Think of scheduling your fitness routine just like you would a teacher’s conference or meeting that you must stick to. When you know a busy day is coming up, schedule your workout by writing it in your calendar or appointment book.

Try a Variety of Exercises

Finding an exercise that you like may take some time, but when you find something that you enjoy doing, you are more likely to do it. The last thing that you want to do is force yourself to do a workout that you absolutely hate. Take the time to try a variety of different workouts in a variety of different platforms. For example, I like to switch up my exercise routine every day depending on how much energy and time I have available. Somedays I do free HIIT workouts that are on IGTV on Instagram, other days I do an on-demand trampoline workout that I pay a monthly subscription for, and for the days I need some fresh air, I’ll take a walk.

It’s also important try a variety of exercise platforms. For example, if you find out that jogging outside isn’t your thing, try jogging on a treadmill. Or if working out in a gym doesn’t appeal to you, then try an on-demand workout from the comfort of your home. Take the time to find a routine that you enjoy and works for you.

Wear a Fitness Tracker

If you’re like many busy teachers, you don’t always have the time to get a workout in. Wearing a fitness tracker like the Fitbit or an Apple Watch can help you keep track of your daily steps. Fitness trackers are a great way to get your recommended 10,000 steps a day without even exercising. If you’re moving around or pacing throughout the day, you’ll be able to reach your goal. Also, fitness trackers remind you when to stand and when to keep moving, so if you’re sedentary at any point throughout the day, your tracker will remind to get up and get moving.

Exercise Your Brain

Your brain is a powerful tool, and like your body needs exercise, your brain does too. Experts have found that mindful mediation is a great way to exercise and nurture your brain. It not only helps to reduce stress and anxiety, but it also helps you focus, as well as boost your memory. You can download apps such as Headspace and Simple Habit to help calm your mind and nerves. Mindfulness (learning to be in the present moment) and mediation (breathing deeply) are great ways to start and end your day or to use when you have a quick break during the school hours.

Get Enough Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep at night? Experts suggest that you should get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If you’re not getting the recommended hours of sleep, then it’ll be hard to function at your best. To ensure that you’re running at your optimal best, you need a minimum of seven hours of sleep a night. Are you wondering what sleep has to do with your fitness? Good quality sleep helps your body recover and repair muscles after a workout. If you’re going to put the time in at the gym, then you better also be getting enough sleep at night.

Be Efficient

You can get the most out of your workouts by being efficient. Your goal is to get 100 percent out of every workout you do. Workouts like HIIT (high intensity interval training), body weight exercises, walking, or jogging are all good choices that get the job done. Find a workout that is quick, efficient, and can be done from anywhere at anytime. This way if you have a few minutes to spare before or after lunch, a teachers’ meeting, or during prep-time, then you can get a quick workout in. Find moves that get your heartrate up; think jump squats, mountain climbers, or burpees. Any workout that will accomplish a physical gain in a really short period of time is what you are aiming to accomplish.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution that will work for every educator. Some teachers may opt to wake up before school to get a workout in, while others will choose to wear a fitness tracker or workout at night. The main goal for every educator is to eat healthy and stay active. As long as you are taking the time for self-care, you are investing your health and wellness.

 

*Updated August, 2020
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