This Sunday morning we'll "spring forward" an hour for Daylight Saving Time. And while the pay-off of extra light in the evenings is awesome (especially for after-work exercisers!), there is a bit of a health risk that goes along with the time change. According to research, the loss of an hour this time of year increases the risk of having a heart attack by 10 percent.
The reason why heart-attack risk increases with daylight saving time may be due to a number of factors, University of Alabama at Birmingham Associate Professor Martin Young told ScienceDaily. First, there's sleep deprivation, which we already know greatly affects health, can increase stress and may even affect your weight. Next, losing an hour upsets our circadian clock, which throws off our internal schedule and can cause stress to the body. Finally, Young says that our immunity is also affected as immune cells have a clock, and the immune response depends greatly on the time of day.
Although daylight saving time may cause your body some stress in the short-term, your body should adjust to the time change pretty quickly. However, if you'd like to ease your body into waking up an hour earlier (and we recommend that you do!), one easy thing you can do is to wake up 30 minutes earlier on Saturday and Sunday than you normally would. Also, eat a good breakfast Monday morning, and get outside in the sunshine. Working out in the morning may also help, according to the article.
Are you looking forward to daylight saving time? Wish the clocks weren't spring forward? Tell us about it!
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.