Benefits of sunlight have a greater impact on us all in more ways than you thought. Getting that daily dose of sunshine means a lot of fantastic health benefits for mind and body. Check out this list of sunlight benefits to see why getting out in the sun for fifteen minutes a day can change your life.
1. Boosts Mood
Wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Step outside and soak up some rays. Sunlight benefits your mood and can flip your glass perspective from half empty to half full. It seems too simple of a solution, but it really works! Science says so.
Sunlight triggers your brain’s serotonin producers to pump out even more. Serotonin naturally boosts your mood, so this greater serotonin production helps you feel overall happier. Getting 10-15 minutes of sunshine every day will leave you with a more positive outlook, or simply seek some sun when you need an emotional pep.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, experience blood pressure spikes, or have a number of heart related issues, bask in the sun for a little while. Even if you simply wish to keep your blood pressure and your heart ticking as they healthily have been, the sun will help you out.
Scientists only discovered these sunlight benefits within the past decade. When the sun hits your skin, it reacts with nitric oxide stored in the outer layer of your skin. Since your red blood cells deliver oxygen to your body, when they come into contact with this activated nitric oxide, they pick up the oxygen from this compound. Now that the red blood cells are overloaded with oxygen, which they usually only get from your lungs, they swell up, causing your blood to flow at a slower rate, meaning lower blood pressure. Fifteen minutes of sunshine a day gives you lower blood pressure, which also gives you a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.
3. Improves Sleep
Having a hard time falling to sleep at night? Get up and get out in the sun! The earlier you get some sunshine, the better, so be that early bird and get your sunshine worm. You will be very glad you did.
As seen in the mood boosting sunlight benefits, sunlight increases your brain’s serotonin production. Well, serotonin is also important for sleep regulation. Your brain converts serotonin to melatonin in the evenings. Melatonin makes you sleepy. So, the more serotonin you get in the morning, the more melatonin you will have in the evening, helping you get a good night’s sleep. This also will help regulate your sleep patterns. Getting 10-15 minutes of early morning sunshine will have you well rested in no time.
4. Strengthens Bones
When you think of how sunlight benefits your body, you probably do not think about it helping your bones. But it does! No matter your age, strong bones are always a good thing to have. Nobody likes having to be in a cast, though it can be fun collecting autographs and art on it. Just ten minutes of daily sunshine can help your bones stay strong.
We all know that the sun gives our bodies vitamin D, but do we really understand what vitamin D does for us? One of the really great and very important things it does is it helps our bodies better absorb calcium. Most of us probably know that calcium is important for our bones, so of course we want to absorb as much as we can. So get outside!
5. Fights Sickness
Suffering from the sniffles? Soak up some sunshine. When you are sick, you do not feel like doing much of anything. However, it dos not take much to drag a chair into a sunny spot. Doing this will be worth the effort.
Sunlight benefits our immune system by producing its most notorious advantage: vitamin D. A great function of vitamin D is that it helps keep your white blood cells under control. The sun already causes your body to produce more white blood cells, which are your disease fighters. Vitamin D steps in and gets your white blood cells sorted and doing what they should be doing at the proper levels. So if you are sick, the sun really is fantastic medicine.
6. Regulates Metabolism
There are several proposed reasons why sunlight benefits your metabolism, but all agree that it does. Sunlight speeds up your metabolism, which also means maintaining a healthy weight. It also can be used as a weight loss aid, so taking 10-15 minutes out of your day to get some sun I totally worth it.
One proposed theory as to why this works is that the nitric oxide sunshine causes your skin to release has a direct effect on metabolic rates within your body, resulting in lower chances of obesity and diabetes. Another proposed theory is that a lack of sun exposure means vitamin D deficiency. A lack of vitamin D may cause fat accumulation, which would mean a slower metabolism. Whatever the method, sunshine helps boost your metabolism, which everyone can appreciate.
7. Helps Prevent Cancer
Cancer is that scary thing we all hate and fear, so anything that can help prevent it is always welcome. Of course, we do know that the sun can cause skin cancer, but it does help prevent other types of cancer. Slapping on some sunscreen helps balance the good with the bad when it comes to sunshine.
It all goes back to the famous vitamin D and another reason why we need it. It has been proven that people deficient in vitamin D have a much higher risk of developing breast, colon, and kidney cancer. Sunlight benefits our bodies with its abundance of vitamin D, which activates and regulates so much in our bodies. Just ten minutes of sun a day can greatly reduce your risk of developing these cancers.
8. Heals Some Skin Disorders
This seems kind of crazy, since we do generally associate sun exposure with skin cancer, but some skin diseases can actually be cured or greatly depleted through sun therapy. Diseases most susceptible to this treatment include acne, eczema, psoriasis, and fungal skin infections.
Because sunlight benefits vitamin D production, which regulates white blood cell activity, some skin diseases can show real improvement through monitored sunlight therapy. It is recommended to practice this under medical supervision, as the treatment can require a lot of sunshine. But getting regular small sunshine spurts can help keep your acne under better control.
9. Eases Depression
Sometimes, it seems impossible to pick yourself up, and you feel like you cannot do anything. Depression is yucky. Nobody likes it. People may have told you to go outside because you will feel better, and whether they knew it or not, they were really on to something.
Sunlight benefits your brain’s serotonin production, stimulating it to produce more. Serotonin is a natural mood booster, meaning it is a natural antidepressant. So getting outside really is great advice for when you feel low. Going for a walk, sitting in the yard, or driving down a back road are all great ways to get some sun exposure so you can get back to yourself.
10. Reverses Eye Aging
Yet another benefit that may seem contradictory to what you have heard, sunlight benefits your eyes. Of course, do not look at the sun. That stands true. But lying on your back in the sand or grass with your eyes closed may be just what your eyes need.
That magic vitamin, vitamin D, is at it again. Vitamin D is linked to better eye health. Since it controls white blood cells, vitamin D can help heal your eyes. Most notably, macular degeneration is an eye disease that causes progressive blindness. Exposing your uncovered closed eyes to the sun and slowly rolling them a few times gets them all they need to begin healing their vision.