Saturday, June 15, 2013

Staying Healthy: A Necessity For Classroom Teachers

Summer is a great time to reevaluate, not just your teaching, but your life. Since becoming a teacher I have realized that my personal health matters. An unhealthy person cannot perform with teaching excellence. Although many schools avail teachers the opportunity of ample sick days, it is not productive to students if  teachers are out for too many days. Also, many teachers juggle being spouses, mothers/fathers, coaches, etc.  Why do teachers tend to have so many roles? Well, because typically teachers are givers. We want to help and do for others, often putting our own needs and especially our health at the bottom of the "to do" list. But, this mentality must change for us to perform at our peak in the classroom and at home. But, where do we start. Well, it is different for every person and every family. In this post, I will start with the rules that I continue to live by to stay healthy and on top of my game.

5 Rules That I Live By To Stay Healthy

1. No Alcohol-- Personally, I am not against alcohol for religious purposes and I don't have alcoholics in my family. It just makes me feel bad, and I keeps me from being my best, so I choose not to drink it.

2. Reduce Sugar-- I love desserts. Yes, all kinds, and I don't believe that someone has to totally eliminate sugar to stay healthy, but it needs to be consumed in very small amounts. Soda, juice, granola bars, certain yogurts all have lots of sugars. It is important to be aware of how much sugar is being consumed in a day, and keep it limited. I have watched several videos on how sugar causes all types of problems with health. I will share one later in this post.

3. Exercise-- Throughout the years I have done about every workout fad out there. In the 90's it was Buns of Steel, Tae-Boe, the step workouts. Then it was yoga and pilates. Now, it is P90X, Insanity, Body Pump, etc. As a part-time worker/mom I found it fairly easy to work in a daily workout routine. Now, as a teacher, it has become increasingly difficult. I had to change my outlook to get exercise in everyday. So,  I try to include the family. Depending on the day, we might go play soccer at a local field, walk at the local track, jump on the trampoline, or dance the night away to Just Dance. It isn't as intense as some of the more structured work out regimes, but family workouts offer exercise and family togetherness, two great goals for working parents.

4. Eat Your Veggies- Recently, it seems that more adults are struggling with cancer. Through study I've found that some cancers can be prevented by eating your veggies. Dark green veggies are the best- super foods they are called--broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts. I have a friend who gave me a recipe for baked brussel sprouts proudly proclaiming that her children ate them like candy. "Wow, really!?" Well, my kids did enjoy the recipe, not sure about comparing it to candy, but they did like the dish, and try to incorporate in the weekly dinner rotation as often as we can.

5. Pursue a hobby-- My hobby is writing. It keeps me happy. I try to spend no more than an hour a day at it so that I can balance everything else, but everyone needs something that is special to him/her to stay balanced. Experts say that antidepressant medication has increased 400 percent in the last two decades. This is an epidemic! Pursue something a little every day that will keep you happy and healthy without turning to drugs.

Health like education is very much a journey. I strive to be healthy because I want to be present for my family and my students. Some days being healthy doesn't work like I want it to just like my classroom lessons don't work out all the time, but the goal is there to strive for everyday. Small steps count!

Videos and articles that have helped me in my pursuit to stay healthy!

                                              Is Sugar Toxic - 60 Minutes Investigates 

Anti cancer with Dr. David Servan- Schreiber

There are also many free workout videos via YouTube: I enjoy The Biggest Loser Workouts. I have found them to be pretty intense workouts, and many are 30 minutes or less!

                                                          A Biggest Loser Workout

Psych Central
Antidepressant Use Up 400 Percent in US

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