Well, we’ve fallen back. We lost that extra hour of daylight.
Great news, that doesn’t mean you have to fall back on your health and fitness goals! Trust me, I know it’s hard to find the motivation to move when it’s dark when you wake up and again when you go to bed. But, if movement makes you happy, then it’s important to make the time for it.
This year, don’t let seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder get the best of you. You’re in control of your mindset, and just a few small tweaks to your schedule can help you stay on top of your goals this winter.
There are, of course, certain therapies that can help with seasonal affective disorder. However, one easy way to boost your serotonin is to get out in the sunshine during the day. Take that phone call away from your desk while you do some laps in the parking lot, or bundle up and go for a little walk on your lunch break.
Many gyms and fitness studios in the area offer lunchtime classes, so if your schedule allows, break away and get your movement earlier in the day. That way, when the sun sets and you feel like skipping your workout, you’ve already knocked it out! Your workout will also boost your serotonin levels, which will help you feel good.
Maybe that extra hour of sleep has turned you into a morning person! Hop out of bed and get your workout on before the day begins. It’s easy to stay snuggled in bed during the cold months, but the fresh air will help you wake up and feel energized throughout the rest of the day.
If you’re planning to hit the pavement or the trail in the dark this season, be sure to exercise safety measures. Wear reflective clothing, and also grab some of those fun-colored lights. You can purchase a lighted jogging vest and even a light-up dog collar. Be sure to let family or a friend know you’re headed out in the dark and where you’ll be as well. These tiny changes will help you feel safe while you’re getting your happy on!
Jenny Dewar is a transplant to Columbia from the suburbs of Chicago. She is the owner and general manager of Pure Barre Columbia, where she also works as an instructor. In addition to her work in fitness and health, Dewar spent 15 years working in college athletics.