Daylight savings time, heart attacks and lifestyle

Maine, along with several other New England states are considering ending the seasonal time shifts. There are multiple arguments for keeping daylight savings time year round and one of them is a significant increased risk of heart attacks.

The argument for getting on the same time zone as the Canadian Maritimes, Atlantic Time Zone, include energy savings and less seasonal depression say proponents. I have trouble buying either of those arguments. Daylight hours are short – period. Daylight savings time doesn’t increase daylight.

We just take it from the morning and give it to the evening but the end result is the shortest day of the year is less than nine and a half hours and nothing will make it longer. The good news is New England daylight hours increase faster than any other part of the country.

I don’t agree that switching to Atlantic Time is going to save energy or favorably influence depression, but the heart attack risk increase needs to be considered. When people “spring forward” or in other words set their clocks ahead by an hour yesterday, (Sunday, March 8), They need to be careful that they don’t have a heart attack today according to a recent study.

The study finds the number of heart attacks increased 24 percent on the Monday following a daylight saving time, compared with the daily average Mondays, according to a 2014 study in the journal Open Heart.

Actually, people who are at risk of heart attacks need to do more to protect their health and life than just lobby for Atlantic Time. It would be smarter and certainly more beneficial to make some changes to lifestyle rather than count on no more moving the clock forward.

Healthy lifestyle changes are not as awful as one may imagine. It’s not giving up everything we enjoy. It’s making some shifts to embrace a healthier way of eating that includes more fruit, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, lean proteins, and good-for-you fats while reducing foods processed with a lot of added sugars and fats. It’s enjoying more physical activity and sitting less. Anybody can do it and like it, too.

Can’t stop the snow but at least we can celebrate Spring is coming with the return of Daylight Savings Time

My vote is let’s keep our seasonal time changes. To me it’s another exciting sign that spring has sprung. I especially like that on a day like today when the news is dominated by the “biggest storm of the season” is coming.

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.