In today’s face-paced society, it’s possible to go days or even weeks without spending significant time in the sunlight. Most people only get time in the sun if it happens to be out during the walk from their car to the store, home, or office. That’s why it’s important to be intentional about getting time in the sun. Natural sunlight has a variety of benefits that many people don’t receive because they don’t think to spend time outside.
The benefits of natural sunlight include the following:
1. ENERGY BOOST
Natural sunlight affects the body on a chemical level in many ways. One of these ways is through the production of cortisol. When your eyes detect sunlight, this signals to your body that it’s time to produce cortisol, which will increase your metabolism and give you a burst of energy.
2. VITAMIN D
Vitamin D is essential for humans to function but many of us don’t get as much as we should. This is because vitamin D is primarily produced by the skin as it absorbs sunlight. Vitamin D will help your body absorb calcium better which helps with bone growth and health. It can also help with muscles and metabolic health and can strengthen your immune system which leaves you better equipped to fight off diseases.
3. WARDS OFF SEASONAL DEPRESSION
Sunlight is so vital to human existence that people can actually develop a mood disorder called Seasonal Affective Disorder if they don’t get enough of it. This disorder usually affects people who live in places like Seattle where it rains a lot, or if they don’t get enough sun due to the seasons, the weather, or simply not being outside enough.
4. BETTER MOOD
One of the reasons a lack of sunlight can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder is due to the role of sunlight in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical in your brain that helps regulate feelings such as happiness, joy, and satisfaction. The more serotonin in your system, the better your mood will be. The body increases serotonin production when exposed to sunlight, so if you need a mood boost, try spending some time in the sun.
5. POTENTIALLY LONGER LIFE
One study suggests that there might be a connection between living a longer a longer life and increased sun exposure. It is still important, of course, to be aware of the dangers of skin cancer and the damage over-exposure to sunlight can do to your skin. But avoiding the sun entirely can end up decreasing your lifespan rather than keeping you safe.
6. LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
Another way sunlight can have a physical effect on your wellbeing is in relation to your blood pressure. Nitric oxide gets stored in the upper levels of skin and makes its way back into the bloodstream when exposed to sunlight. The movement of oxide into the bloodstream causes your blood vessels to expand. This expansion allows your blood to flow more freely and can lead to lower blood pressure.
7. HELPS WITH SKIN CONDITIONS
UV radiation from the sun can also help heal a variety of skin conditions. Some of these conditions include acne, psoriasis, eczema, and jaundice. It’s important to find a good balance when increasing your sun exposure as several of these conditions – or the medications that treat them – can make you more sensitive to sunlight. This may seem like a contradiction, but studies have shown that UV exposure in moderation can help accelerate the healing of these skin problems. Doctors are even developing UV radiation treatments that involve exposing the skin to simulated sunlight to accelerate healing.
Lucky, you can enjoy some of the benefits of this treatment, plus the additional benefits already listed in this article, by simply spending some time outside. Try going for a walk, reading a book in a sunny spot, or eating a meal on an un-shaded patio. However you choose to do it, increased health and well-being is right outside the door in those free sunshine rays. So get out there and enjoy the all the benefits the sun has to offer.