Teaching has a dynamism all of its own. It continually drives forward. It pushes doors open for students. It strives to be the best at all times.
But can the same be said for teachers’ fitness levels? After all, it’s not always easy to find the time or space to work out. The good news is you can easily add movement into your working day.
Here are 4 simple ways to keep fit in teaching.
Teaching isn’t about being a desk jockey. As well as the classroom and school grounds, there are field trips that open up spaces for exercise.
However your immediate workspace can make the perfect private gym. Primary school teachers can lead youngsters in exercises such as running on the spot and stretching.
Secondary school teachers can use slightly more subtle exercises. These include shoulder shrugs and sitting back extensions. Even a quick stretch, with your hands linked above your head, can stop back muscles cramping or turning flabby.
Circling your ankles is an easy way to keep your blood circulating.
Add these small yet important movements into your working day and it isn’t only your body that will benefit. There’s evidence exercise boosts brain power. And who doesn’t want to feel sharp and alert at the end of a school day?
Take a walk
Walking offers many health benefits. It builds muscle tone and stronger bones. It’s known to help heart health. It supports the immune system. It even inspires better moods.
It is also one of the easiest and most accessible forms of exercise for teachers. Some walk the halls and climb stairs before students arrive. You can also walk a few laps around the building or school grounds. At lunch time why not venture further afield into a local park? Walking in green spaces is known to have added mental health benefits.
Wherever you do it, you’ll find walking can quickly clear the head and energise you for your next class.
Ditch the junk food in favour of nutrient-laden goodies. There’s a reason apples are a favourite with teachers!
Healthy eating is known to boost our physical and mental energy and give day-long stamina for the classroom.
Avoid bad habits such as skipping breakfast then relying on double espressos just to stay awake.
Instead, eat regularly from breakfast and lunch right through to a mid-afternoon healthy snack.
The power chill
Staying fit isn’t all about exercise. Getting enough rest is equally important.
Power napping has long been a favourite way of taking a brief break. Albert Einstein was known to take time out from classes to enjoy a 20-minute snooze. It’s believed this increases productivity, boosts learning and reduces stress.
The latest way to rejuvenate is take a power chill. For teachers, this can be the perfect way to take time out.
There are various ways power chilling can be woven into your workday but the most important part is getting away from your desk.
Escape to the staffroom or leave the school altogether. A 20-minute walk in the park, some rejuvenating stretching or even a spot of meditation can all do the trick.
The power chill also encourages teachers to work smarter not harder. Enjoying a short intermission from your workday to do something you enjoy – even if it’s a Sudoku puzzle – can feel energising.
Do you exercise in the classroom? Share your ideas for keeping fit as part of your daily school schedule with other teachers on Teacheroo.