Gearing Up to Spring Forward: 6 Tips for the Upcoming Time Change

spring-forward tips

Spring is the perfect time to reset your body, your mind, your goals, and your fitness. It’s a time of renewal and a great time to work on the new you, too! Instead of just forging ahead like nothing’s changed, it’s important to understand that a time change can be more disruptive to your body and mind than you may think. Fortunately, there are some easy spring-forward tips to help you gear up and use the upcoming time change to your advantage.

Take the Weekend to Adjust Your Body to the New Time Change

Now that spring has sprung, it’s important to let your body adjust to the changes. While it doesn’t seem like it should be much of a big deal, it can really affect both your motivation and your energy levels.

Your circadian rhythm (your body’s natural sleep and wake schedule) can be more affected by the time change than you think. While it may not seem like a big deal, a shift of one hour in time and altered light and darkness times can change when you go to bed, how late and how well you sleep, and may even result in a chronic sleep deficit. That’s why it’s important to adjust your sleep patterns. Here’s how:

  • Go to bed early—start adjusting your sleep and wake schedule by 15 minutes at a time until you’re officially in bed in time to get a full eight hours of sleep.
  • Get up early—stick to your wake-up schedule regardless of the lighting. You’ll have more energy, and your transition into the new time change will be practically seamless.
  • Sleep hygiene—as always, practice good sleep hygiene by keeping your room cool, dark, and noise-free. And, power down electronics and limit other stimulants an hour or two before bed, if possible, to let your mind unwind and prepare for sleep.
  • Prepare the night before—make your life easier and cut down on rushing and morning stress by putting your outfit and meals together the night before. That way, you can cruise through your morning easily without worry.

spring-forward tips and lower body toning workout

Freshen Up Your Gear

One thing you can do to really motivate yourself to work out is to go through your workout clothes, purge the old, and make room for the new.

  • Check your athletic shoes—do they still fit well, are they worn, are they still supportive? Are they the right shoes for your fitness activities and workouts?
  • Get a new outfit—you work hard, so show it off. Get a new stylish outfit showcasing some of your hard work—like those toned arms, tighter midsection, or fit legs. And don’t forget about the impact of color! Adding a splash of cheery colors to your wardrobe just might brighten your mood as well as your closet.
  • Download fresh tracks—it’s also a great time to spruce up that playlist. Download some new favorite tunes to keep it fresh and add some extra spring to your step.

Fitness Resolution Goals spring-forward tips

Revisit Your Goals

With a renewed focus and appraisal of your goals, be sure to focus on plenty of actions versus just outcomes. For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose ten pounds,” formulate your goal into an action. Change your goal statement to “I will go to the gym three days a week,” which will be a more powerful and concrete action step you can take.

Reassessing where you are in your fitness journey is also important. With new goals comes the perfect time to take another look at where you are now. Getting a baseline will help keep you motivated as you look back at this reference point to see how far you’ve come.

Once you’ve revisited your health and fitness goals and stated them in terms of actions, it’s time to recommit to being your best self yet.

Revamp Your Workout Program

Since summer is right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to kick up your workouts a notch.

Take it outside—with spring flowers and fresh air, plenty of sunshine, and more daylight, it’s a great time to get outdoors. For example, if you’ve been walking on the treadmill, why not walk outside instead?

Pick up the pace—pick up the pace with some HIIT training (high-intensity interval training) a few times a week. Try for 2 to 3 power sessions of 15 – 20 minutes each during the week in addition to your weight training. Your body will thank you for the extra body fat burned and the greater energy you have available.

Spring Clean Your Pantry

If you really want to go after your goals and give yourself a clean slate for the perfect start, getting rid of any junk foods in the house will give you the springboard you need to clean up your diet. Replace unhealthy foods with healthy snack options. Getting rid of all the junk food in the house will remove the temptations and set you up for success.

Walking Lunges HIIT for spring-forward tips

Adopt New Healthy Habits

Since spring is a time of renewal, it’s a great opportunity to forge some healthy new habits. Here are a few to consider:

  • Just get more active—simply getting 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day can greatly benefit your health.
  • Eat protein with every meal—adding more protein to your diet will help you maintain your muscle mass (super important). And if you’re doing resistance training (which you need to be!), it will help you build new muscle tissue. Not only that, but protein can help you feel fuller and more satisfied, which is especially handy if you’re cutting overall calories.
  • Stand up—most people are, by far, too sedentary. Making sure you stand up at least once every hour is a good start if you want to avoid all the pitfalls that come with too much sitting. If you can, try getting a standing desk, pacing while you talk on the phone, or setting a timer to get you up and out of that chair every so often.

By using a few of these simple spring-forward tips, you’ll be ready to spring forward in no time at all, and you’ll be able to enjoy a renewed sense of health and fitness with fresh goals and a fresh perspective.