In this day and age, we’re all more than aware that too much sun exposure can often come with serious costs: skin cancer, premature aging, and so on. This is why measures like sunscreen have become a requisite for every traveler and adventurer alike. However, catching some rays on your faraway and everyday adventures can indeed still have its health benefits when done wisely. Before anyone shames us for being irresponsible, we are strictly talking about moderate sun exposure, meaning between five to 15 minutes a day without sunscreen. Here are our five reasons why.
Aiding in the body’s absorption of calcium, Vitamin D is crucial for bone, teeth, muscle, and immune system health. And we mostly get it from the sun. “We get about 90 to 95 per cent of our vitamin D from the sun,” says Professor Michael Holick, of Boston University School of Medicine to the Mirror. The nutriment also helps in protecting against chronic diseases later in life like osteoporosis, Type II diabetes, multiple sclerosis and many common cancers.”
Ever wondered why life seems so much better in the summertime or on a Caribbean island? The sun is scientifically known to increase serotonin, our body’s happy hormone. This is why we often feel much happier and lively in come warmer months and weather. As winter approaches on the East Coast, avoid hibernation and make it a point to spend some time outside in order to avoid feeling down-and-out.
Controlled sun exposure is often prescribed for suffers of skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, and eczema. (I’m one of them.) Try exposing affected body parts for no more than half an hour, but if the area worsens or appears alarming, see a doctor.
Your sleeping is regulated by melatonin—this means that having lower levels of melatonin in your body equals to having more energy to get up and go. Similar to serotonin’s lightening effects, this is why you feel like you don’t need as much sleep as you normally would when it’s sunnier outside.
We briefly mentioned how moderate sun exposure can be a preventative with certain diseases and conditions. But did you know how many? According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, modest sunshine can reduce heart disease and risk of cancers of the breast and colon, because of Vitamin D’s effectiveness. Some time under the sun can also prevent diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cavities, and help with certain inflammatory bowel disorders, while even relieving the aches caused by inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
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