The importance of sunshine

One thing we can certainly be grateful for right now is the weather, how amazing is all of this sunshine!?  While in recent years sun’s bad rap has turned a lot of us into sun-phobes, there’s actually so much benefit to be gained by regular, safe sun exposure.  The following are some amazing reasons to get out there and enjoy these wonderful rays.

 

Vitamin D

Most of us have heard that exposure to the sun encourages synthesis of Vitamin D.  But did you know that the type of Vitamin D that is created this way is near-impossible to supplement either with food or via a pill?  This valuable vitamin creates strong bones and strengthens our immunity, which is something that we all need right now!  While sun exposure is of course responsible at least in part for some types of skin cancer, UV rays have been found to be helpful in preventing some other forms of cancer such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer and non-Hodgkins Lymphoma – with that Vitamin D production to thank for this protection, how amazing is that?!

 

Better Sleep

We all feel at our best after a really solid sleep and some time spent in the sun can give us just that.  Sun exposure encourages our bodies to get into optimal circadian rhythm, meaning that we are more likely to fall into a deep slumber.  This happens as our bodies become more efficient at recognizing melatonin after being in the sun and this is our own natural ‘sleeping pill’.

 

Lower Blood Pressure

Another sun-benefit that you may not have been aware of is its ability to lower blood pressure.  While the feeling of utter relaxation we get from laying in the sun at the beach would surely help to bring things down, there’s actually science at play here too!  When sunlight reaches our skin, nitric oxide is then released into our blood vessels, where it works to lower blood pressure.  When we achieve this of course, we lessen the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

 

Mood-Booster

Last but definitely not least, sunshine makes us feel good!  We could all do with some extra feelgood factor in our lives at the moment and what easier way to lift our moods than to simply enjoy the sun?  Again, while the warmth of the sun feels amazing and being amongst it is just generally enjoyable, there’s science behind its magic.  Receptors in the retinas of our eyes are triggered by sunlight to produce serotonin which most of us know is our ‘happy hormone’, bring that on!

 

The power of our sun and the awesome benefits it gives should certainly be taken advantage of…safely.  There’s a fine balance here.  Try to avoid sun exposure when those rays are at their most potent between 11am and 2pm, this is when the sun may do more harm than good.  Also, of course, always apply an effective sunscreen and reapply every 2 hours when out in the sun and after swimming.  There are so many fantastic sunscreen options available to us nowadays to suit absolutely every skin and preference so there’s no excuse not to be protected.  So, get out there and enjoy this blissful sun, knowing that you are gaining some pretty great health and wellbeing benefits while you do!