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Do Our Bodies Change With the Seasons?

03/25/2016, 5:00am PDT
By Kelvin Cech

 

Last week I was trudging along a soggy mountain trail with my dogs. They were miserable, I was miserable, the entire planet was miserable. 

Skip ahead to this week and we’re all trotting along without a trace of hitch in our giddyups as the late evening sun pours down on the same trail. 

Same time, same place, different attitude. Could it all be owed simply to the chemistry of our bodies?

Before we answer that, let’s take a look at some of the factors affecting life in the lower mainland as spring takes hold.

1. Hockey is done: this means that a lot of people in our inner circle are feeling a sense of accomplishment and relief that inevitably accompanies the completion of another hockey season. The result? MOAR HAPPINESS.

2. Spring sports are starting up: this means that there’s a new sense of anticipation and excitement on your local airwaves. The conversation switching from winter sports to something completely new (and normally less stressful) has a larger impact than you might think. So embrace it!

3. Kids go outside: I’m not a parent so I don’t know what it’s like to have a child or three asking for money or food or money for food every ten minutes. I can imagine it gets a little salty at times, so it must be a relief when the days warm up and the rain stops and the kids go outside to do…whatever.

Science of the Seasons

Let’s back up a few months. Autumn brings the beginning of hockey, school, and the long, dark, and rainy nights we’ll simply never get used to. The darkness is more than a simple nuisance, however. Melatonin is an enzyme your brain releases during the night to essentially turn your body off. When the nights are longer and it’s darker, melatonin works over-time to shut you down. Hey, it’s just doing its job.

So as the days grow longer, the natural light goes to work and budges melatonin out of the way by limiting its production. This is an oversimplification of a complex process (I worked for a mattress company awhile back), but it’s accurate to say that nature is doing all it can to help you wake up from a long winter’s hibernation. 

“Sweet lovers love the spring.”

  • William Shakespeare

That’s right, I just quoted William Shakespeare on your local hockey, tennis, swimming and fitness blog. 

What Does It All Mean?

There’s a point to all this, I swear. 

Winter is a marathon. It’s downright hard to overcome not only the darkness and the rain, but all the unique issues that we have to deal with during the school year and the hockey season. 

And it will all happen again. 

Unless your kids are finished with hockey or graduating from high school, you’re going to be faced with new challenges in a few months. 

So go outside! Try a new sport! You, I mean, the parents - go do something for you this spring. Join a rec soccer league. Go to the gym more often. Try tennis for the first time or just get way better at tennis. 
Spring has sprung, and there’s no better time to open the curtains to a brand new world that’s just waiting for you to make an impact.

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