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On Sunday, March 13, 2016, our clocks “sprung forward” in observance of Daylight Saving Time. Instead of complaining about a lost hour of sleep, take advantage of that precious hour and improve your health and overall fitness.

Effects of Daylight on the Body

Sunlight profoundly impacts our bodies, increasing two hormones—serotonin and melatonin—which control our energy level and our moods.

When most of us lie on a hot beach or work outside in the sun, we get sleepy – that’s melatonin working, trying to slow us down. Too much melatonin also leads some people to feel depressed. On the other hand, serotonin boosts mood and energy. In climates with long, dark, winter months, winter depression is found frequently. There is a direct to the lack of sunlight, which reduces the amount of the hormone serotonin and melatonin takes over, producing sleepiness and


Spring and summer brings more sunlight and thus, more serotonin and more energy. You also produce less melatonin, so you feel less depressed. When fall and winter change that dynamic, your body produces less serotonin and more melatonin; and you guessed it, less energy and more sleepiness. We want to hibernate. The results for some people are a significant shift in emotions and energy, and we are motivated to follow out fitness routines and eat healthier.

Savor the Longer Days and Extra Sunlight

• Does this sound like your winter?

• Struggled to work out

• Slumped in motivation to follow a fitness schedule

• Languished with resolutions to get healthy

• Fought fatigue with less daylight

• Spent the holidays and the following months wishing you were working out

• Ate everything you planned not to eat

Long-term fitness is the result of a fitness routine that you stick to religiously. Once a habit becomes part of your life, it’s easier to stay in shape, even when motivation and energy drop occasionally — particularly in fall and winter.

That Hour is All Yours

The hour that spring special delivers to you is a gift. As the days lengthen, you will have more time and energy to get back into your nutrition and fitness plans. The increase in serotonin in your body is going to boost your mood and energy, motivating you.

Get serious about your routine, and when fall rolls around in six months, your unhealthy lifestyle will be only a memory. Your solid fitness habit will bolster you through the dark winter days when your energy and motivation slow down. You will finish the winter strong!

Remember I am here to help with your fitness goals!

T.J. McCord is a fitness trainer and performance enhancement specialist based out of Mobile, AL. He believes that there are no limitations on the human body when creating innovative programs for his clients. Be sure to visit for more information, programs, and tips. 

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