Getting ample sunshine in our everyday lives doesn’t seem like something that Floridians need to worry about, so it may be a surprise to hear that you’re probably not getting enough of the sunny stuff. While it is still critical that we protect our skin and our bodies from sun damage, it is also essential that we make sun exposure a daily habit so that we can get what our bodies naturally crave.
Here are some of the best reasons to get outside, soak up the sun, and reap all the benefits that a bright and sunny day has to offer.
1. It Boosts Your Mood
There are a lot of ways to get a serotonin boost, but the quickest and most efficient way to get your brain swimming in the happiness hormone is to let the sun in. Regular sun exposure, especially when combined with moderate exercise like a morning jog or stroll through the park with your faithful pooch by your side, has been shown to help protect your brain from succumbing to the symptoms of moderate depression.
2. It’s the Easiest Way to Get Your Vitamin D
The sun’s light contains both UVA and UVB radiation, and the second one, UVB, triggers an inactive form of Vitamin D in skin, which is in turn activated and turned useful by the liver and kidneys. Vitamin D is a powerhouse of a vitamin, and living without enough of it puts humans at a greater risk of developing particular types of cancers, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. If you think that you can get the same effects from the pill form of Vitamin D, think again. Scientists and doctors admit that artificial stuff is not nearly as good as the real thing.
3. It Will Help You Sleep Better
Because we can count on the sunlight to always be there, regular sun exposure helps you maintain a natural circadian rhythm. A circadian rhythm, otherwise known as your body’s natural wake and rest cycle, is triggered by the sun so that you can be awake and sleep on a regular sequence that keeps your brain and body healthy and happy.
4. It Helps Your Muscles
Do you know why doctors recommend that arthritis patients get out and walk in the sunshine? It’s because the warmth of the sun helps ease stiff, tight muscles, which in turn reduces the pain of inflammation from arthritis.
5. It Increases Fertility
Melatonin, the hormone that helps put you to sleep, is reduced in the winter months. It has also been shown to decrease fertility. But in the summertime, all that sunshine keeps the melatonin at bay for longer, increasing the chances of fertility.
6. It Reduces Menstrual Cramps and PMS
If you have been suffering from painful periods and difficult to manage premenstrual syndrome, a lack of Vitamin D may be to blame. In studies by Columbia University, women who were treated with Vitamin D and calcium were better able to regulate their periods, ease cramping, and had reduced their PMS symptoms too.
7. It Makes for a Better Workout
If you are new to exercise and trying to find a way to break the cycle of hating your workouts, try exercising in the sunlight. Exercising outdoors in the sunlight releases more endorphins in your bloodstream than a same workout in the gym. Not only is it free (unlike your gym membership), but it is more likely to get you hooked on getting physical every day. 8. It Heals Your Skin Doctors regularly prescribe sunlight to patients suffering from skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne. Called “phototherapy,” this treatment is designed to help skin absorb the helpful UVB rays, which slow the rate of skin growth. Allowing your skin to heal slower and more precisely, leads to clearer, healthier skin.
9. It Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Sun-lovers all have one thing in common – they’re always in a really good mood! As mentioned earlier, sun exposure can brighten your day with a boost of serotonin, but it can also keeps your anger in check. When sunlight touches skin, it triggers the release of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a compound in skin cells that is activated by the sun and released into the surrounding blood vessels. This compound release is one of the body’s natural ways to decrease blood pressure, keeping your mood boosted, your anger in check, and reducing your risk of high blood pressure-related issues like a stroke or heart attack.