The Top 5 Reasons Spring is a Season of Love
If you’re feeling let down by the end of Valentine’s Day, don’t be. Sure, there’s an entire year to trudge through before that special day in February when it’s acceptable to coo over teddy bears in bow ties and finish a Godiva Cake Truffles Gift Box Set in one night, but fear not – spring is just around the corner. Here, for all the romantics, are five great reasons why spring is good for love, and why love is good for your health.
1) More Sunshine
The sunny days of spring are good for the plants, good for the flowers, and good for going on dates. No longer are your romantic escapades restricted to the stuffy indoor heating of movie theaters and restaurants; in springtime, more sunshine means more opportunities to take your loved one on picnics, hikes, and long walks to absolutely nowhere. And besides being good for your love life, the sun is good for your health, too.
A whopping 90 percent of the average person’s vitamin D comes from natural exposure to the sun. This vitamin helps the body regulate calcium and phosphate, leading to healthy teeth and bones. And although vitamin D is available in pill form, spending time in the sun is better – whereas it’s possible to overdose on vitamin D capsules and do damage to the bones or kidney, you can never have too much sunshine (whilst wearing sunscreen of course!).
2) Less Melatonin
During the dark days of winter, the human brain becomes a hive of melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep and feelings of lethargy; great if you’re lying down for a good night’s rest, but not so useful if you’re facing a day with a full appointment book. So, when spring brings back longer days and lots more light, melatonin levels fall and produce a sumptuous surge of springtime energy, which is perfect – the sidewalks have finally defrosted, and you’re raring to go for a healthy run.
Along with this increased vigor, there is also evidence that melatonin can inhibit the body’s production of testosterone; no wonder, then, that less melatonin in the spring means newly energetic hormones and a flutter of seasonal flirtation. This springtime burst of energy might be just the motivation to hop off the couch and take a chance on love – blind date anyone?
3) More Serotonin
While springtime levels of melatonin are falling, the hormone serotonin is shooting up, up, up. Like melatonin, serotonin is also responsible for regulating mood and energy functions, and there is much evidence that less sunlight means less serotonin. In fact, many in the field theorize that Seasonal Affective Disorder is largely related to lower levels of serotonin during the winter.
Once spring comes, serotonin stops hibernating, and that’s a good thing for the romantics among us. A 2011 study published in Biological Psychiatry found that serotonin can make a person more receptive to intimacy, and more eager to be part of an interdependent relationship. The study asked participants to look at photos of couples, and rate their apparent closeness; test subjects with lowered serotonin tended to underestimate the intimacy pictured in the photos, leading researchers to the conclusion that the known correlation between low serotonin and aggressive behavior might manifest as romantic reluctance. Luckily for springtime lovebirds, more serotonin just might mean a more satisfied significant other.
4) Less Flu
Ugh. Nothing puts the brakes on a romantic evening quite as efficiently as sniffles, sneezes and snot. And if it seems like you get sick more in the winter, well, statistics say you do. Scientists have a few ideas as to why flu germs are such a menace in the winter, but happy to leave you alone come spring. The flu virus thrives in cold and dry weather, so little wonder you’re taking so many sick days in December and January. The rise in temperature, along with less sharing of germs indoors, makes spring the perfect time of year to stop throwing your money into the Robitussin toilet.
Of course, less flu is also great for your love life. With warmer weather and weaker viruses, spring is a great time for serious smooching. Best of all, in springtime you can be sure that that rosy glow caressing the face of your loved one is the blush of love, not fever.
5) More Flowers
Flowers – a timeless symbol of beauty, fertility and love, and in the spring, you can find them for free in your neighbor’s front yard. Ok, so maybe stealing petunia bulbs isn’t the best way to usher in the season, but the point is, springtime is flower time, and that’s good for your romance as well as your health.
In 2006 a Harvard study found that flowers actually do make people feel good. After studying test subjects’ reactions to situations with and without flowers, researchers affirmed that flowers can bring an instant mental lift, positive emotions, a boost of energy and fewer feelings of sadness or depression. Flowers will also increase feelings of kindness and compassion, so if you do end up nicking your neighbor’s hydrangea, who knows, you just might be forgiven.
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