Monday, December 18, 2017

Spring Ahead?

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Recent weather has energized us with a taste of springtime. Then comes the time change. Hate losing that hour? Here’s how to deal …

Sunshine and mild weather is a welcome change after months of gray winter days. Unfortunately, as we start to catch spring’s vibe, it’s time for daylight savings. It’s great to gain more daylight. However, even frequent jetsetters, who travel through different time zones, cringe to lose that kick-off hour. The whole season seems to begin on a sleep deficit.

There is only so long you can claim you forgot to make clock adjustments. So, here is how to best compensate:

Be Flexible

Use nutrient-packed snacks to delay hunger until new mealtimes.
Use nutrient-packed snacks to delay hunger until new mealtimes.

Daily life has shifted 60 minutes this week. You may find yourself tired and hungry at odd times. As you modify times for daily activities, healthy snacks and short well-timed naps can help you adjust. Choose a snack that includes fruit, vegetables, or nuts to provide filling nutrients to help delay hunger until your new mealtime. Take a brief nap later in the afternoon to help you remain alert until your regular bedtime. If you don’t have a bedtime, make one. This transition is the perfect time to develop some healthy sleep habits.

Keep Exercising

You may feel sluggish from the time change and weather shift. Let this be motivation for more exercise, not less. You need the energizing lift of exercise now more than ever. Power up your fitness routine as you head into spring with all of its physical demands—yard work, athletics, fun runs, competitive events, and the occasional car washing. If the need for increased stamina is not enough, remember all this is quickly followed by swimwear season.

Brighten your day with an early-morning workout.
Brighten your day with an early-morning workout.

Combat Daylight Savings Time-induced fatigue with a refreshing walk, a dip in the Center pool, or a backyard game of catch. With the clocks one hour later, it is a great time to try a morning workout. Your body is “tricked” into thinking you slept later during this first week or so. (You even may find it easier to rise in the morning.) Take advantage and schedule an early-morning personal training session or attend an early Group Fitness class. Work with nature.

Exercise also helps our circadian rhythm cycle adjust, including with quality rest and sleep.

Avoid Time Wasters

Prioritize joy.
Prioritize joy.

Spring clean activities in your life that yield diminished returns on your time. It is easy to lose an hour scanning your phone for messages, news stories, and social media posts. When finished, you probably gained nothing more than random updates on things of passing interest. Even worse if you sacrificed hearing about your child’s day or enjoying peaceful relaxation because of this time thief.

Determine how you can streamline daily chores and errands. Everything from shopping to cooking can be done in bulk. Make room for your priorities. Allow more time for joy. It will be much easier to spring forward, regardless of that lost hour.

Image Credits

Fruits & nuts:

Joyful woman:

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