Healthy Sun Exposure is Essential to Your Well-Being
Though fear of the sun and its effects continues to grow, healthy sun exposure is essential to your health and well-being. Nearly every day, a news report appears with warnings to stay out of the sun, use this sunscreen or that for best coverage, cover your entire body when you go outside, and more. There is truth in these reports, you definitely shouldn’t head out to the beach or the pool for the entire day with no sunscreen or protective clothing as scientific research has confirmed sunbathing for hours and sun burning in the process is harmful, even deadly with links to skin cancer and melanoma.
On the other hand, there is also truth in the suns beneficial effects for the body. Taking a bit of sun is, in fact, essential to good health. Brief intervals, outside, enjoying the sun for a few minutes, letting it shine on your unprotected skin, offers benefits galore that you don’t want to miss. Here are the positives of healthy sun exposure, plus tips on how to let the sun shine safely down on you.
Heading outside on a bright sunshiny day without sunscreen is the best way to get the vitamin D your body needs to fight disease and feel great. Sun exposure on your skin causes your body to increase vitamin D production. Because vitamin D, unlike other vitamins your body needs, is only found in a few food sources, the sun is the best route to healthy levels in the body. Vitamin D is produced in the skin and a mere 20 to 25 minutes of exposure daily can help your body produce the amounts needs to keep you healthy and well.
You probably already know this one from experience, but sunlight actually elevates your mood. It is a result of increased vitamin D levels, which is known to act as nature’s antidepressant and able to reduce your stress and lift your spirit.
Vitamin D helps increase immunity and decrease inflammation, while helping to prevent a variety of cancers – pancreatic, breast, lung, skin, prostate, ovarian, and colon. Heading out for a few minutes of sunlight daily, especially in the winter months, keeps your body’s vitamin D production working effectively to keep you healthy. And in case you were wondering, you actually have to get outside, light coming in your windows doesn’t help vitamin D production.
A recent discovery by researches showed sun exposure helps bring your blood pressure down. The study recorded a decrease in blood pressure after only two exposures to the sun. Sunshine causes the body to release nitric oxide, which in turn opens blood vessels allowing blood to flow more freely and lowering blood pressure numbers. It’s not a sign to come off your meds without your doctor’s okay, but it is certainly a reason to enjoy a bit of healthy sun exposure daily.
When you get your daily dose of sunshine in the morning, your eyes tell your pineal gland (in the brain) the sunlight means nighttime is over and the time to shut down melatonin production has arrived. By doing so, your body’s healthy circadian rhythm is maintained, you get plenty of sleep when you need it, and your body stays healthy.
Healthy Sun Exposure
With all these health benefits, you may be wondering how you can get your daily dose of sunshine in a safe and healthy way that minimize the risks. Keep in mind, your complexion, your age, your location, and your BMI as well as the season and time of day are factors in sun exposure. In Florida, you may need less time in the sun than those who live further north, who may need a few more minutes every day. And if you find you will be out longer than the recommended time, be sure to add healthy sunscreen so you don’t burn!