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Daylight Savings Time is great for your health

Cokeitha Gaddist
Healthy Lifestyles Columnist

It’s that time of the year again thanks to George V. Hudson, a New Zealand entomologist (study of insects) and the inventor of Daylight Savings Times. He first proposed it back in 1895 so that he would have more time outside to collect insects for his research. Therefore this Sunday March 8, we all get to set our clocks ahead one hour. Daylight Savings Time officially takes place at 2:00 am, Sunday morning, but most of us will set our clocks before going to bed Saturday night.

Many of us like to say, “Time Springs Forward,” because it’s a cheerful reminder that spring time is right around the corner bringing the end to cold winter weather and nasty freezing rain. Some of us will adjust to the time change easily but others may feel a little out of sorts. Don’t worry, your brain will eventually make the adjustment then your body’s internal clock will follow. But if you have trouble adjusting try going to bed an hour earlier a few days in a row to make up for losing that hour of sleep from Sunday night.

Other than losing an hour of sleep, Daylight Savings Time provides many positive opportunities for your health. It gives you more daylight for outdoor exercise and yard work in the evenings that can help improve your overall fitness. With longer days you have extra time after work to take your evening walks. You have more time to ride bikes, go jogging or running and work on outside projects around your home. And, with the weather becoming warmer, you can move your exercise routine outside to one of our many beautiful parks. Not to mention you get to trade your indoor grid on the treadmill for a walking trail while at the same time enjoying all that nature has to offer.

Try to avoid exercising too late in the evening because this could interfere with the quality of your sleep. Also keep in mind that after time changes, you may feel hungry before meals earlier in the day than usual. Keep a few healthy snacks, like a piece of fruit or nuts, to hold you over. Remember to watch the clock for dinner time, because the daylight will last long past your regularly scheduled dinner time. Be careful not to eat too late and give yourself ample time to digest your dinner before heading off to bed. A heavy meal in your stomach will also interfere with the quality of your sleep.


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