By Teachers, For Teachers
With physical education classes being fizzled out among some schools, teachers who incorporate fitness and healthy eating into their lives may find it easy to infuse into their classroom activities as well. Brain breaks or classroom activities and breaks are being implemented into classrooms because research has shown that physical activity readies the brain for learning. Since students spend the majority of their day at school, the classroom is the perfect place to provide students with nutrition education, as well as daily brain breaks to get students up and moving.
A brain break is short mental break given at regular intervals throughout the school day. These breaks usually last about five minutes and incorporate some kind of physical activity. Here are a few brain break activities to try in class.
A fit body means a fit mind. Staying in shape not only will benefit you physically and mentally, but it can also influence your students to want to be fit. So it’s important to not only eat healthy and keep up a regular workout routine, but try and incorporate as many physical activities into your day as you can so your students can also reap the wonderful benefits as well.
Numerous studies show that a mixture of healthy eating and exercise are the key to staying fit. Not only does being in shape inherently afford you more energy and focus, but it also improves your mood and relieves anxiety. As we know, teaching is a stressful job, and any way that teachers can relieve some of the stress will not only benefit themselves, but their students as well.
Teachers are immense role models, and for some students, they are the only role model. When students see that their teacher’s health is a priority, it may encourage them to follow suit. In fact, many studies have shown that children who exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle perform better in the classroom. A medical study reported at the American Heart Association stated that students who remain fit throughout their schooling had a better chance of increased academic achievement.
Most teachers are natural-born leaders and try to set a positive example for others. So why is it that these hard-working, self-motivating people have such a hard time staying fit? Most teachers are anything but lazy, so we can throw that notion out. Educators know what it takes to make an effort. These hard-working individuals go through most of their life with little to no acknowledgment for their efforts, so putting forth any kind of exertion isn’t the problem either. It’s the everyday roadblocks that hinder teachers from staying fit. Think of what a teaching job entails: Grading papers, managing the classroom, meeting with parents, not to mention the hours of researching lesson plans, and activities that correlate with differentiated instruction and the common core. A teacher’s role isn’t just that of instructor; it’s surrogate parent, school counselor, mentor, bookkeeper, role model, and the list goes on. Toss in early mornings, late nights, and cafeteria food, and you will find one exhausted, unhealthy individual.
Let’s face it, with a teacher’s salary, you are not going to find a lot of teachers with a personal trainer or a gym membership. We’ve already established how busy teachers are, so a teacher looking to stay fit would need to find a program or guide that would fit into their busy schedule. According to Fitness Magazine, there are ways you can sneak in a workout with a busy schedule. Here are a few.
With a teacher’s busy schedule, they rarely get the chance to sit down for a healthy meal. Instead, they find themselves turning to an unhealthy “Grab-and-go” snack. Eating on the run doesn’t have to be unhealthy. There are a few ways that busy people can eat healthy and stay fit. Here are a few suggestions.
How do you stay fit during the busy work week? Do you try and fit exercise into your classroom activities? Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments about this topic in the comment section below.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.