Now that the warmer weather is here, it’s time to get out in the fresh air and take in some sun!
As per the Mayo Clinic, just ten minutes of sun exposure a day will put you on a path to a sunnier self.
Benefits of Sun Exposure:
Improves bone and muscle health and strength.
Just minutes a day is thought to help combat vitamin D3 deficiency. According to Natural Standard, the role of vitamin D3 is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium promoting bone and muscle health. Vitamin D3 also helps protect against osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer and other diseases.
• Enjoy a morning stretch or a yoga routine outdoors and really turn on the benefits.
Relieves winter doldrums.
The sun has positive effects on some depressions such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
• Take a walk in the neighborhood with a friend. Getting social and sun is a win-win!
Promotes physical activity.
The fresh air awakens you.
• Try your hand at gardening. There are wonderful raised garden beds that would make a lovely flower, vegetable or herb garden. Not only will you get the recommended dose of sunshine but now there is the added bonus of having a purpose – planting, watering and caring for a garden. There is something special about harvesting vegetables and then preparing them as part of your meal that very day.
Builds the immune system.
Safe amounts of sun exposure can help remove toxins from the body. Vitamin D3 also plays an important role in countering infection, inflammation, cancer and auto–immunity according to a review in the May 2006 issue of Current opinion in Investigational Drugs.
• Sit out in the sun, breathe in the fresh air and clear your mind.
Promotes a good night sleep.
Our parents used to say after a day of playing outside, “the children will sleep well tonight!” There is truth in that statement. Fresh air and sunshine can help one sleep better at night. As per M. Nathaniel Mead of Environmental Health Perspectives, humans are programmed to be outdoors while the sun is shining and home in bed at night. This is why melatonin is produced during the dark hours and stops upon optic exposure to daylight. This pineal hormone is a key pacesetter for many of the body’s circadian rhythms. He further states that when people are exposed to sunlight or very bright artificial light in the morning their nocturnal melatonin productions occurs sooner and they enter into sleep more easily at night. Interestingly, serotonin is a melatonin precursor and is also affected by our exposure to sunlight. Proper serotonin levels positively influence mood.
• Don’t wait! After a nice morning out in the sun, try taking a catnap under the protection of an umbrella.
• Limit unprotected sun exposure and be cautious between the hours of 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. Remember your hat and sunglasses!
• Watch the temperature outdoors and to properly hydrate.
Now get out there and enjoy the sunshine!