Can Daylight Savings Benefit Your Health & Fitness Routine?

We are officially in the season of Spring! 🌼

Yes, it’s time to shake off our winter coats and get our bodies moving! Studies show that weather can have a huge effect on our motivation levels to keep active, as well as on our Mental Health. Light also plays a big role in helping with motivation, because we all know that when it’s dark – we are more likely to want to stay tucked up at home.

Daylight Savings in NZ (or any country for that matter) is something we all look forward to. Longer days and more sunlight mean it’s a great time to get outside and soak up some vitamin D. So can daylight savings benefit your health and fitness routine? We say yes!

Now, don’t be discouraged by the term ‘fitness routine, another word for this is staying active. Staying active doesn’t mean you have to be a gym bunny, activity looks different for everyone. Not all of us are morning people, so fitting in a morning walk, run or fitness workout might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Here are a few tips on staying active throughout your day, and into the extended evening hours:

1. Swap your sit down catch ups for an evening walk

Especially to those of us who spend a lot of time in front of screens for our Mahi (work), getting out for an evening walk can do wonders for our mind and body. We love catching up with friends, or spending time with the family, so why not incorporate movement. Ditch the sit down activities and get outside to enjoy the extended hours of daylight. Explore your local neighborhood, parks, and beaches – or even an evening walk leading into a picnic dinner – yes, please!

2. Park further away from work and walk.

You may be thinking, why on earth would I do that? Not only is it a great way to increase your steps throughout the day, but it also creates mental space for you to slow down and make an effort to become more present (just make sure you allow enough time, so you’re not rushing!). So often we are always focused on getting to our next destination that we miss all of the beauty that the in-between holds. On your walk, start to notice, or re-notice the environment around you. If you’re in a bad headspace, slow your breathing down, taking deep/long breaths. Play your favorite tune or listen to something motivational – something that nourishes your mind/soul.

3. Get in the garden.

Forget the gym, gardening is a fantastic way to get your body moving, but also has proven health benefits. A study published in the Journal of Health Psychology noted that gardening decreases your cortisol levels and drops your stress levels drop dramatically. Growing your own vegetables also encourages you to eat healthier, incorporating more wholefoods – and saves you money!

4. Clean the house

Alongside gardening, keeping our whare (house) clean is a lot easier when we do little chores more frequently. We know the morning can be a bit of a rush out the door, so why not utilise the evening (after the kids are in bed) to do a little bit of spring cleaning. Doing small tasks at a time, means we are more likely to actually do them. Plus, did you know that cleaning is a great calorie burner! Chores such as vacuuming, cleaning the windows, and decluttering also do great things when it comes to muscle toning. Organise your pantry.

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