During days full of busy lesson plans, grading papers and administrative tasks, squeezing in even 30 minutes of time devoted to fitness can be difficult, for even the most organized educator. But finding the time to squeeze in some exercise each day is highly integral for both the mind and the body.
Here are some suggestions on how teachers can adopt a fitness program, both in the classroom and after or before school.
Go for a Walk
Walking is humanity’s oldest form of exercise, and it can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. Slip on your tennis shoes and walk the halls before school or after the final bell. Walking is tremendously efficient exercise – witness the popularity of fit watches and the like that measure your every step.
Take Brain Breaks
Many educators believe in the power of using brain breaks to split up their lessons with quick bursts of calisthenics or even dancing. Join in on the brain breaks you give your class – it’s good for your mind and your body.
Join a Gym/Teacher Discounts
Many gym chains around the country, like Anytime Fitness, offer membership discounts to veterans, police officers, EMTs, and teachers. It’s a great perk to enjoy while you work off your frustrations from the classroom. Offers differ from gym to gym and from location to location, so be sure to inquire.
Coach a School Team
Your school is probably perpetually looking for help with sports teams, so ask your administrative office if the cross country or volleyball teams need some extra help. Then train alongside your team. A brisk run through the fields with your cross country team is not only good for your own health, it’s a great team-bonding task!
Yoga, the ancient system of techniques and guidance for enriched living and mindfulness, is a great practice that clears the mind and relieves stress. There’s probably a Yoga studio near your home or school, so give it a try.
Find an Exercise Buddy
Your school is likely full of individuals wishing they had the chance to work out. Why not find an exercise accountability partner at your school to help you stick to your fitness resolutions? You’ll motivate each other to keep at it, and you can use each other for weight training spotters, running buddies, and walk partners.
Beyond the Activities
Beyond fitness activities, there are several other ways that teachers can make sure their exercise regimens are working.
Get Enough Sleep
Poor sleep is directly related to weight gain, and the wellness website Healthline calls it one of the pillars of health. A lack of sleep also affects your emotions and can combat inflammation. How much sleep is enough? Needs vary from person to person, but adults from ages 28 to 64 need between seven and nine hours each night.
Stick to a Routine
Once you do find an exercise you like, stick to it and make it part of your weekly routine. It takes approximately 66 days to develop a new habit, so stick to your new routine for around two months. After that timeframe, your exercise regimen will be a regular part of your daily calendar.