Why Teachers AND Students NEED the Gym

1. Bye Bye Stress!

Whether it’s stress from teaching, trying your hardest, or talking too much, a good workout can be a great way to reduce stress after a long day at school. Exercise has been proven to relieve stress on the human brain, but if science class isn’t your strong suit, we can also look at it from a practical standpoint.  You see, breaking a good sweat on the HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Cardio Deck, playing some basketball in the gymnasium or getting a good heart rate going on the ice, will give you an opportunity to pay attention to how you’re exercising to make sure you’re doing it right and not potentially injuring yourself. Because of this, your mind is able to forget the stresses of the day, ultimately allowing you to relax after a long day of class. Then you can prepare for homework, grading papers, or whatever else might await you at home after school.

2. Boost That Mood

In addition to reducing stress, exercise is also proven to help improve your mood. Many people (including children) struggle with depression or anxiety in addition to the regular stressors that occur in day to day life as a student or a teacher.  These stressors can get in the way of a child’s school work and a teacher’s life outside of the school. Adding a workout to your daily routine can help to solve part of this problem!  This is because exercise releases chemicals and hormones that are proven to boost happiness. Beyond that, the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel after a good workout will also help you feel better about yourself overall.

3. Stay on Track

The school day is long, and when it’s over, there are times where it feels like life would be a lot easier if you could just forget about your homework, test prep or whatever else needs to be accomplished for tomorrow.  After all, you have already been in class for most of the day and some TV or video game time sounds awfully tempting.   

Instead of giving in to temptation, offer in a good habit that will not only keep you healthy, but will also encourage your brain to reset and refresh to get the things that need to be done, done. Going to the gym instead of sitting down for an episode of your favorite show can help keep you on track to be productive and responsible for the rest of the day. This gives a break in your day that has a point where it must come to an end – I mean, you’re not going to want to stay on the treadmill for six hours the way you might if you start playing a video game or binging a TV show. Plus, you can watch TV or listen to a favorite podcast in the gym while you’re working out.

4. It’s for Your Health

It can be difficult to stay healthy during the school year. Allowing yourself to become unhealthy on top of a lot of stress is even harder to reverse once it’s become a habit. Not only does a daily trip to the gym improve your physical health, but it is also a huge asset to your mental health state. You’ll be more alert, adept, and adaptive towards change as things change and pivot throughout each day in class. 

5. It’s on the Schedule

Having a fixed schedule makes a difference.  It’s on the calendar and it’s your time.  This doesn’t have two be two hours of workout time.  30 minutes of swimming in the MetroRecPlex recreational or competitive swimming pool might be just the refresher that you need in between a day of class and a night of studying or other family activity that requires you to focus on something other than your health and fitness. 

No matter what you choose, spending time in active movement after a long day in class is extremely beneficial to both teachers and students.  Each will be substantially more relaxed and able to teach and learn throughout the day if their body feels strong, healthy and calm. This month at the McKendree MetroRecPlex, the membership enrollment fee is waived for all teachers, so ditch the stress and hit the gym today!