Creating lesson plans, applying and tweaking behaviour management strategies, attending after school Professional Development sessions – these and other teacher obligations are enough to make you feel as if you’re too busy and drained to work out on a regular basis. By the time you get home you may just want to veg out in front of the TV, with a good book or even take a nap.
The good news is that staying fit doesn’t require hours of puffing away during your free time at an expensive gym. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that if you so choose, but there are other options, like the following 6 activities:
Watch what you eat
Did you know that healthy eating goes further towards a healthier lifestyle than even exercise? The benefits of exercise can be quickly destroyed if your diet consists of soda, fried foods and pasta. The easiest way to watch what you eat and stay fit is to make sure that you have a healthy breakfast of protein and veggies – think a veggie omelet or a green smoothie without butter or protein powder – followed by a lunch filled with green veggies. This is not to discount exercise, which is a necessary part of any fitness plan, but to emphasise the vital role of good nutrition.
A little goes a long way
Current research shows that heart rate increasing activities – dancing, walking, jumping rope – done for as little as 10 minutes, can drastically increase your health. Consider a quick walk during your lunch break and/or after school; put on your favourite party song and dance like no one’s watching; or engage in any other physical activity that makes you breathe a bit hard for at least 10 minutes to enjoy an easy and quick way to get fit.
If your personality is more prone towards indoor activities, doing things by yourself, or structured programmes, there are plenty of free exercise videos on youtube that you can follow along to from the comfort and privacy of your home. One of the best options is Fitness Blender, which allows you to choose from full length, to 10 minutes, to any body part you’d like to focus on. Doesn’t get any easier than that!
Use your bodyweight
Once you have the proper form, planks and pushups are amongst the most effective and easiest nearly total body workouts you can do. If you’re just starting out, hold the plank position for 20 seconds and increase by intervals of 10 once you’re able, and do 3 sets of 8 pushups.
Prep your meals
All you need is a maximum of 20 minutes each week to significantly decrease your cooking time and make sure you’re on track for healthy eating. Decide beforehand what recipes you’ll cook for the week and then prep for it to make your kitchen time efficient and easy.
Reach for healthy snacks
Sweet tooth? Have a cup of Greek yogurt. are you in the mood for crunchy and salty? Go for spiced nuts. Want something savoury? Try pita chips with herb hummus. Need something quick, filling and spicy? Eat a boiled egg lightly sprinkled with pink Himalayan sea salt and cayenne pepper. These options will satisfy your munchies in an easy and healthy way.
To sum things up, your diet plays a key role in staying fit. If you do not have adequate time to work out, try following a simple but effective exercise routine that will add to you being able to enjoy a healthier and happier you.
By Aisha Shakti Hakim
Shakti is an educator and author of ‘The Busy Babe’s Guide to Wellness: 8 Steps to a Healthier You Now!’ which is available on www.amazon.com. To check out her book, click here.