Walk, Don’t Run.
The sun is shining and the trees are starting to bloom again — I’m awestruck. This past year my husband and I moved to a colder climate with our two kids. We enjoy the snow and love to ski, but moving from sunny California to the mountains was a major adjustment for us. This has made Spring feel like a major gift. Now, there is an ease to walking and exercising more with longer, warmer days. But I have to remind myself to walk, and figuratively speaking, not run with utter excitement into every outdoor activity known to man. Being outside is just so liberating!
Truly, my motivation to exercise consistently has soared in the last couple of weeks. But I know weather does not affect everyone in the same way. In fact, for some people, the weather has little effect on their mood. According to Come Rain or Come Shine: Individual Differences In How Weather Affects Mood, there are four types of responses when it comes to how weather affects your mood.
The types were labeled: Summer Lovers (better mood with warmer and sunnier weather), Unaffected (weak associations between weather and mood), Summer Haters (worse mood with warmer and sunnier weather), and Rain Haters (particularly bad mood on rainy days).
This article states weather will affect people more who tend to be highly sensitive, which is about 15-20% of the population. After taking this test, I realized I am highly sensitive. I’m a summer lover + hater of rain or very cold temperatures. My best memories as a kid were times when I was outside playing with our dog, going for a hike, or doing some type of adventure with my family or friends in nature. For me, being outside is like therapy; I have found even in cold temperatures I have to make the effort to be outside. And then, everyone wins — I’m more energetic which means my mood is more joyful, and my family and friends can feel that.
How about you, are you affected by the weather? If the answer is no, you can at least rejoice in the fact that it’s easier to exercise in warmer climates, and perhaps that can give you more motivation to get moving. Whatever your weather type is, exercise has countless benefits and will improve your health and your mental state. So what are you waiting for? Get out there; go for a walk, a run, or a bike ride. You won’t regret it!
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JoAnn Gruener, RD, CDE
Health Advisor | Email JoAnn