Fitness Frenzy: A Religious School Workout
By ISJL Education Fellow Ava Gadon
Has your New Year’s fitness resolution fallen flat? Don’t fret! Now you can save valuable time by getting your workout in while you teach religious school! And get excited because there is no Aleph Bet yoga requirement. This is an all-new workout made for teachers. You can even get your kids involved! We promise these nifty maneuvers will make you sweat like the Israelites wandering the desert for 40 years!
Strengthen Those Arms!
Hit those biceps with some curriculum curls! Holding a curriculum book in each hand is a perfect way to do some sets of bicep curls. This exercise is great because it can really be adapted to any strength level. As you get stronger and more advanced, just switch to heavier curriculum books. We recommend starting out with Kindergarten Hebrew and working your way up to Eighth Grade Judaics. Next, try striving for some standard pushups. You can definitely lecture in a plank position as long as you maintain good form and, for added difficulty, have your students put away their books at the end of the day by stacking them on your back. Lastly, tone those triceps with some desk dips. Tricep dips on your desk may seem simple but try keeping time with your students while they sing the Aleph Bet! For more sets, have them repeat the tune. They get to learn their letters, and you get fitter faster.
A Bit of Core
Now, we do not want you to be completely breathless while teaching, so here are just a few core exercises. First, high knees. This drill can be as fast or slow as you choose but do try to get your knees all the way up to your students’ eye level. Then, transition to some normal sit-ups. Now, it can definitely be difficult to keep motivation up at this point in a workout, so we want to recommend a strategy to make sure you stay motivated. Instruct one student with an especially loud fidget to hold it just out of reach while you do this exercise. Despite the challenges of repeating reps, listening to the fidget will also increase your desire for confiscating it. This effectively forces you to push it to the limit!
Let’s Go Legs!
Do not forget leg day! Legs are your foundation, and it is important to keep those muscles standing strong. First, start with some squats. If this is not taxing enough, try picking up a child for extra body weight. Next, a teacher can travel the room through lunges! Make sure to move your legs to a 45-degree angle. An easy way to keep good form is to imagine that your student is trying to dart out of the room at the end of class. Finally, find a blank spot on the wall for wall-sits. Holding this posture for as long as it takes your class to get quiet is usually an appropriate method of measurement.
With these stretches and aerobic acts, you will be able to get strong and healthy without wasting any extra time! Here at the ISJL, we totally understand how busy schedules can be and the effort required to keep everything moving. Please try out this workout and see for yourself how easy it can be to prioritize fitness at religious school!