Getting out in the sun has many health benefits for your mind, body & spirit. It’s one of the best things you can do to lift your spirits if you’re feeling depressed. If you live in an area like I do where there’s lots of sun, it shouldn’t be too hard to get out in the sunshine. However, even if you live in an area that has a lot of overcast days, you should still be able to find a few days where you can find some sunshine to enjoy.
Many of us have been cautious about spending too much time in the sun, but done with reasonable precautions, it can be quite good for you. Here’s five health benefits of sunshine…
- Getting Adequate Vitamin D. The best way to get vitamin D is by getting out in the sun to reduce your need for Vitamin D supplements. Unfortunately many people don’t have enough Vitamin D in their system. Vitamin D is essential for many bodily functions and helps to improve immunity. Take your vitamin D with a walk in the sun. Make sure at least some of your body is exposed to the UV rays of the sun. Do be careful with exposure…for example here in Florida exposed skin can start to burn in minutes. Wear a healthy sunscreen if you’re out in the heat of the day. You can also try to get out first thing in the morning or later in the day when the sun isn’t overhead.
- Spending time in the sun helps you get out in nature. Many of us lead indoor lifestyles. I’m preaching to myself here…even in the subtropics I still have to be intentional about getting outside especially during the summer when it’s tempting to stay in a dark, cool room. Time spent in nature is a so beneficial and will help you to function better in your daily life. It can also alleviate depression. Even short blocks of time will help to improve your productivity and help you feel more energetic and productive.
- Sunshine helps to reduce stress. You’ll find that you are less stressed and happier on sunny days when you can get outside and soak up some rays. You might want to sit on a park bench in the sunshine and meditate for a bit or take a walk in a sunny area. You can process your stressors better in the sunshine and you’ll feel so much better afterward. Try getting out in the sun every day for at least a half an hour if your weather allows. You’ll start to feel better right away and might even find being in the sun to be an enjoyable activity.
- Sunlight can reduce 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. Spending time in the sun, particularly if you live in an area that is at a lower latitude, you will have a decreased risk of getting prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. People who live in higher latitudes have less exposure to the sun so they don’t get as much reduction in cancer risk when compared to those who live in lower latitudes, where the sun is the strongest.
- Sunshine may 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 probably have a better time sleeping later in the day. Just a half hour of sunshine per day has been found to help you get to sleep easier and will help you stay asleep longer.
While there are many health benefits of sunshine, be wise and take appropriate precautions when you’re outdoors. Everything in moderation.Don’t let yourself cook and be sure to use a good quality sunscreen. Know the signs and symptoms of skin cancer and see your doctor if you notice any irregular skin growths right away. In particular, melanoma is a lethal, fast growing cancer that you should be familiar with.
This blog post is not to be construed as medical advice. If you are taking certain meds, are a cancer patient or have another health condition, please check with your doctor before spending time in the sun. Also, if you’re an essential oil user some oils shouldn’t be used in the sun. If you have a family history of skin cancer, please check with your doctor about healthy sun exposure that’s right for you and get regular skin checks.