It always feels better when the sun is shining; people’s moods improve, they feel healthier, and there is more chance to go outside, get fit and active, and do enjoyable activities. However, although the sun might make us feel great, there are some downsides too. UV rays are dangerous and can cause cancer and burn the skin, sometimes to a level where scarring is left behind.
Yet despite the dangers, scientists have discovered that getting out in the sunshine, or at least having a good amount of sunlight in our homes and workspaces, is good for you – in moderation and with the suitable safety precautions attached. So just what are the health benefits of sunlight? Read on to find out.
When you get enough sunshine in your life, your body will start to produce more melatonin, and this is the hormone that helps you sleep better. Although the body only starts producing this hormone when the sun goes down and it’s dark – this is why most people stay up later in the lighter summer months – the more sunshine you can get during the day, the more melatonin will be produced, and the easier it will be to get to sleep.
It has already been mentioned how the sun often makes people feel generally happier and brighter, and this is true. Still, the fact that being in sunlight can also reduce stress makes this phenomenon even more likely to come to fruition.
Melatonin is useful for good sleep, but it is also helpful when it comes to de-stressing. Thanks to the sunshine, you’ll feel less stressed with better hormone regulation.
Maintains Strong Bones
Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins our bodies need to function at their best. Vitamin D specifically helps to create stronger bones, but often we just don’t get enough of it -it’s the one vitamin that most people are lacking in.
However, since vitamin D comes from sunlight, just going outside for 10 to 15 minutes a day and enjoying the sunshine means we can get a good top up of this vitamin, and that means we’re healthier all over. Of course, when you’re outside, you should always wear sunscreen and long sleeves, as well as a hat in order to protect yourself. Many people also opt for UV protection contact lenses to help keep their eyes healthy in the sun too. Despite this, you can still get enough vitamin D to make a difference, so it’s certainly worth doing.
Helps Keep The Weight Off
Although experts still don’t exactly understand the correlation, it would seem that if you go outside for around half an hour after 8am and before 12pm, you’ll more easily lose weight. Of course, this needs to be combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, but studies have shown that those who spend that much time outside each morning appear to be able to lose weight and keep the weight off much more easily than those who stay inside.
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