How Fitness Can Help You Adjust to Daylight Savings Time

Once a year, around this time, you can hear the collective groan as we look at our calendar: We lose an hour of sleep. But shaving off an hour of precious shut-eye doesn’t have to throw you totally out of whack. Here’s what you need to know about springing forward:

Understand the impact of shifting time

A vicious cycle can begin when the body becomes too tired to stay up until its normal bedtime. Waking up earlier in the morning is followed by low energy levels before it’s actually that late. This can easily start to happen at the end of daylight savings but the good news is, with more hours of sun, you have more chance to grab some good-for-you vitamin D. That sunshine is important because it helps keep the circadian rhythm in check. This will ensure finding a better sleep cycle and keeping productivity and energy levels on track. 

Commit to being a morning person…

If you’ve always wished to become a morning person but struggled to make it a reality, rejoice—this is the time to turn your life around. It may benefit you to launch a morning fitness routine this month. While it might not be easier to wake up because of the earlier morning light, (especially if you lost an hour of sleep), getting moving as soon as you wake up can help get your sleep patterns healthy again. Using a workout to jumpstart the day during time change season is a great way to make you feel more accomplished since you’ve already completed your workout before the day has begun.

…Or embrace the night class

For others, a morning workout is forever out of the question, but that doesn’t mean a workout won’t help deal with time change in another way. Some will struggle to stay up until a normal bedtime this time of year, and for this problem, working out is a great solution! Taking a late afternoon or evening class will provide the body with a temporary burst of energy to stay awake that extra hour. Best of all: each day will get longer, so you’ll have more opportunities to take an outdoor class or go for a run at sunset. You can even experience a better night of sleep after a good workout, provided it doesn’t take place too close to bedtime.

With the time change and the promise of spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to try out a new routine!

Amy Hillock is a freelance writer and an executive producer at production company ASSEMBLY9 in New York City. She enjoys leading workplace wellness yoga in offices around Manhattan through YogaWithAim, and spending recklessly on travel plans, green juice and new Nikes. Follow her (mostly) healthy pursuits on Instagram and Twitter.