The Health Benefits of Sunshine
When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, we are all often bombarded with well meaning warnings about spending too much time in the sun, what with skin cancer and premature aging among the things that no one really wants to be getting.
But that doesn't mean you have to hide under a wide brimmed hat the whole time you are out of doors, nor does it mean that you have to stay indoors all the time there is daylight.
Unless of course you are a vampire!
So what is the reality here? Is the sun really so bad for us, or are we turning our backs on a free source of health and vitality?
The truth of the matter is that we all need to get some exposure to the sun and preferably daily to enable our bodies to manufacture our daily needs of vitamin D. Without this vital vitamin we risk a whole range of health problems from brittle bones to kidney stones through the resultant lack of ability to absorb calcium properly.
More interestingly, recent studies have revealed that lack of this vitamin is linked with obesity. That means the less natural daylight you expose yourself to, the higher your chances of gaining weight, especially if you are eating a poor diet or one that is high in sugars. That means excess calories from lots of sweetened or junk food potentially compounding the problem.
So it makes pretty sound common sense to ensure you get your full daily quota of sunshine to produce all the vitamin D that you will need to help you stay slim.
Sure, you can top up your body's supply of vitamin D through supplements, but why would you want to spend money on pills to pop when you can get it for free for the sake of 20 minutes exposure to the sun a day?
That's right, in 20 minutes, you'll get enough exposure for your body to produce its own vitamin D, which some say is highly superior to what you have to try to absorb from a pill. In 20 minutes, even in the hottest sunshine, you are unlikely to risk burning or damaging your skin through harmful UV exposure, because of the short time spent in the sun.
The best part is that you don't even need to strip off to a bikini or pair of swim shorts as just getting the sun to your face and arms in that time is sufficient.
Lift Your Mood
Apart from the obvious vitamin boost to health from exposure to the sun, it also helps lift your mood by boosting the production of serotonin in the brain which gives you a feel good factor that you won't get stuck indoors all day. Getting lots of natural daylight also helps to counter the health effects of tiredness, as it gives you a much needed boost of energy and vitality.
When you're in a good mood, life always seems better, making you more positive.
And when you're in a positive frame of mind, your health reflects your mood. So get out in the sunshine for a while each day (weather permitting) and do yourself a big favor!
- Terry Didcott
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Posted on Sun, 19 Jan 2014 in Health | 0 Comments