Your job, and the jobs of your teachers and other child care staff, is incredibly demanding and there’s no doubt that you get plenty of movement in your day!
Still, it’s important to take time for yourselves to stay healthy and active.
But finding time to fit in a trip to the gym, or for a rigorous 60-minute cardio class, is beyond hard to do in your busy days caring for and educating young learners.
So take a look at this list of five ideas to keep active without spending a lot of time or money in the process!
1. Take a Walk
It sounds too easy, but walking is an incredibly effective exercise that also can help clear your head and focus your thoughts.
- Maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes
- Improve cardiovascular fitness
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve muscle endurance
- Increase energy levels
- Improve your mood, cognition, memory and sleep
- Improve your balance and coordination
- Strengthen immune system
- Reduce stress and tension
The medical center also suggested starting with a simple goal, such as, “I’ll take a 5- or 10-minute walk during my lunch break.” When your 5- or 10-minute walk becomes a habit, set a new goal, such as, “I’ll walk for 20 minutes after work.”
2. Offer a Yoga Class
Your child care teachers and staff no doubt have different lunch breaks and other breaks throughout the day, so finding a time when everyone can participate in a yoga class is a challenge.
Consider setting up an area in your child care center where staff can go and do some poses, if they choose.
This YouTube video walks you through a 14-minute office break yoga … no mats or stretchy pants required!
3. Short Bursts of Exercise Are Effective
Incorporating exercise into your day doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing thing.
Exercising — even just in short bursts throughout the day — is linked to a number of benefits that include decreasing your body mass index, improving your mood and reducing appetite, according to healthline.com.
The website gave this example of a 10-minute workout:
Perform each exercise one after another without resting in between. After doing all six exercises, rest for 1 minute before repeating the routine a second time.
- Leg lifts: 10 reps on each side
- Wall sit: 30 seconds
- Seated shoulder press: 10 reps on each side
- Marching: 20 reps on each side
- Biceps curls: 10 reps on each side
- Side lunges: 10 reps on each side
4. Streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch Those Muscles
Check out this upper back stretch activity from verywellfit.com that stretches all the muscles between your shoulder blades as well as your traps and shoulder:.
- Start in a seated or standing position.
- Stretch the arms straight out and rotate the hands so that the palms face away from each other.
- Cross the arms so that the palms are pressed together and clasp fingers together. If twisting the arms doesn’t feel good, simply lace the fingers together.
- Contract the abs and round the back, reaching away with your arms as you relax the head down.
- Don’t collapse but, instead, imagine you’re curving up and over an imaginary ball.
- Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
5. Offer Prizes for Exercise
People prefer different workouts and varying levels of intensity. If your child care staff has many age ranges and comfort levels for movement, let them choose and reward them! Offer thoughtful prizes for keeping exercise logs.
IncentFit offers a free Google Sheets tracker template to help get you started on implementing a step challenge or walking challenge for your child care staff.
Set the parameters of the challenge to what you want your employees to achieve. Gift cards are always a great incentive, but consider giving away massages or other services to make their bodies feel good!
How Procare Can Help!
Keeping active is one way you can help your teachers reduce their stress. Another way is by providing an all-digital curriculum to save them time and energy.
That’s where Procare Early Learning, an online curriculum solution to address the needs of daycares, preschools and early learning teachers, can help!
This 100% digital offering is seamlessly embedded into Procare and gives teachers everything they need to provide high-quality instruction for infants to pre-K at their fingertips.
No long hours preparing lessons and no stress for the teachers – just log in, organize pre-loaded lessons per classroom and by age group and let the learning begin!
Request your demo today to see how an all-digital curriculum can benefit your early education teachers!