The Importance of Sunlight

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:

yorkshire-2900064_960_720

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.

reading-2798775_960_720

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! 🙂

park-life-2251981_960_720

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?

——

Check out my Youtube channel for positive videos!

Follow me @SkyHighAffirm on Twitter

Walk for a Dog!

Autumn is here (at least in this hemisphere), and that means falling leaves, cool temperatures, and best of all, long walks with the dog! I love hiking in the woods and on walking trails, and even a stroll around the neighborhood can be refreshing when the weather is crisp. My dog Chester loves it too, of course. :3

chester_walk2017

One thing I always do while I walk is to use the Walk for a Dog app. It’s a free app you download on your phone, and it works as a pedometer to track the distance you travel during your walks. They then donate a few cents per mile, I believe about 11-25 cents, to an animal charity of your choice. All you have to do is open the app and click “start walking”, then just toss your phone in a pocket or in my case, a fanny pack (yeah, I don’t care if they’re uncool, they’re super useful, so NYAH!). Press one more button to stop the walk, and your donation is logged.

I love this app, because you can do good in the world just by walking around! It adds some extra enjoyment to a fun trip like a hike, and it even makes exercise seem more meaningful. I can see it adding to motivation a bit too; knowing that animals will be helped might just get that stubborn jogger out of bed and onto the pavement. 🙂 Since signing up, I’ve walked almost 65 miles!

walkdog_screenshot

Check out Walk for a Dog and sign up! Sometimes it feels like making the world a better place is hard, but this is one simple way to do it. In case you’d rather help out two-legged charities, there are also apps for that too, like Charity Miles.

You CAN make a positive difference in the world! 🙂


Check out my Youtube channel for positive videos!

Follow me @SkyHighAffirm on Twitter