5 Health Benefits Of Spending Time in the Sun

The media seems quite keen to convince us that the sun is all bad, but actually being out in the sun has some great benefits for both body and mind.  Next time the sun shines, get out there and enjoy it.  Here are five health benefits of spending time in the sun.

Vitamin D

Most people in the western world are suffering from a deficit of vitamin D.  We spend far too mach time indoors and when we are outside we smother ourselves in sunscreen which means our skin cannot absorb vitamin D from the sun.

The sun's UV rays help our bodies to build up vitamin D, a vitamin that is essential for many bodily functions, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth, and may also protect us against cancer, type 1 diabetes and MS.  Just 20 minutes with your arms, face and neck exposed is enough to get your daily quota of vitamin D, so take a walk and let your body top up its reserves.

Vitamin N

Spending time outside in the sun probably means you will be close to nature too.  Get out in your local park, woodland or forest and top up your 'vitamin N' at the same time.  There is nothing more relaxing than the sight and smell of grasses, trees and flowers.

Take notice of the flowers, grasses and leaves you see, and take time to watch the wildlife, even if it is just birds and squirrels.  Countless studies have shown that spending time in nature makes people happier, less anxious, and more relaxed.

Time in nature helps reduce stress and allows you to function better in your daily life.  Even a half hour during your lunchtime spent out in the sun can improve your productivity and help you have less stress at work.

Stress reduction

Stress is the curse of our modern age and probably behind the increases in a host of diseases.  Spending time in the sun reduces stress, so spend time outdoors in the sunshine and you will find that you are less stressed and happier.

Take 15 minutes to sit on a park bench in the sunshine and meditate a bit or take a walk in the sun.  You can process your worries and concerns better in the sunshine and will have a lesser chance of being stressed afterward.  Try getting out in the sun every day for at least a half an hour to maximise the stress-reduction benefits.

Cancer effect

Yep, despite everything you've heard, more recent research shows that sunlight can actually reduce your cancer risk.  While you are at an increased risk of skin cancer if you burn your skin in the sun, sunshine can actually help reduce your risk of developing other cancers, especially if you choose to exercise in the sunshine.

By regularly spending time in the sun, you will have a decreased risk of getting prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and Hodgkin lymphoma.

Sleep better

Sunshine can help you sleep better.  Being out in the sunshine, especially if you do something relaxing or exercise in the sunshine, you will be more relaxed afterward and will have a better time sleeping later in the day.

Just half an hour of sunshine per day has been found to help you get to sleep easier and will help you stay asleep longer.  It really doesn’t matter what you do in the sunshine as long as you get out there and get some rays.

Enjoy the sunshine this summer and remember that it's not the enemy and actually offers our bodies significant health and wellbeing benefits.

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