By Teachers, For Teachers
Finding time for fitness when you’re working all day long in the teaching profession and have to come home to a family can prove to be quite difficult. Squeezing in time in the morning means you’ll have to wake up early, while fitting it in after school means you’ll miss out on quality time with your family. If you’re like most busy people in the teaching profession, then both of these options are probably out of the question. Luckily, no matter how busy you are in the teaching profession, you can fit exercise into your day. Here’s how.
The most-cited reason to skip a workout from people is that they are too busy. However, no matter how busy you are, if you schedule a workout in, just like you would a teacher’s conference or a meeting, then you will have to stick to it. Think of it as any other appointment that you have to keep. If you made an appointment for the doctor to get a checkup, you would never think of missing it, would you? The same goes for your fitness. When you know a busy day is coming up, then schedule your workout in. You must think of this scheduled workout the same as your doctor’s appointment -- it’s for your health.
Many busy teachers like to wear a Fitbit or an Apple watch to help them keep track of their daily steps. These activity trackers are a great way to get to your 10,000 steps a day without even exercising. As long as you’re moving around or pacing throughout the entire day, you’ll be able to reach your goal. One of the great things about these fitness trackers is that they remind you when to stand and when to keep moving. So if you are sedentary at any point throughout your busy day, the tracker will remind you to get up and get moving.
Find a workout that doesn’t require any equipment or preparation. Workouts like HIIT (high-intensity interval training) body weight exercises, walking, or jogging are all great choices and get the job done. Your goal is to find a workout that is quick, efficient, and can be done from anywhere. This way, if you have a few minutes to spare after lunch, a teachers’ meeting, or prep time, then you can get a quick workout in: A quick, five-minute workout where you get your heart rate up (jump squats, mountain climbers, burpees, etc.). Any workout that will accomplish a physical gain in a really short period of time is what you are aiming for.
Yes, it’s totally possible to get a workout in at your desk. There are even specific desk exercises that you can do. If you’re afraid your students will think you look crazy, then make the students do the exercises at their desks too. From toning your arms to your abs, you can get that workout in even on your busiest of days right at your teacher’s desk.
The last thing that you want to do is force yourself to do a workout that you absolutely hate. Find something that you actually enjoying doing, and you’ll find that you’ll make time for it even on a busy day. From running marathons to Pilates, as long as you experiment and find an exercise that you like to do, then you’ll be more apt to do it.
A little competition among colleagues can be a great motivator to get you up and moving. If any of your colleagues have a fitness tracker, you can challenge them to a competition. The person with the most steps or who burned the most calories wins. You may even find that on a busy day you’ll make the time for fitness because your competitive spirit wants to win.
Overall, your goal is to squeeze in movement anytime that you can. If you have five minutes before the students are coming back from lunch, then use it for fitness. If you have nothing planned for the transition between gym and math, then give the students a brain break where they are up and moving and make sure you join them. As long as you keep on moving you will be healthy and fit.
What are your teacher fitness tips? Do you have any that work well for you on busy days in the teaching profession? Please share with us in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you on this topic.
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 @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.