We just finished talking about nutrition and the students’ brain. But how does nutrition affect you as a teacher?
When you’re an educator, you’re constantly on the move during the school day. So...you might grab a candy bar from the vending machines to sustain you until lunch. Or you have meetings after school so you reach for chips and a soda to tide you over until you make it home for dinner.
Whatever you’re able to grab fast can oftentimes be the wrong food choice. These unhealthy choices can affect your teaching performance - producing a lack of energy and an inability to concentrate on educating your students. Just as you can see how nutrition plays a role in your students’ learning, it has the same outcome for you as the educator. Edutopia.com says, “The brain consumes calories, too, about 600 per day on average. Food choices that support cardiovascular health -- a diet primarily consisting of non-starchy vegetables and fruits, healthy oils and fats, a variety of protein sources, and selected whole grains -- are also good for the brain and may enhance cognitive functioning across the lifespan.”
Here are some tips/goals to feeding your brain better this year:
Now, those are tips for eating but healthy habits also incorporate other necessary lifestyle changes. Exercise being at the top of the list. As an educator you already exercise the mind, but exercising the body is just as important. Studies show that 30-45 minutes of exercise per day is necessary for healthy bodies. So...get moving! In an extremely stressful occupation like teaching, it’s important to exercise as it also helps with stress and the effects of stress on the body.
Sleep is also necessary. My mother, a retired educator, worked long hours and well into the evenings - so I know many educators do not get adequate sleep. However, eight hours of good sleep is essential to brain functioning and healthy bodies - and you need focus and concentration in the classroom!
There are different methods for achieving and mastering any one of these goals this year. It won’t be easy to make these lifestyle changes in the beginning, but if you can stick to it long enough (they say it takes seven days to create a habit), you’ll be better off for it in the long run!
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