Today, most jobs require a variety of different types of energy. This could be cognitively, physically or in my case, both. I am in a profession that requires a lot of physical and cognitive energy. Being an Akron Public Schools kindergarten teacher it is a necessity that I have extreme amounts of enthusiasm about everything. On the cognitive side of my job, there is constant differentiation and classroom management. This is something that appears to be extremely difficult when my little kiddos come into the classroom at 8:15 in the morning. Being 5 to 6 years of age, you are never tired (even if you are) and need to be entertained/intrigued in order to learn something. In this kind of profession you would think a lot of rest would help prepare me for such daily endeavors (yes, absolutely it does) BUT, there is another part of my life that really helps me be more successful at what I do.
Exercise is a huge part of my life. Even after a long day of teaching and planning, I will always make my way to the gym. Why? Well, let’s think about the word energy and what it means. Energy is the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity. Now, when we think about working out and fitness, a word that we may relate to this is strength. When we actually think about it, we need to be strong in order to be able to maintain our “strength” for our daily routines and tasks.
According to ACE (American Council on Exercise), new research shows the remarkable effect of moderate-to-vigorous exercise on brain structure and function. A brisk walk during a morning break or a cardio class at lunchtime balances neurotransmitters and other chemicals in the brain (serotonin, BDNF and more). Substances responsible for influencing brain activity related to mood, attention, learning, motivation, and arousal. That’s why you’re likely to feel calmer, yet more alert and better able to focus after exercise. Exercise also helps the brain and body cope better with stress. That’s good news for people who work in high-pressure environments. So for me, the gym is a place to release physical energy to regain my mental energy.
Taking the time to work on myself after working with the children all day has improved my quality of life more than I would’ve ever guessed. My advice is to get through the struggle of the after-work blues / tiredness and find your way to exercise. After about a week of doing this regularly, it just becomes a part of my daily routine! If you struggle with the concept of taking the time to go to the gym, consider hiring an in-home personal trainer and let them bring the gym to you!
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anybody can start today and make a new ending.”