Ah Daylight Savings, the time when we spring our clocks forward or let time fall back an hour. While it seems like a minor inconvenience on the day of, Daylight Savings can actually impact your mood, sleep schedule and fitness regime.
Prior to the big day, it’s likely that you have a routine (or at least that’s the goal, isn’t it?). Strength training at 7 a.m. followed by a protein shake at 8 a.m. keeps your body healthy and happy. But when you lose or gain an hour of sleep along with more or less sunlight, your body needs time to adjust. That’s why you may notice that your workouts get lazier or straight-up nonexistent.
With Daylight Savings approaching, we gathered four simple ways to motivate you even after you turn back the clock:
Stop thinking—get moving
Feeling blue? Go to dance cardio. Feeling sluggish? Go for a run. Feeling overworked? Go to yoga. There’s truly a workout for everything. But here’s the trick: You have to make your body move in the first place. Planning to work out is only half the battle; the most important part is what you do once you get moving. “Getting up and moving is the first step to beating the fall blues and helping us feel our best,” says John Rowley, founder of UX3 Nutrition, in an interview with Brit+Co. “Pull your shoulders up and back, and if you start taking deeper breaths instead of shallow breaths, start walking with a spring in your step and looking up, and get moving on a regular basis. Your mood will improve and you’ll start feeling a little snappier.”
Change your mindset
Attitude is everything, especially when it comes to health and fitness. If you sink into the mindset that Daylight Savings is negatively affecting your life, then you’re allowing it to happen. While you should always ensure that you’re catching up on any sleep you’ve missed, it’s also important to not give in too much. A one-hour difference shouldn’t necessarily affect your life one month later, and if it does, then it might be a larger issue than just time. This is a mind over matter issue. Think of rolling the clock forward or back as something fresh and exciting. For example, since daylight savings, maybe you have more sunlight at the end of the day to go for a walk in the park, or maybe it gets darker earlier, so you’re encouraged to get out of the office and attend a zen yoga session. Yes, it may be a downer that the days are getting shorter but use it as fuel to motivate you to take care of yourself.
Catch up on sleep
Yep, it’s as simple as it sounds. Whether you gain or lose an hour during Daylight Savings Time, it’s important that you get your body back on track. Jamie Costello, director of fitness at Pritikin Longevity Center, told Women’s Running, “Sleep deprivation can lead to a reduction workout effort levels. Less sleep also means less recovery and a greater chance for injury.” There you have it—getting rest is clearly important down the road, even months after Daylight Savings.
Stick to the same schedule
One of the greatest perks of ClassPass is that it forces you to plan out your workouts (up to a week in advance!). While you can change your classes as conflicts come up, it encourages you to maintain a consistent workout schedule. As the days start to feel shorter after we turn back the clocks, it can be easy to fall into the trap of skipping a workout to go home and cuddle with your puppy or binge watch another Netflix show. But if you aim to stick to the same schedule as before the time change, you’ll be less apt to do so. Working out will simply be a part of your routine, and you’ll disregard the dark, cold weather outside (at least for a little bit).