January is almost over and if you’re like me those New Year’s Resolutions to workout more are quickly disappearing. So, I thought today I would write about a few ways to get to that workout during a busy school week.
1.) Try getting up 30 minutes early. This one is difficult for me, because I LOVE to hit the snooze button. But, when I do succeed to get up early and do a quick workout before work, the entire rest of the day runs better. I have more energy and I’m much more alert. Plus, I get to take a shower after my workout and end up feeling much more refreshed.
2.) Park 20 minutes away from your school. If you can get up early, but don’t love to spend that time doing an aerobics video or crunches, leave for work early but park farther away from your school. I tend to park in a grocery store parking lot or somewhere else where I feel my car will be okay during the day. Then, walk or jog the rest of the distance to work. The bonus to this technique is that you will have the same walk or jog at the end of the day, doubling your workout by default!
3.) Start out your day with number aerobics. Get your kids in the act! When I taught first grade, we started out each day with number aerobics. The kids worked on counting and groups of ten while getting their giggles out and waking up. Meanwhile, I did all of the motions with them and raised my heartbeat a bit each morning. Feel free to download my number aerobics poster for free from Google Docs.
4.) Use aerobics or yoga for brain breaks. Kids stop and stretch or stomp to get their brains going, but do you? Join in on those brain breaks and reap some of the workout benefits from it. Some of my favorite brain breaks are 2 minutes worth of jumping jacks or seeing who can hold down dog or plank the longest. Kids get some exercise and a bit of a break and guess what, so do you!
5.) Play tag with the kids at recess. I truly don’t know how kids play tag non-stop every day at recess. However, I do know that running around with them gets my heartbeat up and builds my stamina. I still can’t run for twenty minutes straight like my kids can, but exercise is exercise. The kids also love having an involved teacher so this helps you to build relationships too.
6.) Crunch after lunch. Got a duty free lunch? What does that really mean? For me it was 10 minutes to eat, 5 minutes to go to the bathroom and 10 minutes to socialize or pretend I was going to get some work done. In those final 10 minutes, you could get a lot of crunches in. Take 10 minutes and get in as many different crunches as you can. Find a partner who wants to crunch with you, or just enjoy a quiet, dark classroom to get in a quick 10 minute crunch break.
7.) Do a workout video in your classroom before heading home. There are amazing videos out there to help you get a good workout. Unfortunately, by the time I get home, the last thing I want to do after picking up kids and fighting traffic is start a workout. So instead, take a half an hour to get that exercise out of the way – and increase your energy – as you walk out the door to go to your second job (wife, mother, housemaker, etc.)
8.) Go running with friends directly after school. Don’t like workout videos? Get a friend and go out for a walk, jog or run as soon as your official duties have completed.
9.) Start a school running club. Many kids need exercise as much as we do. Start a running club for kids afterschool and have a great excuse to keep you – and your students – in shape.
10.) Stretch while you cook. Cooking dinner often takes up a bulk of my evening. However, at least half of that time is downtime. You’re waiting for something to boil, bake, brown, etc. While I am waiting, I have taken to doing random yoga and aerobics moves: leg lifts, squats, standing yoga poses, etc. I probably don’t get a full workout, but if I’ve done at least one other thing on this list, this makes me feel like I’ve had a complete workout. It also keeps me from checking work e-mail while I cook, which is what I used to do with that downtime.
Hope some of these tips will help you to meet that New Year’s resolution of staying in shape while also keeping up with your busy life as a teacher (and possibly mother, wife, etc.).