Summer is here, the weather is warm, and the sun is shining. Many of us live for this time of the year, because it means we can get outside much more often. Well, if you still choose to stay indoors, we have 10 reasons why you should soak up the sun while it’s available, as there are many ways your health can benefit from it.
10 reasons to soak up the sun
Stronger bones: On top of the fact that your bones need calcium, they also need vitamin D – and its best source the sun. Vitamin D helps you better absorb calcium, which ultimately provides you with stronger bones.
Lower blood pressure: If blood pressure is your concern, then some natural sunlight can help bring those numbers down. Research has shown that sunlight stimulates the production of nitric oxide, which helps relax blood vessels and this way lowers blood pressure.
Improved brain function: Vitamin D has been shown to improve brain function. Research has shown that seniors over the age of 65 with highest vitamin D levels had better cognitive function compared to those with the lowest levels.
Depression prevention: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression usually taking place in the winter months when there’s way less sunlight. Being exposed to sunlight can help release the brain’s natural antidepressants to combat SAD.
Better sleep: You need sunlight in order to sleep properly. Getting adequate sunlight helps regulate your circadian clock as well as produce melatonin, which puts us to sleep at night.
Improved skin: Sunlight has been found to help with skin disorders, like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and jaundice. It’s important to note, however, that you should still protect your skin with sunscreen when staying out in the sun.
Stronger immune system: Sunlight is often used as therapy to treat autoimmune disorders because sunlight naturally suppresses the immune system that gets overactive in autoimmune conditions. White blood cell count also increases due to sunlight exposure, meaning you have better defense against infections.
Vision health: Sunlight has been shown to lower incidences of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Just don’t forget to always wear sunglasses and never look directly at the sun.
Metabolism boost: Sun exposure has been linked to a faster metabolism, meaning you can digest food much easier. Plus, this makes you less likely to store fat as you would in the winter months.
Lower risk of type 2 diabetes: Some studies have shown that vitamin D reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Patients with high levels of vitamin D had up to 40 percent reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared to patients with lower levels.
As you can see, being exposed to the sun and heading outside this summer can have a number of positive effects on your body and health. But still remember, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. Being exposed to the sun for too long can increase your risk of melanoma. Always protect your skin and know your limit.
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