Is Spring a risk factor for the heart?
There are several factors that can have a risk to the heart. A distinction can be made between factors that you can influence, such as being overweight, stress and smoking. There are also risk factors that you cannot influence. Like spring!
Warm, sunny weather in relation to the heart
During Spring we say goodbye to the cold and cloudy days. We enjoy warmer weather and more hours of sunshine. Nature comes back to life, trees and plants start to grow and animals wake up from their winter sleep. After the winter period, spring will bring happier people.
According to Swedish research there is a relationship between the weather and the heart. During the study, it was found that heart attacks are more common in lower temperatures, when we experience fewer hours of sunshine and during windy periods. The explanation for this finding lies in the narrowed arteries (contraction of blood vessels in cold weather) that put extra pressure on the heart and will increase the risk of a heart attack. The moment spring arrives, and we can enjoy warmer and sunnier weather, the risks of cold weather disappear. But what else is happening?
Summertime period and the affect on heart attacks
Rhythm and sleep are important for good health. These are also factors that you can control. But with the start of Spring, the summertime period kicks in, moving the clock forward by one hour. This upsets our biological clock, to which some are more sensitive than others.
The University of Michigan has done research on this topic and found interesting results. For example, it was determined that almost a quarter more heart attacks were registered on the Monday after the start of the summertime period.
Upsetting the biological clock can therefore have major consequences and thus forms a risk factor for the heart. Summertime will have a greater impact on people with existing high risk factors and less impact on those who are healthy.
Is Spring good for your health?
Spring is a time when people are more active thanks to the warmer and sunnier weather. More exercise and fresh air is positive for both body and mind. As long as there are no extreme peaks in temperature, you can say that the weather during this period is good for your health. The main event during Spring that can have a negative affect is the change into the summertime period. To keep the impact of this as low as possible, you could choose to get used to the summertime period earlier. You can do this by changing the clock by 15 minutes every day, four days before summertime starts. In this way you spread the change and the effect on your biological clock.