8 Tips to Fit Exercise Around Teaching

Teaching is an amazing job. It's incredibly fulfilling and there is nothing quite like knowing you've made a difference to a child's life. Even on those days that it's harder to get through, you often come home with hilarious stories (even if they don't seem it at the time!). "Why did Oscar decide it was so funny to keep repeating 'cheese puffs' during our lessons today?!" 

What I always struggled to come home with was motivation to do anything else with my evening - especially exercise! What I really wanted most evenings, was to curl up with a dominos, my mermaid blanket (get one if you haven't already, seriously, you'll thank me) and my favourite partners in crime, Ben and Jerrys. 

The thing is, there is no evidence, no studies and no person that will ever tell you that those are the makings of a person with good wellbeing. I would be lying to myself if I said those things ever made me happy the day after when I felt bloated and uncomfortable in my skin (dresses will hide all sorts of sins). There are numerous studies showing that exercise has a MASSIVE impact on our wellbeing. 

Besides the fact that exercise can reduce the risk of multiple diseases and illnesses, exercise has the power to help reduce anxiety and stress. It can improve memory, boost brain power, increase the happy chemicals in your brain, help you get more done and boost creativity!  *AND breathe!*

With all those incredible benefits, much of which I think apply to the profession, it's hard to see why exercise isn't taking a bigger stage in the teacher wellbeing question! But, we've all been there, how do we fit it in?! 

Here are my suggestions:

1. Take your kit to school with you in the morning and go straight to the gym after work so there's no temptation to skip it.

2. If there's time, squeeze a workout in before you go to school in the morning!

3. Set up an exercise class in school! Ask your PE lead if they could run it or download an app to follow in the school hall.

4. Set monthly fitness challenges that all the staff compete in with amazing prizes at the end? Max Burpees in a minute anyone?

5. Get the children involved! Running clubs etc at lunch time run by members of staff.

6. Staff fitness charity challenges, time to get muddy in the tough mudder!

7. One hour exercise sessions during staff INSETs.

8. Get a professional in!  I run Circuit classes specifically for school staff in their school halls.

Exercise is so vital for teacher wellbeing. Even if you are not sold by the psychological benefits, I cannot emphasise enough the benefits of putting yourself in the position of the pupil, wearing a 'uniform,' looking at the workout of the day (lesson) and cringing because you might look silly, you can't do that, or suddenly you have the urge to go to the toilet three times during the input! 

Be uncomfortable, be a role model and BE IN CONTROL OF YOUR WELLBEING and if you find any studies proving that dominos helps wellbeing, be the person to let me know...

*Kent Buns 'N' Guns is Kent based business run by Cressida Fitzsimons, an ex-teacher, who now specialises in personal training, nutritional advise and fitness classes. With a passion for teacher wellbeing, crafted by her experience in the profession, Cressida is keen to work with schools to support healthy, happy teachers! For more information, contact Cressida via Kentbunsnguns@gmail.com to see how she can help you. 

Check out these 6 benefits to getting outside in the fresh air?

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