Everyone looks up to teachers for their hard work and dedication. As role models, you want to put your best foot forward and give your students a positive outlook on life. Living a healthy lifestyle is one way Fitmark Ambassador and high school teacher Michael Dalton does it. He says:
I teach in the second unhealthiest city in Virginia. So not only do I need to be a role model, I have to do so for both my students and my colleagues.
Michael started working out to help build his confidence and self-esteem. At a time when he was overweight, he wanted to start following a healthier lifestyle, first for himself and then for his students, colleagues, and loved ones. He gave us these tips to help you maintain your healthy lifestyle:
Five Fitness Tips Teachers Could Use
- Pack your lunch and a snack (or two!) My favorites are Granny Smith apples.
- Avoid the vending machine, keep water handy, and track your meals.
- Keep moving! Be it around your classroom, the hallways, up and down the stairs, just keep moving!
- Find other teachers with similar goals. Solidarity helps.
- Be a good person, because the students are always watching.
Walking into school with the Shield meal prep bag on your shoulder will certainly set a good example to your students and colleagues. Prepping your food and packing your meals is up there on Michael’s list of fit tips for teachers. He told us:
I am very recognizable at my school with my Fitmark Bag. I love the Shield because I chose it specifically for the red and gold colors (and its size). It looks remarkably similar to the colors on the Spanish flag, so it was love at first sight!
Being a good role model requires changing a few unhealthy habits and adopting some healthier ones. Sticking to a regular workout schedule is one part of the equation, the other part involves food and nutrition.
I have all of my food packed and in the fridge the night before the gym. I always eat before I train, and I train very early at 5:30 a.m. After I get home, I slip in the ice packs, pack my Fitmark Bag and sling it across my shoulder. That’s how my Monday to Friday goes every day. It’s part of that ritual of preparedness.
With busy schedules, afterschool programs, and classroom plans, there’s not much time in a teacher’s busy day to think about eating healthy and working out. It doesn’t take long to get out of shape. Michael told us how he did it.
Top Tips For Shedding Pounds From A High School Teacher
- Download an app like MyFitnessPal and log your meals and your exercise. Everything. You have to be a little obsessive about it, because it’ll keep you honest and you’ll learn a LOT about your eating habits.
- Join a gym. When you know you have a place that will challenge you daily, you’ll stop sitting around and it’ll get you out of the house.
- Find a training partner (or two!) You won’t always have an easy time finding someone with similar goals as you, but once you do, it’ll pay off in dividends. Your training partner is your support system, your cheerleader, your spotter, your friend and your ally on this quest of yours. I have had some amazing partners over the years and it makes a huge difference.
Michael mentioned ‘preparedness’ as part of his strategy for staying on track. Planning and preparing your food ready for the week ahead is one surefire way to stick to a healthy eating plan. Here’s what Michael told us:
A lot of people do their meal prep en masse on Sundays, but I prefer to make a couple days worth of meals instead. I prefer the taste of fresh food, but I do get busy. So during my prep work for my next competition, I’ll often make much more food to last me and save time.
Meal Prep Is The Key To Success
That’s the thing about meal prep, not everybody’s method will suit your schedule. So make it your own. Cook enough food for two or three days, if you have the time mid-week to batch cook more food to last you till the weekend. It all depends on your schedule.
Another tip to stop you from getting bored of your meal choice is to switch things up and give yourself some variety. Boredom is one of the top reasons people will cheat and fall off track with their diet. Michael told us:
Believe it or not, you can get sick of chicken, rice and broccoli, so try to have a variety, or at least a rotation of go-to meals:
– Have a plan before you go grocery shopping.
– Make a list and stick to it.
– Stick to the outer edges of the grocery store and avoid the aisles.
If you’re the kind of teacher who wants to be a good role model for your students, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and maintaining a positive outlook on life is the answer.
You can follow Fitmark Ambassador Michael Dalton on Instagram @daltonegger