Healthy Teacher Tips

working on being a healthy teacher?
Healthy teacher tips: take a look at these (completely do-able) ideas. Then, let us know what you have found helpful over the years. 

How can teachers maintain a healthy lifestyle while working?

Teachers can maintain a healthy lifestyle by prioritizing self-care, setting boundaries, managing stress, staying active, eating nutritious meals, and getting enough sleep. It’s important for teachers to make time for themselves and engage in activities that promote physical and mental well-being.

add these health tips to your school day

I have tried healthy teacher tips before. . .

Teachers have stressful jobs with long hours, and unhealthy habits can make anyone cranky and tired. We need easy-to-implement ideas. At the beginning of the year, my goal is to eat nutritious foods at work and have a balanced diet once I leave.

Well, healthy meals at home are hard. Lunchtime at work can be hard. Taco Tuesday is hard.

And, the last thing I’ll do is add another “to-do” to your school year.

Hopefully, if we have some mindfulness about our overall wellness, we will go a long way in improving our physical and mental health.

Here are my healthy teacher tips.

think about your current habits

Figure out your unhealthy habits.

For me, snacking on fries while grading and lesson planning got me. It was easy to drive-through somewhere and head home to finish my work. It was also easy to eat a complete meal later, after I had already eaten the equivalent of a meal’s worth of calories.

Starving on the way home from work, I was! Plus, I deserved a treat after working all day! My thinking was wrong.

I put some granola bars and protein bars in my car. I ate one as I drove past my old drive-thrus. Lara Bars are my favorite.

Another bad habit was snacking during my prep time. I cut out the trip to the teacher’s lounge (why are there always snacks in there?!) and grabbed my carrots or raisins. A plan and healthy snacks replaced for my old habits. Planning ahead helped me become a healthy teacher (more so at least).


Exercise to improve wellness and to avoid burnout.

This proved to be the toughest part for me years ago, and it still does. Gym classes make me uncomfortable. I don’t like exercising in groups, no matter how nice the instructor is. Walking is my favorite, followed by lifting weights.

And I do: walking through my neighborhood, checking social media, running part of the time. To keep my weight at a healthy level, I needed to implement something and found what worked for my life.

shop smart

Buy fruits and vegetables, and know the grocery stores’ tricks.

The produce section is now my favorite part of the store. I experiment with new foods; I now love spaghetti squash. Apples, carrots, and celery are my easy-to-pack foods for snacking. Years ago, those snack never made it to my cart.

Of course, all of this food is at the entry to the store, which is a grocery store trick. If people load up on health food and produce, marketers figure, then they will be more likely to “splurge” later on processed deserts and frozen pizzas. It evens out shoppers believe, research shows. So I keep that in mind while shopping.

(Side note: Anyone teach “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pockets”? This information came from research from extension activities.)

Save the produce with coffee filters!

Produce spoils if you don’t care for it. Too many times I went to make a salad, had disgusting lettuce, and ate chips instead. I researched and read a few forums. Water spoils lettuce and the like. Duh!

So I would wash my produce in anticipation of eating it, and then it would get wilted from water. I was trying but failing. So now, I wash my produce and divide it—with coffee filters. I can grab a plateful of lettuce easily and the coffee filters absorb the excess water. Paper towels would probably work, but coffee filters are cheaper.

Eat your cheesecake or pizza.

My friends are healthy individuals, and I pick their brains. They run marathons, work in a gym, and lead spin classes. They all say the same thing: don’t take away everything you like. I made that mistake a few times in my younger days. I was “done with sugar” or my “cheesy-salty” whatever. It never worked, and then I would find myself buried at the bottom of a cookie container.

Moderation is key, at least with me. I don’t eat pizza all the time and avoid cheesecake most of the time; I am able to say “no” most of the time because I say “yes” sometimes.

Remember hydration and mindfulness.

My best healthy teacher tips? Drink water, and be aware of yourself during the school day. Whatever healthy eating works for you, remember that you are worth taking a break and restocking. When your prep or stack of papers overwhelms, take a walk, refill your water bottle, or stretch.

Plus, a well-cared-for-teacher makes for a healthy classroom environment. Teaching raises stress levels, and experienced and new teachers alike face an empty cup. Once I realized that my health mattered, my confidence in the classroom increased too.

I know people get pepped up at the start of a new year and fizzle out with healthy resolutions by the end of January. Hopefully, these tips for health will last longer. Add your healthy teacher tips in the comments below!

*I am not a health professional and this advice is not meant to substitute anything a doctor tells you. Please consult a doctor before you begin any health or diet changes. 

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