Fit Teachers to Follow

True story:  My first 3 years in a new classroom, I ate a Snickers candy bar from the staff lounge vending machine every day for breakfast.

After feeling a bit jittery on most mornings, I decided maybe that much sugar probably wasn’t in my best interest so I swapped out my morning candy for a Pop-Tart.  I really needed something that was easy to grab once I was already at work because eating as soon as I popped out of bed was something I couldn’t bring myself to do.

Even funnier?  After seeing a local nutritionist from an employee wellness program offered at my school, she told me she would rather see me eat the candy over the Pop-Tart.  I was floored.   {Her reasoning was because the Snickers at least had some protein in the peanuts and far fewer ingredients, while the Pop-Tart was filled with all sorts of chemicals.  So in her opinion, the candy was the less evil of the two evils.}

It really opened my eyes to how I was treating my body and how much energy I *didn’t* have after teaching all day.  At that rate, I was sure to burn out physically and mentally very quickly.

True story:  My first 3 years in a new classroom, I ate a Snickers candy bar from the staff lounge vending machine every day for breakfast...

While some teachers train for 10Ks or marathons, others find that a small workout on a regular basis really helps with stress relief.

Keeping long work hours is a given.  Teacher mental health is already strained.  Those 2 things probably aren’t going to change overnight.  So what can we do?

Taking care of ourselves is a pretty important key.

When a teacher feels mentally and physically strong, he or she is then able to serve students and families better.

The world needs good teachers that are going to be around for a long time to come.

Whether you choose walking a few more steps, yoga, meditation, weight training, eating better, or a combination of all the above, knowing that you are working towards something for you will increase your self-confidence and energy in and of itself.

Small changes daily can build up to a lifetime of benefits.

Better Choices While At School

  • Healthy potlucks:  We all love when the admin brings in donuts on Friday.  But, what if instead everyone chose to bring in soup in a crockpot to share.  A few others bring in salad fixings?  Soup and salad for lunch will keep you sustained a lot longer than the sugary treats.
  • Use a fitness tracker:  Teachers are walking all day every day.  But do you know exactly how many steps you have taken each day?  An inexpensive fitness tracker can help you know that information and build on it.  If you are walking an average of 5,000 steps daily, try to increase that number to 6,000 and go from there.
  • Workout after school with colleagues:  One of my favorite ways to get in shape is with teacher friends after school!  Organize a walking troupe that walks for 45 minutes around the local neighborhood after contract time is up.  Too cold for that?  Bring in a Zumba DVD and have fun shaking your money maker in the gym instead.  The laughs are good for the soul – and the waistline.
  • Do a biggest loser contest:  Put some wagers on the line.  They don’t need to be monetary in nature either.  The “winner” gets their duties covered by others for a month {Hello to skipping out on parent pickup}!   If the thought of others seeing you weigh-in breaks you out in a cold sweat, do a “most consistent” contest instead.  Track eating and fitness goals and get rewarded just for making better choices.

Want to know more about time management strategies for classroom teachers?

Check out Teacher Life Balance Academy HERE!

Better Choices While At Home

  • Meal plan and prep:  It’s much easier to make better choices when home if you have planned ahead.  For me, I have a habit of waiting until I get home and realize that I have not thawed out anything to prepare, so frozen pizza is usually the winner.  But, if I plan all my meals and grocery shop on Sunday, I am far more likely to remember to thaw the meat out in the fridge the night before so I have no excuse for not cooking healthier.
  • Get a walking treadmill to use while grading:  This can be expensive option, but if you get a windfall, I highly suggest one.  It allows you to get some movement in during a time when you are probably sitting instead.  It also works well when you are catching up on your shows and pinning online.
  • Plan outdoor activities with your family/friends:  Try to do something outside at least once per weekend.  Instead of going to the movies, choose to hike a trail in the woods and look for seasonal wildlife.  The fresh air not only is good for your body, but the mind and soul will thank you for it too.
  • Try a new fruit/vegetable each week:  Have you actually tried every variation of produce in your local grocery store?  Most likely not.  We tend to stick with what is familiar to us.  Try one new-to-you item a week.  Make it a fun game for the family to pick out something together to test out.  Even better, if you can get to a local farm market for fresh seasonal items.
  • Look for discounts for nutritionists and local gyms from your school district benefits department:  Many local health and fitness services are available to most school district employees.  Simply contact your home office to see what is available to you.  Sometimes those services will even come to you onsite if you get enough teachers interested in their offerings.

Teacher Fitspiration

Need some real-life fit teachers to follow and be inspired?  While not an exhaustive list, these role models will get you started!

@simplystrongfit

True story:  My first 3 years in a new classroom, I ate a Snickers candy bar from the staff lounge vending machine every day for breakfast...

@luceebeefitness

True story:  My first 3 years in a new classroom, I ate a Snickers candy bar from the staff lounge vending machine every day for breakfast...

@fitness_food_fourth

True story:  My first 3 years in a new classroom, I ate a Snickers candy bar from the staff lounge vending machine every day for breakfast...

@kghealthylife

True story:  My first 3 years in a new classroom, I ate a Snickers candy bar from the staff lounge vending machine every day for breakfast...

@whattheteacherwants

True story:  My first 3 years in a new classroom, I ate a Snickers candy bar from the staff lounge vending machine every day for breakfast...

I personally love looking through the real life journeys of these amazing ladies.  Knowing that they are regular people like me and have real jobs and families yet have found a way to get healthier for themselves and others really is inspiring!

Who else do you enjoy following for teacher fitspiration?  We would love to hear them in the comments below.

~Charity

Charity Preston Bio Pic

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