Are you getting enough sunlight? If you’re not, you’re missing out on a potent health booster, which also happens to be completely free! Here are some of the many benefits of sunlight:
Vitamin D: The most well-known benefit of sunlight is the production of Vitamin D. Though it’s called a vitamin, Vitamin D is actually a hormone, with several important functions in the body. One of the most important jobs is to aid in the absorption of calcium and magnesium into the bones, and it also helps to strengthen the immune system to fight off disease. Your body can make its own supply of this valuable substance; when sunlight hits the skin, it converts cholesterol into Vitamin D. So not only do you get more D, you’re actually improving your cholesterol levels as well!
Decrease Depression: Sunlight also has effects on other hormones. Exposure to sunlight stimulates the production of Serotonin, otherwise known as the “happy hormone”. Regular sun time can actually improve your mood and help to fight depression and anxiety. Sunlight also decreases the production of Melatonin, the hormone responsible for making you sleepy. Getting some sun as soon as you wake up is a great way to increase alertness and shake away grogginess.
Decrease SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder): SAD is a common condition during the winter months, when cold temperatures and shorter days can bring on lower moods and intensify depression. Exposure to sunlight can help decrease this condition through Serotonin production. So if you feel more down than normal during the winter months, strap on some mittens and go spend some time in the sun!
It’s Natural: Long ago, humans spent much more time outside than we do today. Our minds and bodies developed under the sun, and modern indoor life conflicts with this natural lifestyle. Spending more time outside in the sunlight gets us closer to nature and our healthiest human state!
Social Interaction: You can get sun in your own backyard, but going to a park or even walking on the sidewalk can have social benefits too. Mental health is increased by positive social interaction, so seeing and talking to other people can have great health benefits. Who knows, you might even meet a new friend or partner! 🙂
Make it a priority to get some sunlight every day, especially in winter. Obviously too much sun can have negative effects, but a reasonable amount of these warming rays can do wonders for your health and well-being.
My favorite place to get some healthy sunlight is in my backyard, on my swing. I love to sit out there and sew while soaking up some rays. 🙂 Do you have a special place?
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