During winter it’s easy to blow off the gym when it gets dark at 4:30pm. By the time you leave work it feels like nighttime. And on cold, dark winter mornings it’s tough to motivate to exercise before work. Well, there’s nothing like a little extra sunshine to give you that energy boost to kick-start your exercise routine. Even if you have been working out faithfully all winter, now’s your chance to both increase your activity level and spice up your exercise routine to keep yourself from getting bored. In fact, people who vary their exercise routines tend to stick to a fitness regimen more successfully than people who always follow the same routine, according to a study in the Medical Science Monitor. Here are a few tips on how to stay healthy and add a little variety to your workout routine now that the days are a little longer:
- Stick to your quitting time. If you usually leave work around 5 or 5:30, try to stick to that plan even now that it’s light out until 7. Don’t simply stretch your workday out. Use that daylight to squeeze in a workout.
- Walk your commute. If it’s an option, skip one workout at the gym a week and walk home from work during the newfound daylight instead.
- Be flexible. If you typically workout on the weekend and you find that your summer social calendar is interfering with your weekend workouts, take advantage of the longer weeknights to get all your exercise in before the weekend.
- Become a weekend warrior. Conversely, if you find it too difficult to fit your workouts into the workweek, or if you just hate going to the gym, use the longer weekend days for active outdoor activities with friends and family. Plan a day of biking, rollerblading, or hiking. It’s a great way to be social and get fit.
- Let your internal clock play catch-up. Beware that it might take you a few days to adjust your internal body clock to Daylight Savings Time. You may have felt hungry earlier in the day than you usually do. Hopefully, you were able to resist the temptation to double up on your snacks and meals until your body adjusted. If you found that you did wind up eating more that week, try to wean yourself off the extra snacks as soon as possible.
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