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Maximize Autumn & Winter Sunshine with These Tips

The nights are about to get a lot darker as we get ready to “fall back” into standard time. Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, November 6, which means you’ll want to turn your clocks back before you go to bed Saturday night, November 5.

The change is automatic for most smartphones, computers, tablets and other digital devices. Daylight saving time — called daylight “savings” time by some — is the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall, to make better use of natural daylight.

The good news for the early risers is sunrise will be about an hour earlier and there will be more light in the mornings, but it also means sunset will be around 5 p.m. depending on your location. The daylight will dwindle over the next two months as we head into winter.

Shorter days and the end of daylight saving time are associated with SAD (seasonal affective disorder), a form of clinical depression that is believed to affect about 5 percent of the U.S. population; it may set in as people have less daylight to enjoy after they got off work. To combat the depression, the Mayo Clinic recommends outdoor activity, especially within two hours of awakening; exercising regularly; opening blinds and window shades to let light inside; light therapy; medications; and psychotherapy.

Exercise

Literally nothing else mood-boosts the way endorphins do – that’s why it’s your first line of defense against both seasonal and clinical depression. An early morning workout – not only will it leave you energized for the rest of the day, but also if you time it right, you’ll experience the sunrise in real time. Sign up for MOXIE Ride 6am on Tuesday and Thursday.

Go to bed early

If you’re going to get up early for a workout, you absolutely need to discipline yourself into an earlier bedtime. Even if you’re not planning to wake up early for a workout, getting enough sleep is always important to keep you in a good mood and healthy mental state, but even more so in the winter when you’re more prone to depression.

Eat a light dinner

If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, it may be because you’re eating too much for dinner (or eating dinner too late). Avoid eating after 8 pm to allow your body time to digest a bit before hitting the sheets.

Get out during your lunch

If you’re not up for a lunch hour workout, then simply take it easy with a leisurely stroll or lunch with coworkers at a nearby park. If you have errands to run, try completing them on foot instead of jumping in the car. Your skin will love a little dose of vitamin D.

Get outside – even when it’s cold

Don’t avoid a lunch in the park or a morning run just because it’s chilly. There’s no such thing as cold weather, only weather for which you haven’t dressed appropriately.

Spend an evening with friends

Sometimes cold weather and dark days drive us into hibernation. Certainly we all love a little “me time”, but don’t forget your friends. Friends and food always keep life bright, even when the day is short on sunlight.

What better way to spend time with friends and exercise than with group fitness at MOXIE? Schedule your classes and sign up online.