Tips for teachers to stay active

It can be understandably difficult for teachers to fit exercise and activity into their busy schedules. Once all the lesson plans are put together and homework has been marked, it’s not easy to make the time to get moving. Plus, when it comes to provinces like Alberta, the weather can put you into hibernation mode rather than inspiring you to be active. But getting regular exercise is one of the keys to staying healthy, which will help you be more alert and energetic in the classroom – and your students will appreciate the positive example!

If you’re still finding it tough to get motivated into movement, here are a few suggestions for staying active when you’re a teacher:

Get up early

This can be a tough task for a lot of teachers, especially the mornings after late nights spent marking papers. Setting the alarm clock for earlier than necessary might feel like a pain, but for a lot of teachers the morning hours can be your only chance at free time.

An anonymous teacher interviewed by The Guardian swears that it gets easier as it becomes a habit, but if you accidentally sleep in, you should at least try to get in some sit-ups or 10 minutes of jumping rope. It’s all about getting your heart pumping right away – no matter how tired you are, it’ll definitely wake you up and get you ready for the day!

Consider an active commute

You’re already sitting down a lot while you’re at your desk, but your work day may also start by sitting in a car or public transit to get to school. If this is the case, you might want to try jogging or cycling to school if you’re able to. Beginning the day with a burst of energy that doubles as a cost-effective (and healthy) way to get to work, and as Impact Teachers notes, you don’t have to commit to it every single day – even once or twice a week is a good start.

Additionally, the Teach.com blog recommends that you bring along a change of clothes if you’re worried about looking sweaty, and don’t be embarrassed if the students see you getting physical on your commute – it sets a good example for them to be active.

Join a rec league

Teachers need more social company than just speaking with their students all day – so why not join a recreational sports league? In the summer months, it’s easy to find a community baseball league that competes for fun, and beer hockey leagues are a winter constant in Alberta. The Guardian piece also suggests joining a pay-as-you-go running club that can offer more flexibility around a teacher’s schedule. If you can find a rec league that works with schedule (most of them are in the evenings after work), it’s worth signing up – many of them are either cheap or free of cost to join.

As with an active commute, this requires a little more organization – packing some healthy snacks for energy, setting out a change of clothes and any equipment you might need – but you’ll be glad for it later when you’re getting a dose of both exercise and social activity.

Work out at home

If a rec league isn’t for you, you should look to find an at-home exercise program that’s going to suit your schedule (in other words, something that isn’t tied to a gym’s opening hours). Fortunately, there are plenty of websites and digital apps that offer exercise plans that you can do at home with minimal equipment (think yoga balls, resistance bands, and so on). Impact Teachers has got a list of YouTube videos featuring quick routines that can be done anywhere and any time of day.

In short, even though it can be a challenge for teachers to make time for exercise, it’s essential in order to stay healthy and full of energy for long days in the classroom. It doesn’t even require long training sessions in the gym – sometimes just a brisk walk on your lunch hour or carving out 15 minutes in the morning is all you need. Figure out what works for you and your schedule – every little bit counts!

Sonnet is not affiliated with Impact Teachers or Teach.com.
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