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Myth or Truth?

Myth or Truth?

Most people start off the New Year with great intentions of regularly exercising throughout the year, but after a couple of months this motivation can wane. Is it possible that the dark mornings and evenings influence our motivation to leave the house and get exercising? Logic says yes – probably!

Summer is the brightest season. We have more hours of daylight to fit in our exercise, and because it is sunnier and warmer, we tend to exercise more outdoors - going for runs and walks and finding new outdoor activities, in which to get involved. My power hooping class moves outside in the summer and it feels great to be exercising next to nature and with a cooling breeze. It is also lighter, not only in the evenings but also earlier in the day. If you are anything like me, when you wake up to bright sunlight streaming through the curtains, you feel more alert and ready to exercise, and less like it is still the middle of the night!

Once autumn kicks in and mornings are colder and darker, I feel less excited about getting out and exercising. For some people, the winter months also bring on SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), resulting in mood changes and a lack of energy, which can also lead to feeling like you don’t want to exercise or go out and socialise with people.

Sunlight has been shown in numerous studies to have a profound effect on our health… Just a few of the benefits are listed below.

  • It boosts levels of serotonin in the body, which makes us happier and more energetic.
  • It increases the body's levels of Vitamin D, acknowledged by some to have a positive impact on the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes
  • It can help with aches and pains, and many arthritis sufferers say it reduces the pain they experience.
  • It boosts your immune system, encouraging the production of white blood cells to fight infection

So this summer, try and take advantage of the longer days. Think about how you can introduce outdoor exercise into your routine – even a brisk early evening walk or jog can be extremely beneficial. There are lots of outdoor classes available, from boot camps to power hoop. If you have a young child, give buggy fitness a go in your local park. Our local park also runs Nordic walking sessions. If you want to get back into sport, you could consider joining a local sports club to play tennis, football, cricket or rugby. This will get you out in the sunshine and fresh air and you will have great fun at the same time!

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