Active Body Means Active Mind: Fitness Tips for Teachers
Teacher’s jobs can be rewarding and interesting, but can also be full of stress, anxiety and long hours. You may have plenty of opportunities to exercise your brain, but being on the spot at eight o'clock and having lots of reasons to stay in school late or do some extra work leave little time to take care of your physical fitness. You cannot just let it slide and say that you get enough exercise straining your brain – many studies are placing a direct connections between physical fitness and brain health.
In other words, if you want your mind to be in proper condition to handle all the challenges your school career throws at you, you should take measures to stay fit– and we will show you how.
Be Active At School:
If you have to spend a lot of time at school with your students, why not make this time count? Get involved in as many active parts of school life as possible: it may be extracurricular activities, trips, hikes, sport events and more. You will be not just in a better physical condition but establish new bonds with your students as well.
Establish a Home Workout Program:
Taking care of your body doesn’t necessarily have to involve a costly and hard-to-manage gym subscription. If you don’t have the time or opportunity to go to another part of town for a training session or can already be sure that your schedule is too uneven to accommodate three evenly spaced such visits a week, you should take matters in your own hands and arrange a suitable home workout program. Thus, you will be able to take into account your specific conditions and keep yourself fit without disrupting your timetable.
Teach yourself to Get up Early:
Those who already have to get up early and suffer terribly from it often find that moving their rising time even earlier does wonders to their productivity and fitness. It may sound paradoxical, but if you currently feel worn out due to lack of sleep and apathetic throughout the day, try getting up before 6 o'clock and doing exercises (e.g., jogging or swimming). It will teach you to go to bed earlier, force you to get active physically and get lots of sunshine first thing in the morning and improve your overall energy levels.
Introduce Physical Activity into Your Commute:
You have to go to the job every day, so why not make it more useful? Some teachers (and many others) solve the problem of finding time for exercise by jogging or cycling to school every day. Don’t be afraid of looking undignified – on the contrary, such activity demonstrates your resolve and force of character, let alone sets an excellent example for students to follow.
Introduce Short Bursts of Activity into Your Routine
Some studies show that a short burst of highly strenuous physical activity (e.g., as short as 60 seconds) can prove to be as successful at improving fitness and health as 45 minutes of moderately paced exercise. What it accounts to is that you don't have to set aside huge chunks of your time to keep yourself fit – a minute or two interspersed throughout your day now and then can do just as much, as long as you do it right.
Fitness and physical activity are important for teachers not just due to obvious reasons (health, quality of life, etc.) but also because you serve as an example for the younger generation. And showing adherence to a healthy lifestyle is exactly what we need in this age of widespread obesity and heart disease.
David Gutierrez is a web designer and education enthusiast. In 2012, he founded a creative design agency, which supported a campaign for the implementation of IT in Middle School in New Jersey in 2014-2016.