- Summer Break: A Chance to Rejuvenate You! - June 18, 2013
- Ability Grouping in Physical Education? - May 24, 2013
- Testing Time is Here in Physical Education Too! - April 17, 2013
- The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat - March 26, 2013
- The Role of Physical Activity in the School Day - March 11, 2013
- Classroom Activity Breaks – Reap the Benefits! - February 26, 2013
Summer break is a great time for teachers to take care of themselves. For many, this can mean starting a new regimen to improve your health, lose weight, or just get in better physical and mental condition. Just as I have written here before, exercise can help your mental abilities, as well as your body. Right now, there is really no excuse to start to improve your health because the resources are so readily available. In addition, many of us have the most valuable resource that we need-TIME!
Let’s start with the basic ways that you can increase you levels of fitness without it costing you more than time. Obviously, walking and running are the easy “go to exercises” when it comes to fitness. Also, technology has taken us into a new age in free or nearly free exercise opportunities. For example, my local cable provider has fitness programs available On Demand and at no extra cost. Other technology devices and even You Tube have low cost apps or free videos that provide the consumer with tutorials or videos. Often, these built in exercise programs target particular areas of the body or enhance certain aspects of fitness, such as cardiovascular endurance. One of the biggest benefits to these programs is that you can make them happen on your time. Also, you can do them at home and most do not require special equipment. Perhaps the greatest advantage to the beginner is the shelter of your home without worrying about what others think of what you can or cannot achieve. These are great ways to get started.
At the next level, you can purchase a program designed to assist you exercise. You have seen just as many infomercials as me about the plethora of DVD’s and other programs available to consumers. I have tried several of them. My honest opinion is that most of them can work; however, you HAVE TO USE THEM! Simply buying them will not help you get a healthier you. Some will require you to purchase additional equipment in order to get the full benefit. For example, you will have to buy some weight equipment to do some programs. However, others rely mostly on exercises and body weight so you don’t need much else. Make sure you take that cost into consideration before you think about purchasing one of these programs.
The final and perhaps most expensive leap into improving your health through exercise is to join a fitness or health club. Before you sign up, I encourage you to visit at least three. Many of them will offer guest passes that will enable you to workout there over a period of 3-7 days at no cost. There are many things to consider before making your final selection, however. Find out if you have to sign a contract or is it a “pay as you go” contract. Check with your school district and health insurance provider for discounts. Many times you can get a deal using these resources. Also, consider the locations. You may have easy access from your home, but is there a convenient location to utilize when you go back to school? Some facilities offer childcare while you workout. Would that be necessary for you? Of course, you also want to make sure they provide the equipment or classes you really want to access. A facility that only has a few treadmills or offers no fitness classes may not be a good fit for you, if that is what you need to enhance your level of personal fitness. If you are unsure about how to use equipment or where to start your program, most clubs have personal trainers (usually for a fee) to help you get started when you first join. These clubs can be a great way to exercise on a variety of equipment and get your workout in before you head home during the school year.
In closing, I encourage you to use this summer to build a healthier you! Exercise stimulates our brains and keeps us sharp mentally. Everyone knows the health benefits to our bodies. If you start over the summer, you may be surprised at how much you miss it once school starts and that will persuade you to continue your health kick. In fact, you may be surprised how much more energy you have as you continue your quest for a healthier you. The biggest secret to keeping up with your fitness plan is to find something you like and fits your lifestyle. As we are always cautioned, make sure you check with your physician before embarking on any exercise program.