5 Health Benefits of Sunshine, in a few words…
“1. Sunlight is the only natural source of vitamin D available to the human body. 2. Moderate exposure to the sun gives skin a healthy-looking, glowing complexion. 3. Sunshine increases the amount of endorphins released by our brain, giving you that feeling of pleasure or euphoria. 4. Exposure to the sun can ease painful joints due to the increased production of pain relieving endorphins. 5. The warmth of sunshine relaxes us, and triggers an increase in the production of Melatonin, a natural hormone produced by the body that helps us to fall asleep, and stay asleep”
And in a few more words…
This article is really a part 2 to our previously published article about the effects of the sun on your overall health and wellness. To read it in full, please Click Here: The Fine Line Between Sunburn Hysteria & Vitamin D Deficiency…
5 Health Benefits of Sunshine
We wait in eager anticipation all winter for some beautiful summer weather, only to be scare-mongered back under cover amidst fears of skin cancer, premature aging and sunstroke upon its arrival! Many people love the sunshine but are simply too frightened to enjoy it because of the amount of negative media coverage in circulation. Luckily, however, exposure to natural sunlight has several positive effects to our health.
1. The production of vitamin D
Sunlight is the only natural source of vitamin D available to the human body. It is produced when the sunlight reacts with cholesterol naturally found in our skin and converts it into this essential vitamin. Vitamin D has the benefit of increasing the absorption of calcium within our bodies, promoting strong and healthy bones, lessening the possibility of developing osteoarthritis. Of course, dietary supplements of vitamin D are an option, but this isn’t an ideal alternative to natural sunlight – the body will produce the exact amount of vitamin D required from sunshine exposure, rather than receiving a specific amount in the form of a capsule – plus it’s free!
2. Benefits the skin
There is no denying that with moderate exposure to the sun, the skin is left with a healthy-looking, glowing complexion. The sun does dry skin out though. Much in the same way as we keep our bodies hydrated in hot weather, it is also important to keep the skin hydrated with a good moisturiser, day and night. The risk of sunburn during any exposure to the sun is inevitable so a good sunscreen is essential. This is no reason to avoid sunlight however, as a lightly tanned skin develops a slight resistance to the sun and will be less prone to burning as easily.
In addition to boosting radiance, many skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema and athletes foot can often benefit, if not entirely clear up following regular and moderate doses of sunshine – the sun has amazing healing properties, and what better excuse is there for a spot of sensible sunbathing!
3. Promotes the feel-good factor
A lovely, sunny day makes us all feel better – this is not imagined – it’s true! Studies have shown that sunshine increases the amount of endorphins released by our brain, giving us that magical feel good factor. Endorphins are the same chemical released by our brain that make us feel good after exercise too – but half an hour in the sun is a far more appealing option!
4. Can Ease Painful Joints
Sufferers of painful joints and unpleasant conditions such as arthritis can often find some relief from their pain by enjoying regular exposure to sunlight. Nature’s pleasant pain reliever can often be as effective as prescribed medications for pain relief.
5. Aids Sleep
A regular bout of sunshine not only makes us feel good throughout the day, but also helps us to fall asleep at night. The heat of the sunshine relaxes us; the rays of the sunshine trigger a chemical reaction – an increase in the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the body that helps us to fall asleep, and stay asleep.
Obviously, sunny days need to be enjoyed in moderation. It is essential to regularly apply appropriate sunscreen in order to protect skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays emitted by the sun – with the use of care and common-sense, there is no reason not to enjoy a glorious day again.
Author: Kathryn Boothroyd
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