Fever All Through The Spring

We finally passed that venerable point in the year when the days have started getting longer again. This week marked the vernal equinox, the official kickoff of spring. Usually, this day of transition is nothing more than a figurehead, as winter remnants like snowbanks still linger on the sidewalks.

For the first time in recent memory, the weather has exceeded expectations for a summer day, let alone a spring one. People are crawling out from their winter hibernation, popping on their favorite pair of sunglasses and hitting the closest terrace they can find for pitchers of sangria.

Needless to say spring makes people horny. Known colloquially as spring fever, the increased energy and overall vitality could have something to do with shedding the winter layers to reveal pale skin itching for a healthy dose of vitamin D. Getting out of the house more often means meeting more people, which in turn leads to more chances for spring romance.

There are also biological and chemical factors at play that cause this increased libido. According to Dr. Sanford Auerbach, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Boston University, the fluctuation in daylight hours between winter and spring triggers a reaction in the retina that signals the brain to produce less melatonin, which in turn can lead to elevated mood and energy levels.

Furthermore, mammals have developed seasonal breeding patterns to promote long-term survival, which helps to explain the increase in birth rates in the springtime. “From a biological perspective, most types of animals, and maybe even plants, have a seasonal variation in behavior and physiology; there are seasonal cycles in human rates of conception,” noted Thomas Wehr of the National Institute of Mental Health.

For example, a late-spring increase in the luteinizing hormone that is known to trigger biological changes like increased ovulation or testosterone production leading to an increase in spring births. Logically, if you’re going to be carrying and nurturing a baby for nine months, it makes sense for the latter ones to occur during winter when you spend most of your time hunkering down and hibernating anyways.

So what are some of the best ways to harness this added energy and channel it into something positive? Try working off some of that winter weight by starting a new exercise program. Incorporate outdoor activities like cycling or jogging to bask in the warming glow of the sun. And for those of your ladies out there who might need a little extra motivation to get back to the gym, researchers from the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University have found that approximately 40% of the women they surveyed had experience exercise-induced pleasure, sometimes resulting in orgasm even when the women weren’t having any sexual thoughts at the time.

Of the women who experienced orgasms during their workouts, a little less than half were engaging in abdominal exercises at the time, while almost 20% were biking or spinning, and nearly 10% were climbing poles or ropes.

Photo credit: darkuangel.deviantart.com

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