Why Springtime is So Good For You, According to Science

Posted by Otterbein SeniorLife on Apr 15, 2019 3:41:38 PM

The long, cold days of winter are finally past, and spring is in the air. There’s nothing quite like enjoying the first warm day of the season or seeing the early flowers poking up through the ground.

Learn more about the biggest reason we really do feel better during this time, and get some inspiration for fun springtime activities below.

Get More Sun for Better Health

During the spring, temperatures warm up, Daylight Savings Time begins, and the sun grows stronger as the northern hemisphere begins to tilt back toward it. For us Ohioans, that means it’s time to get outdoors after a long winter.

You may notice an improvement in your mood and attitude during this time, and that’s no accident: Increased sunlight is directly linked to better mental health and can even improve conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

To get the biggest benefit, spend five-15 minutes outdoors, two to three times a week. Getting some sun on your arms, hands, and face will provide the biggest boost.

If you’re going to be outdoors for longer than about 15 minutes, apply a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to avoid the chance of sunburn.

Related: Healthy tips for spring-cleaning your kitchen >>

Fun Springtime Activities to Try

To soak in the season and get your health-boosting dose of sunlight, try one of the activities suggested below, or take part in your own favorite spring activity.

Take a walk

It’s the easiest way to enjoy the season. Whether it’s a stroll around the block or a trip to a local nature preserve, you’re sure to discover springtime flora and fauna on the way. Look for early crocuses and daffodils, or keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for songbirds and deer.

Fly a kite

If you haven’t enjoyed this simple pastime in a while, now is the perfect time to rediscover it. Inexpensive kites can be picked up at your local dollar store, so choose a windy day and head to the park to start flying with a friend or grandchild.

Plan a trip

Research shows the best part of a trip isn’t actually going - it’s planning! Whether you’re serious about taking a vacation or just want to do it for fun, enjoy the process of choosing a locale and deciding on how to get there, what to do, and where to stay.

Visit a farmer’s market

If you’re tired of bagged salad and pale tomatoes, this is the season for you. Find a local farmer’s market and load up on fresh fruits and veggies - like asparagus, snap peas, and strawberries - while you’re there. And speaking of strawberries…

Go strawberry-picking

According to the website Gardening Know-How, strawberries are only in season for three to four weeks during the spring - so don’t delay! In Ohio, that season comes in late May and early June, but it’s never too early to plan your trip if you’re a serious berry lover.

Related: Secrets to living longer and healthier >>

Plant something

Spring is the season for growing. Maybe you’ve cultivated a large kitchen garden your whole life … or maybe your thumb is more brown than green. Whatever the case, pick a project that appeals to you, like growing herbs from seed or just potting some bulbs. Studies even suggest gardening can reduce your risk of dementia and lower your stress level.

Celebrate Easter or Passover

Enjoy the life-giving renewal of the season by celebrating Easter, Passover, or whatever religious holiday means the most to you. And yes, science even says that having a sense of spirituality is good for your mental health.

Plan a picnic

Combine several of the activities above in an old-fashioned picnic with friends or family. It’s easy to find menu ideas and packing tips online if you’re looking to impress. But there’s no need to get fancy - at the end of the day, some snacks and a blanket spread in the backyard will do just fine.

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Topics: Life Enrichment