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March 24, 2012

Exercise During the School Day? Yes, You Can!

Written By: Brandi Jordan
Category: Home Life
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School Day Exercise Ideas for Teachers - ReallyGoodTeachers.com

School Day Exercise for Teachers

Finding time during the day to exercise is challenging for most teachers. Although you are constantly moving, exercise time is hard to find. To help you fit a little bit of exercise into your daily routine, we compiled a few tried-and-true ways, as well as, some unique approaches to exercising during the school day. As always, it is best to consult your doctor before beginning any type of exercise program.

School Day Exercise for Teachers

Playground Parade

Recess makes a great excuse for a brisk walk around the playground! With your whistle in hand and your sunglasses on, you can create a walking circuit around the play equipment, across the basketball court, and under the shade trees while keeping an eye on students. Chances are that when students see you walking, they will start to walk with you. Authentic, informal conversations with students and a walk in the fresh air during the school day? Priceless.

Morning Stretches

Get the blood flowing with some morning warm-up exercises for you and your entire elementary or preschool class. Start the day with stretching exercises like: gently torso twists, reaching for the ceiling with both hands, arm circles, or balancing on one leg. Students may giggle and laugh, but the exercise will get their blood flowing which will make it easier for them to concentrate and learn. Lethargy is not conducive to active learning. You will also feel refreshed and ready to take on the next lesson. Do not hesitate to do this again at slow times during the day; it is an instant pick-me-up.

Calf Raises

Teachers do a lot of standing and it can quickly take its toll on leg muscles. The next time you are standing at the board or observing a small group, try doing some calf raises. Slowly raise up your heels so that you are standing on your toes and gently stretching your calf muscles. Lower your heels slowly to end the move. Repeat the stretch throughout the day when you are standing in line, waiting for the bus, or teaching math class. Every little bit of exercise helps.

Pedometer Push

Experts agree that the average person should aim for at least 10,000 steps per day. The easiest way to track your progress is to wear an inexpensive pedometer clipped to your waistband. After it has been calibrated correctly, it will measure your steps and give you a visual cue to encourage more walking. A great idea is to start a step club with other teachers in the building. Every day participants can log their steps walked while at school. At the end of the specified time, the winner receives a prize like a coupon for a pedicure. Have fun with it and get others involved to make yourself accountable to more than just the plastic pedometer on your hip.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun doing it. Moving even a little will make a big difference. Not only will you be helping yourself, but your actions will be a really good example for your students.

 

School Day Exercise Ideas for Teachers - ReallyGoodTeachers.com

Question: How do you fit exercise in during the school day? Share your workout tips with us below or on the Really Good Teachers forum!

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  • Jenni
    February 24, 2013

    I will often dance with my kids during our “break” time. Our schedule is so that they don’t eat lunch until 12:45 everyday and that’s a long time for first graders. So in the middle of reading and math time we will take a break where we will have a snack and then have a dance party. I am often involved in those too to help get a little exercise and a little laugh!

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  • Amanda Lawson
    May 11, 2012

    Great way to incorporate fitness in daily activities.

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  • Dawn Braddock
    March 26, 2012

    We have been using ABC for Fitness™ (Activity Bursts in the Classroom) by Dr. David Katz. We were able to download it for free a couple of years ago. I believe its still offered for schools and homeschoolers.

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  • Barbara Montgomery
    March 24, 2012

    I always start my classes with two or three fast, active songs and then a cool down song. This gets in a few minutes of exercise for me and let my preschoolers burn a few calories. I get to do this for my AM and my PM class so I get in some exercise. Even though I am 50+, I still enjoy a game of tag once in a while with my preschoolers and they LOVE it.

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    Brandi Jordan
    March 24, 2012

    My kids love using exercise balls to sit on too!

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  • Becky Settlemoir
    March 24, 2012

    Try using an exercise ball as a chair. It works your core muscles. I observed in a PE for Life classroom where a 60+ teacher was using exercise balls for everyone in the class. They all worked their core muscles while working and learning. I have them in my classroom and it is GREAT.

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  • Kelly
    September 5, 2010

    Lisa reminded me that when we have inclement weather and we can’t go outside for P.E. I use a variety of videos to do inside. There’s a Tae Bo for Kids, Get Fit America (yoga), and Fit Kids. I do it along with the kids and give them pointers and serve as a “live” example for them to watch. I’m usually the one who gets a little sweaty but the kids give it their best when you do!

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  • Lisa Schmidt
    July 26, 2010

    I bought a video of “Mousercize” that we use for indoor PE. My kids LOVE it!!! I have seen it on DVD and I intend to purchase it so I can skip some of the exercises that aren’t suited to packed classrooms and desks! I really like it because I can quickly squeeze in some activity during down times of the day or as a pick us up!

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  • Kelly
    July 25, 2010

    Sometimes in the morning if I don’t have playground duty I will try and recruit some kids to walk with me around our trail. When we have P.E., a lot of teachers run with the kids to keep them motivated and to get their quick workout in too. I also like to every now and then join the kids in their game because they just LOVE to watch the teachers show their stuff!!!

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  • Sharon M
    July 17, 2010

    I have done the stretches during parts of the day when the kids look like they are getting tired. It helps to revive them along with reviewing their bones and muscles.
    I try to exercise each day before I go to bed but it does not always happen so these are some good ideas.

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  • Marianne
    April 17, 2010

    The best way to energize after lunch is to take a walk. Our school has recess and then lunch so after lunch the class takes a 15 min. stroll on streets close to the school. The class is energized and yet have settled down from recess and lunch so they are ready to get back to work. It works wonders. This is also teaching a life skill. (In the fall when we start, there is some grumbling from the couch potato types but as the year progresses they will verbally share how much they miss the walk if we have a bad weather day!)

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  • “Ms Pingstead”
    April 17, 2010

    I play WITH my K4 class. On rainy days, we get to play in the gym. We run and walk the white lined on the gym floor! We play with balls, learning to handle them. Each year there are one or two student who would rather chase the basket balls I shot, than shot themselves. Great exercise for both of us.

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