Spring brings relief for Ohio
With increasing temperatures and biomass, this correspondent is glad to see a decrease in spending, carbon emissions and stress.
Monday, March 15, 2010 - 16:29
I loathe cold weather. If the English language had a stronger synonym, I would certainly use it. The long winter and slushy conditions are the two things I hate most about Ohio.
Thankfully, the coming of spring redeems the Buckeye State in my mind, especially in the Athens area. Sunshine sends students crawling out the dorms like ants roused from their hill, armed with frisbees and slushies. The other day, the campus at Ohio University could have been filmed for a promotional video with all the huge grins and friendly faces caught in their best with a little help from the sun.
The return of the bike
Since I loathe cold weather, anything that increases that cold like, say, the rushing winds produced by riding a bike, I am also against. So during the winter months, I grit my teeth and climb into my car to go places. With the return of warm weather, I've pulled my bike off the rack and have been riding it everywhere. Athens is home to the Hockhocking-Adena Bike Path that conveniently runs behind all the shops and grocery stores that are off-campus, so I never need to use my car! It's also a great form of exercise. After getting a road bike this spring, I'll be taking on some riding challenges, such as the Athens County Quilt Barn Cycling Challenge. This is a series of paths that take the rider past barns that have had quilt squares painted on their roofs. It's a great way to keep one's mind occupied during a 30, 40 or 60-mile trek.
Heavy, starchy foods be banished to winter's closed pantry! Though they warm the cockles of my heart during the chilly month, they also stick to the curves of my body, and no one wants extra pounds in the spring when the clothes get slimmer. Good thing spring brings out more gardening and fresh fruits and vegetables! This means healthier eating and also more social eating in the form of picnics and cookouts. Research has shown that if you eat with people, conversation will occupy your mouth more, so food won't — and you eat less! Challenge yourself with the renaissance of fresh foods by becoming a locavore — try eating foods that have been produced within 100 miles of where you live.
Health by nature
Many in the winter months are afflicted by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a condition which causes feelings of depression, lethargy and hopelessness caused by lack of light during the cold months. Hello, sunshine! Being exposed to sunlight causes the body to produce Vitamin D — an immunity booster and a preventative of many types of cancer. Sunlight also causes the body to produce more melatonin, which helps the body's natural sleep rhythm, helping you feel more alert and rested after sleeping.
So get out and enjoy that sunshine, good food and warm weather.