Research has proven time and time again that people who take part in regular physical exercise have greater energy levels, a more positive outlook on life and the ability to cope better with stress.
Being fit also helps as a preventative against health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.
Teachers tend to put their needs last, well behind the demands of school and home, and their health can suffer as a consequence.
Teachers, you have to stop talking yourself out of your exercise time. “I have marking to do, weekly plans to write, assignments to organise, and don’t even mention report time!”. STOP! Plan ahead and allocate yourself some time to exercise each week. Make an appointment in your diary for ‘exercise time’ and just like any other appointment – respect it.
During the working week your time to exercise is before school or after school – find what suits you best. Remember all activity helps – don’t overlook opportunities during the day. Children training for the cross country – join in, even if it’s just for one lap walking! Playing softball or cricket – join in one of the teams during sport. Walking around the classroom will burn twice as many calories as sitting in your chair. Walk more during duty time, take the long route and increase the pace.
What about starting a Health & Fitness Programme at your school?
- Find other teachers who are keen to get fit and healthy.
- Get your principal on board, either as a participant or supporter.
- Discuss what forms of exercise you all like/dislike. (Variety is the spice of life! Make sure to mix it up: jogging, walking, circuit training, a game of basketball/netball).
- What facilities are at the school that could be used? (Balls, skipping ropes, hoola hoops; a circuit can be developed using the equipment).
- Decide on the days and times for your sessions. You are more likely to commit and stick with it when you know others are waiting for you.
- Swap healthy recipes for snack ideas, lunches and quick to prepare evening meals.
To become a healthy and energetic teacher who can cope with the demands of the job, exercise will help if you are willing to find the time!