Our Education Blogger is a public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She’s an active NEA member, and enjoys writing about her experiences in the classroom.

For many teachers, summer is the time to complete projects you’ve been putting off during the school year. Exercise tends to be one of those projects.  Summertime is a great opportunity to begin building workout habits.  The following can help get you started with a summer exercise routine and transition into a healthy start to the next school year.

Use A Fitness App
I like Map My Run and My Fitness Pal.  I can log workouts, track how far I run (along with some other stats), and count calories from food.  Couch to 5K is also another free, popular app that helps you progress your way to a 5K in 8 weeks.  Check out this list of The 38 Best Health and Fitness Apps from Greatest.com to see if you can find an app that works for you!

Start Small
If exercise isn’t part of your regular routine, start with just 2 or 3 days a week.  From there, add on days as you feel more comfortable.  You can also up the intensity of your workouts.

Keep A Routine
Find a time and day that works for you and commit to it.  You are more likely to stick with something if you make it a part of your routine.

Exercise With A Buddy or Group
If you are able, find a friend or a group of friends with whom you can work out.  You can hold one another accountable if you commit to group workouts.   When you skip out on a workout, there’s an element of guilt added in, which makes you more likely to stick with it.

Mix It Up
For me, one type of exercise becomes boring.  To combat the monotony, I use different types of exercise. Yoga, kickboxing, cardio, dance, etc., are all great ways to mix up the workout routine.  You can find videos online for just about any kind of workout!

Set A Goal
What is your fitness goal?  Is it to lose weight, build muscle tone, run a marathon?  Establish your goal, write it on a sticky note, and place the note in a visible place you will see each day.  Use an “I will” statement and have an end date.  For example, “I will lose 10 pounds by July 31st.”  It is also helpful to decide HOW you will meet your goal.  Will you run for 20 minutes 3 times a week?  Lift weights every day?

Motivate Yourself
Take selfies.  I know.  I hate this part.  If you take pictures of yourself regularly, you should be able to see the changes in your body as you progress towards your goal.  Hopefully, these pictures will motivate you to keep going.  Positive self talk is also beneficial.  Again, use your sticky notes to write positive affirmations to place in a visible location (“I can do this!” or “I am strong!”).  This may be cheesy, but it has a surprisingly positive effect!

Tell Your Family/Partner
Your partner or family is a great source of support and encouragement.  Tell them your fitness goals and plan. They can help motivate you and hold you accountable (if you choose).

What summer fitness advice would you give teachers?

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