While many seem to focus on the negative effects of the sun, it can actually bring a variety of benefits. The benefits of sunlight range from weight-loss and heart health, to bone strength, and even improved sleep and mood. It’s true, responsible and mindful sun exposure brings many benefits.
A great deal of focus is given to the negative effects of sun exposure. And sure enough, it’s crucial to cultivate a healthy respect for that burning ball of gas that can cause a whole suite of problems — up to and including skin cancer.
BUT. . . we also need to give credit where credit is due. And credit is certainly due to sunshine for the many positive benefits it brings our body, mind, and soul. So what exactly are these sun-borne benefits? We thought you’d never ask!
The Many Benefits of Sunlight
Sunshine helps you with weight loss → Researchers claim that manipulating light exposure in humans alters our metabolism, appetite, and body fat. That is, early-morning sun exposure can actually decrease our BMI and take a few off the ol’ waistline. This is reason enough to bask in the sun, but let’s keep it going.
Sunshine can lower your blood pressure →The heart disease and stroke statistics (especially in North America) are staggering. In fact, if you’re reading this, there’s nearly a 50/50 chance that you have high blood pressure. Fortunately, new studies are emerging that show a healthy exposure to the sun can result in a significant drop in blood pressure. That’s a plus one for the sun!
Sunshine strengthens your bones → You might recall our post about how more sun might solve sports-related injuries. The evidence is convincing, vitamin D from the sun is foundational in promoting calcium absorption, the good stuff that fortifies our muscles and bones. Healthy and responsible sun exposure increases our bodies’ resilience and decreases injuries.
Sunshine boosts your immune system → The sunshine vitamin also penetrates to the cellular level, helping our bodies find rhythm and balance, and stave off sickness and disease. On the flip side, a vitamin D deficiency can prove to be the express cause of sickness, infection, and disease. . . especially in the elderly. This goes to show that a daily kiss of sunshine goes a long way.
Sunshine improves your sleep and mood → We carry the benefits of sunlight even into our sleep. Exposure to the sun during the day brings the release of serotonin at night. Serotonin, also known as the ‘happiness hormone,’ helps with everything from mental stability to promoting a positive outlook and mood. This is especially important during the winter months, a time when many are suffering from seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.). A healthy does of sunshine can also help to stabilize our circadian rhythm and decrease mental stress.
The Sun is a Natural Source of Health and Happiness
Wow! The sun truly is a source of health and happiness. But remember, take a responsible approach to your daytime sun exposure, and don’t overdo it. Be sun-smart and enjoy the many benefits of sunlight. The best part of it all? It’s free and pretty much guaranteed for life!