Educators and Exercise

As a teacher, my days are packed full. From the moment I walk into the door of my classroom to the moment I leave, I’m going full-tilt nonstop working. 

I’m on my feet most of the day. I’m moving about my room working with students. And many days, by the time I get home, I feel like I have run a marathon. Mentally, I’m drained and physically I feel worn out. The last thing that I want to do is exercise. I want to sit on the couch and relax. 

But I’ve come to understand more and more the importance of exercise, especially in our field of work. 

The teaching profession is certainly not an isolated case, but it’s extremely important that as teachers we find some type of exercise routine that works for us. No matter what excuses we might come up with, a regular exercise routine has several benefits to balance out our hectic jobs.

Focus on Self-care

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I think a lot of teachers even feel guilty for wanting to take time for themselves instead of finishing work.

As teachers, we have the tendency to overlook ourselves. We spend our entire day caring for others, helping others, teaching others. Our whole job is centered around other people, and it’s very easy to neglect ourselves in this way. I think a lot of teachers even feel guilty for wanting to take time for themselves instead of finishing work.

Exercise is nothing more than basic self-care. You have to make sure you take time to focus on yourself, and having a regular exercise routine helps you to unplug from the job for a while and get a little me time. It’s good for you to forget about work for a while.

Reduce stress

Our jobs are full of stress. There’s the obvious pressure of performing and making sure that all of our students are ready for those dreaded end-of-the-year tests, but there’s more to it than that. 

When we’re dealing with students on a daily basis, there’s emotional stress that comes along with the job. From dealing with those difficult students who really take it out of you to learning about some of the terrible situations that some of our students live in, this job can be emotionally stressful. Finding a good exercise is a really great way of relieving some of that tension and alleviating that emotional stress that we experience. 

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Improved Health

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Let’s face it, as educators many of us are not healthy. We eat on the go (if we eat at all), and a lot of us don’t really take care of ourselves physically. This past year has really revealed this truth to me. I have been at the heaviest weight of my lifetime, and even though things were good, I felt bad physically. It was time to make a few changes to really fix my health. 

My wife and I started intermittent fasting, which has helped me with my food consumption. I started going for walks in my neighborhood, which helped me get outside and get some fresh air, get away from everything, and get some good exercise. We also joined the Peloton troop, which has been a great source of accountability for me. 

With all of that combined, I’ve not only started losing weight, but also feel better both physically and mentally. 

If you don’t have a regular exercise routine, I would encourage you to find something that works for you. Maybe it’s walking. Maybe it’s running, biking, swimming laps, lifting weights. Whatever it is, find something. It’s not just for your physical health, it’s for you mental health as well. 

Those papers can wait. Lesson plans can wait. Take care of yourself. Because if you don’t, you’re no good to your students.

Those papers can wait. Lesson plans can wait. Take care of yourself. Because if you don’t, you’re no good to your students.

So lace up those sneaker, roll out that yoga mat, or load up those weights. Make it happen today.

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Got a favorite workout routine? Share it in the comments section.

Published by Lee Tucker

Lee Tucker is a high school English teacher who not only teaches literature and writing but also creates it himself. Lee is a huge fan of fantasy and science fiction, video games, comic books, and all things nerdy.

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