Sunday marks the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. What does this have to do with your health and fitness?

From an environmental perspective, the long nights and extra darkness encourage our bodies to rest. Capture extra sleep. Be still.

But from a cultural perspective, we are encouraged to do exactly the opposite. To do lists run rampant, social engagements and additional work obligations (before vacations or year-end) pile up until it is all hard to even keep straight.

These two opposing forces create dissonance (and stress) as we want to rest and be still, but push through and continue adding things to our to do lists.

Can we do anything about it? Of course. Just having the data is a great starting point. Perhaps this knowledge alone will inspire you to find stillness in unexpected places, taking in tiny sips as you move through your day. When you do have the chance to relax, try making it a point to really notice, and savor the stillness.