Thursday, April 18, 2013

Putting Daylight Savings Time Change To Work For You!

The first time daylight savings time was officially used was during World War II in order to help conserve the burning of coal during spring and summer months. The main purpose of it today is to make use of the extra daylight during these seasons in the hopes to potentially save energy.
However these days with practically every house equipped with air conditioning, it really does not lend aide to the original purpose especially during hot summer months since people will usually run the AC when they get home from work and stay away from leaving the house until the sun sets.
You might be surprised to learn that most of the North American continent and Europe observe the daylight savings time trend, whereas most of South America, Russia, Asia, Africa, and Australia do not. In other words, more than half the world does not change their clocks twice a year like 95% of the United States does.
I always found it frustrating when we change our clocks an hour back in the fall causing darkness to set in around 5pm. I never truly agreed with this time change always wondering how it really helps us these days.
My main complaint is the lack of daylight past 5pm. How are you able to do anything entertaining outdoors when it is pitch black literally by the time you get home from work?
Even with my early hours as a teacher where I can essentially leave work at 2:30 and be home by around 3:30, that would still only leave me with about an hour and a half of daylight left. Even with this luxury, time is limited so unless I hurry and change into my workout clothes doing nothing else around the house, I can run around my neighborhood with my dogs while the sun is still out.
Personally this does not happen on a regular basis because usually after work there are errands that need to be run, or being just plain tired and the desire to relax for a bit is much more alluring.
Unfortunately playing tennis is not possible during daylight savings time since the two people I play with do not get out of work until after 5pm and the courts near my house do not have lights. Therefore if I want to play tennis after 5pm from March-October, aside from the weekends, I have to travel 30 minutes or more from my house, or pay $15 an hour for use of these club courts that are within ten minutes of my house.
This is unfortunate since the free courts five minutes from my house would be perfect, however without lights, after 5pm during daylight savings time, they are useless.
Now that we're back to days with extended daylight hours, I have found myself really motivated to get outside more and exercise. Over the last two weeks, I've already ran three times, went snowboarding once in Big Bear, played tennis twice, and have taken my two furry friends to the dog beach on two separate occasions.
Not bad for the first two weeks of the time change!
If you have been pleasantly surprised at the extended daylight hours we now have, let that help inspire you to be more active. Most of us now have more options for outdoor activities not needing to be confined to be inside rooms, gyms, or parks with night lights. Decide on the exercise(s) you want to do, a time that works for you, and the days when it fits in your schedule and you will be well on your way to a healthier and more fit life.