The benefits of exercise are numerous, but finding the time to do it is tough especially if you have a family, or if your job demands a lot of hours out of you.
Some people do well with exercising on their own, others need the social aspect with a gym. Whatever you choose, the benefits outweigh the time it takes out of your day.
Below are ways to get in some exercise outside of the work environment and in the work environment.
Benefits of Exercise
Here are some benefits of exercise, just to name a few:
- decrease stress
- improve mood
- help you lose weight
- lower blood pressure
- fight heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer
- help cure anxiety and depression
- gives you increased energy, and better sleep
I notice a difference in my mood and general energy level when I do not exercise. The days I get a good workout in I feel refreshed, full of energy, and confident. If I happen to miss a couple of days in row I tend to feel sluggish, tired, and moody.
1. Exercise while on the Job
The teaching profession is already pretty fast-paced. We rarely get to sit down, but even so, we might not be putting in enough effort throughout the day to get our heart rate up or burn the calories we need.
I knew a teacher once who was complaining about not losing weight. She said that she was actively trying to walk around more, but she was not seeing results. The problem was that she might have been standing more (which is better than just sitting), but she was not walking any faster or doing anything to increase her heart rate.
- Resistance training is one of the best ways to tone up. An easy way to do this on the job is to get some ankle weights. Wear these throughout the day to give more resistance to your regular walking around. Switch it up every other day and wear them on your wrists to strengthen your arms. Every time you write something on board or reach for something you are getting great benefits.
- Instead of a chair at your desk get an exercise ball to sit on. This is a great way to work your abs.
- If your school has stairs, use them! Make it a goal that every time you have to go up or down the stairs you do it several times. Then try to speed up your time for increased heart rate.
- One year I played a game where every time I said something negative I had to drop and do a burpee. I extended this game to my students as well. Not only are we getting in a little exercise but we are also learning positive thinking and we had fun keeping each other accountable.
- Use your conference/lunch period to your benefit. If you have time you can use this time to exercise. Take a coworker and walk the track, or make friends with the coaches and see if you can use the weight room.
I have bought and used the exercise ball previewed on the right, and use it almost every day. This particular ball is extra thick and can resist up to 2200 pounds. It’s easy to inflate, and I’m able to work at my desk just fine.
2. Exercise outside of the Job by Yourself
If you have the time to do so getting a good solid workout in either before or after school is ideal. I make it part of my day. I do not go home until I have been to the gym.
For those that need more flexibility working out by yourself might be the way to go. I have used both the P90X and Insanity DVD workout programs (detailed below), and I know many people who have had success with them.
- you are on no one’s schedule but your own so it’s much easier to fit into your day.
- It’s a lot less expensive.
- there is no one there to hold you accountable for your workout except yourself so its very easy to cheat or give up.
- A lot of people lose interest this way also because they don’t know how to properly program a workout for themselves, and get injured. Or, they might end up doing the same thing over and over and it becomes too repetitive and monotonous.
Just like it sounds. If you do it right you will definitely work up a sweat. Very cardio focused and high-intensity interval training. No additional products required, and you get online support.
This set comes with a nutrition guide, a calendar to track your progress (and keeps you organized on which DVD to use), and 10 DVDs. If you do it right it really is a great workout so have water on hand.
This program is interval training based (maximum intensity work with short periods of rest) and keeps you challenged.
Out of the 2 programs, this is my personal favorite. It allows you to mix and match the DVDs to better suit your needs.
The set includes a nutrition guide, workout calendar, fitness guide, and 12 DVDs.
Each DVD stresses a different aspect to keep your body guessing, and to keep you from getting bored. DVDs include Chest and Back, plyometrics, shoulders and arms, core gymnastics, yoga, legs and back, stretch, and more.
This really hits a little of everything for a well-rounded program. You might need to buy some extra equipment though.
3. Exercise outside of the job with Others
If you have the time, joining a gym with classes is another way to go.
Benefits of this include:
- Increases your motivation and commitment when there are others around. There is also a built-in support system.
- When other people are around you end up pushing yourself harder. Peoples competitiveness also kicks in which can help motivate you.
- Depending on the gym you join, the workouts could vary every day making it more fun, and less repetitive.
- Access to trainers and coaches who can help you through movements and help push you.
- A gym with scheduled classes could be way more expensive
- Many of these gyms have set scheduled classes so you can only workout at certain times.
Everyone is Different
Exercise is proven to help with stress and has many other benefits. It’s up to us to choose what option works best for us and our lifestyle.
Your body and mind will thank you later.