Leading Neighborhood Fitness Classes Gives Language Arts Teacher Work-Life Balance, Improves Job Performance
“Taking time each day to care for myself gives me work-life balance and makes me better at my job. Moving my body and getting fresh air helps me handle the stressors of everyday life and that positive energy shows up in the classroom,” said Laura Santagata, a Language Arts teacher at Memorial Middle School.
Santagata has taught for 27 years in total, 17 of which have been with Hilliard City Schools. Prompted by her own desire to get more fit, she began working out and eating healthier about 20 years ago. Others took notice, asking if they could work out with her. This led to her becoming certified in personal training and performance nutrition. She began working one-on-one with clients but sought to make a bigger impact. That’s when she started a weekly neighborhood fitness class.
Her early classes were held in her basement, but today, knowing the added health benefits of being in nature, they rotate between local parks, green spaces and neighbor’s backyards. The workouts vary from yoga to resistance training to cardio. Never wanting anyone to miss out on the opportunity to be active, she always comes prepared with a plan B and C for those who may be limited by an injury or ache.
The best part about leading the classes? The added sense of community.
“We hold each other accountable. Everyone who comes ends the workout saying how happy they are they decided to show up and make exercise a priority,” she said. “When people miss class, we reach out letting them know they were missed. Having such a loving and supportive community keeps people coming back.”
Santagata resides in Dublin. Regardless of where you live, she said new people are always welcome!