Exercise your right to self-care

30th April 2004 at 01:00
Teachers: sometimes it's ok to put yourselves first. In the work-life balance equation, taking care of number one adds a large sum to both sides.

Last week, we launched our Get Active campaign, with a wealth of ideas, information and resources to support you in your efforts to improve your pupils' health and fitness - and your own.

Throughout the term, there will be posters, activity cards, recipes, advice columns, tips and debate, in the paper and on our website (www.tes.co.ukgetactive). This is no time for guilt trips. Rather, it's an opportunity to begin or replan a journey which can be fun and fulfilling for everyone.

As last week's Issue in Friday magazine shows, even small changes such as walking up stairs rather than taking the lift can make a difference.

Teachers can congratulate themselves that their jobs, which require quite a bit of stretching, chasing and dashing about, are far more active than many. But you also deserve the chance to participate in something outside of school which you enjoy, be it ballroom dancing or weightlifting.

No one can blame schools for the increasingly sedentary lifestyles children are leading, or for the diets rich in fat, sugar and salt which many of them consume. But we all know that children learn better when they have a chance to be active. Exercise oxygenates the brain, sharpens their minds, and gets rid of tension and restlessness. We hope the Get Active campaign will spark lots of ideas for incorporating physical activity into the school day.

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