This is part 3 of our 4-part series on self-care for educators with the purpose of developing a thriving classroom and school system. Part 1 talked about how we can fill our own cup to fill others’, part 2 discussed the transformative power of gratitude, and this blog will address the importance of physical movement.
The research on exercise and happiness is clear. People who get 30 minutes of cardio per day are happier (and healthier) than people who don’t. So, although these findings may not initially make us feel happy, let’s talk about what you can do to promote more play and movement for your students and yourself to create a happier, healthier bunch.
Join Them in the Gym
A teacher we know skips planning time on Friday to join her students in the gym. On Friday they usually play some sort of serious group game and she joins a team and gets exercise with her students. They love laughing together as they play.
Make Collaboration Active
Instead of sitting through another meeting, stand through it, jog through it or take it on the road for a walking meeting.
Don’t Lounge, Move
Put a treadmill in the staff lounge. Or a rebounder. Create a way that you can get your energy going again instead of sitting and having (another) muffin that will make you feel sluggish and guilty.
We could list hundreds of ways to get your body moving. But, we know you know them. Think about ways to get moving that make you smile and laugh. So, stop reading and do it– go for a run, a walk, a hike, a bike ride, some yoga, a dance class, or a swim. get out there and get moving!
Afterward, come back and read some more ways to get your students moving along with you. Also, while you are out moving– think of your favorite large motor activities that create better learning opportunities for your students. Seriously, go lace up your shoes.
All learners, not just those who are kinesthetically inclined, need to get up and move. Sitting for extended periods of time in order to “look” attentive can be very difficult, not to mention unhealthy, for all of us. We know this all too well, for when we aren’t running around schools and working with educators we are often writing (and sitting for hours) in our office. If we forget to set our 15 minute timers to tell us when it’s time to get our move on (i.e. stretch, lunge, or even jump on the mini trampoline) we feel cranky and unmotivated.
By taking care of our bodies, we are more prepared to take care of the little bodies we are entrusted with during the school day. How can you add more movement to your day?
The final blog in our series of September Self-Care will address the incredibly important process of reflection. Check back!