Tag Archives: collaboration

Teacher Body….

25 Nov

Teaching can be a sedimentary profession. Not because of the desk that is no longer present in many classrooms, but because a lot of time is spent planning lessons, creating material, cutting, reading, organizing, etc. What are some ways to get around being figuratively glued to our seats?

I try to start the day by doing some stretches. I lay prone and push up on my hands with my hips to the floor. I think this is called “cobra” in some yoga classes. I was taught by a physical therapist to push up, exhale (which allows your spine to further adjust) and then lay prone again. I repeat this about 10 times. I follow this up with 20 push ups. Then I lay supine. I raise my legs one at a time straight up. Then I clasp my leg behind my hamstrings and bring my leg as close to my body as possible, holding the stretch for about 20 seconds. While I do this I rotate my foot outward for a while, then inward for a while (about 10 counts each way). I follow this by doing “bridge” hip raises. This means while stay laying supine, I bend my legs and bring them in close to my glutes. Then I raise up and squeeze my glutes, and release. I squeeze and release about 20 times. Then I raise one leg and squeeze and release about 20 times. I repeat with the other leg. Then I repeat with both legs on the floor. Now a finish by doing a downward dog which looks like forming a triangle with my body by bending down with my hands on the floor. This take about 10 minutes. That is how much time I can take in the morning for exercise.

During the day, I make periodic trips to do anything. When numbness begins to set in at home, I make it a point to get up and throw in a load of laundry. Or get up and have a glass of water. A really great fitness instructor I had used to promote doing “glute clenches” when driving or sitting. If the sitting is being done in a meeting or training, it is possible to stand up and do stretches near the chair. Take a restroom break. I try to fit in things like jumping jacks, hopping, skipping, and stretching throughout the day with the students. If we are counting, or practicing a “number of the day” it is easy to pair that with exercise. I was surprised at how sore I was after playing “chase” with my students one day at recess. I have seen some teachers walk the halls after school as a break between dismissal and whatever needs to be done next. This can be a way to hold an informal meeting, if only a few people are meeting. I carry my gym clothes in my car to motivate me to stop at the gym on my way home.  Finally, it would be great to get in the habit of going for a walk after work or after dinner. This is not only relaxing, but helps to get in that minimum of 30 minutes of exercise we should be getting daily in order to be healthy.

It would be great to hear how others fit in activity as much as possible throughout the day.