Springtime in the Triad area of North Carolina is a rejuvenation of the senses. Dogwood trees are blooming, yellow daffodils scatter the landscape, red-breasted robins are perched, and temperatures are mild with soft cool breezes. Spring is Mother Nature's refresh for the world.
There is something special about spring's effect on your brain. A study from the University of Michigan linked spending 30 minutes or more outside in warm sunny spring weather to higher mood and better memory. Your five senses can help you take in all spring has to offer. Here are a few examples.
SIGHT: Flowers are in bloom. Several studies have shown that looking at flowers can make you happy. A study from Rutgers University found that when participants were presented with a bouquet of flowers, it resulted in what scientists call a "true smile" 100 percent of the time. You can get a replete floral showcase on a short walk through the community, public garden, or park.
SOUND: The birds are returning, and you may be waking up to the sounds of the dawn chorus. Birds may start singing as early as 4 a.m. and go until the sun has risen and temperatures begin to warm. The dawn chorus is strongest in spring when birds are seeking mates and establishing territories. You may also hear the "muk muk" of squirrels, and unfortunately, the buzz of mosquitoes.
SMELL: Lawn and garden centers are stocking fragrant plants, trees and shrubs. Let your nose guide you to your favorites. Often considered a "Classic Symbol Of The South" is the Magnolia Tree. Sweetbay magnolias have creamy white, lemon-scented flowers at the end of spring or early summer. Each flower will open in the morning and close at night.
Apple trees yield sweet-smelling fragrant flowers and edible fruit. 'Honeycrisp' flowers generally appear in April, giving way to full-bodied fruit early to mid-fall. Another regional favorite is the purple leaf sand cherry, a tall shrub with sweetly fragrant white flowers and blooms.
TASTE: It's easy to find fresh produce and herbs in the spring. The Triad has several farmers' markets and pick-your-own farms featuring local vegetables, fruits, and berries. Fruits and vegetables are an all-natural source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Many are classified as "superfoods." Spring herbs offer bursts of flavor as well as health benefits. Basil is a popular herb offering flavors like sweet basil, tangy lemon basil, or mint basil. Basil contains vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants. Select fresh herbs whenever possible to gain the most benefits.
TOUCH: The feel of warm sunlight, whether coming through the window in the morning or showering you while walking outside, makes you feel better. Sunlight helps boost a chemical in your brain called serotonin that can give you more energy and helps keep you calm, positive, and focused. Sunlight also triggers your body to produce vitamin D. This nutrient is essential for your bones, blood cells, and immune system. People only need 10 minutes outside, with a quarter of their bodies exposed to the spring sunshine, to get an adequate dose. Remember to apply sunscreen on your face, lips, ears, and neck 30 minutes before you go outside.
At Twin Lakes Community, we welcome spring. Our beautiful campus has gardens, lakes, and activities that heighten the senses and promote a renewal of spirit. Joining our community is a refreshing way to spend your retirement. We are an accredited Continuing Care Retirement Community offering a wide range of care when you need it. Plan a spring outing and schedule your visit today. Call 336-538-1572.