Self-Care Through Exercise

LAST UPDATED: September 27, 2022

Enjoy simple ways to practice self-care through exercise, as veteran teacher Tara Dusko guides you through this selection of ideas and inspiration.

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Exercise for Self-Care

Find the Time and Relieve Stress

Exercise is probably one of those things on your to-do list that often gets replaced by more urgent tasks. Lesson planning, grading, and other teaching-related activities take up so much of your time that exercise and other forms of self-care don’t fit into your schedule. However, finding time to take care of yourself will help you in every other area of your life.

Building exercise into your weekly schedule has so many benefits! Not only will it improve your health and help you manage your weight, but it will also relieve stress and increase your energy levels. As teachers, we can use as much stress relief and energy as we can get!

Make a Goal and Do What You Enjoy

If you’re ready to start exercising more, begin by making a goal for yourself. Write down how many days you will exercise each week and the number of minutes you will exercise each day. 

Then, determine the types of exercise you enjoy. Find a few stretches to do as a warm-up and some longer exercises that are fun for you. For example, you could go swimming, take walks, join an exercise class at a gym, or play a sport. 

Create a Schedule and Reflect on Your Day

When you’ve picked a few ways to exercise, create a schedule for yourself. Where and when will you exercise each day? Write down your answers to these questions, and keep this weekly schedule nearby so you can check it every day.

Each night, reflect on your day. If you completed your exercise activities, check them off on your schedule. At the end of the week, you’ll be able to see if you met your exercise goal. If you did, you can gradually increase the number of minutes you’ll exercise next week. If you didn’t meet your goal, don’t get frustrated. Just stick with the same goal for another week.

Get Creative and Keep Going

If you’re having a hard time fitting exercise into your schedule, you might have to look for little pockets of time. Try waking up a few minutes early so you can take a walk before school. Build exercise into your school day by doing stretches with your students as a brain break or by playing a game with them at recess. Stop at the gym on your way home from school. Even if you’re only exercising for a few minutes at a time, it will add up and help you achieve your goal. 

Once you start exercising and see how it improves your mood and helps in so many other areas of your life, you won’t want to stop!

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