Mindful Makeover for Teachers: Joining a Gym

I always had a membership to a gym during my high school and college years. I loved using the machines to lift weights and taking group classes. It was great to have a place to workout when the weather was too cold, too hot, or too rainy. However, after I crossed the threshold into being a full time adult (married and moved to a new town, and began my career as a teacher) I never joined a gym. Did I mention this was eight years ago? I thought about it on numerous occasions and wanted to, but I did not feel the tight budget of a new teacher’s salary could afford a monthly fee to workout.

Over the past eight years I have remained active by walking and running in my neighborhood. At times I have been more consistent than others. I have completed a half-marathon and a marathon. This January I decided it was time to return to the gym.

Wow! I have found a new energy for working out. I have developed some new routines to my work days and I have found it is not as hard as I sometimes think to work out at the end of the day. Yes, I am tired when I get home. However, I have found I am able to stay focused and get done with the necessary things to complete my day. The days I go to the gym end with me feeling proud of myself for taking time to focus on my health and that in turn motivates me for my next work out.

Last week I had an particularly exhausting day at work. I am tired at the end of each day, but I was mentally flatlined due to an atypical stressful situation in my classroom. All I wanted to do was go home, get in my bed, pull the covers over my head, and close my eyes. However, since my gym bag was packed and in the car I headed to workout. I didn’t really want to but I did it anyway. I did cardio work for thirty minutes and stretched. There was so much stress flowing through my body that I got a pretty intense workout as well as got rid of that negative energy. What a release!

By the time I got home, I had put the stressful events of the day out if my mind and I was able to simply relax with a hot shower.

Added bonus-I am getting some quality sleep. I don’t toss and turn; I simply slip away into my dreams. I definitely got a good night’s sleep after such a long day.

Lesson: Even though all I wanted was to curl up under my covers, getting my body moving and stretching was a simple cure for relieving my mind of all the day’s ills.




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