Let It Shine—Why You Shouldn’t Fear the (Sun)Light

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March 27, 2019

Don’t go into the light, but definitely experience it! Sunlight can have a big impact on your overall health. While your body can survive without sunlight, your risk of disease increases when you’re deprived contact with the energy that flows off that glowing ball of gas located 146.9 million kilometres away. We’re not saying you should just go out completely naked without any kind of sun protection, stay out in the sun as long as possible, and wait until you resemble a strip of crispy bacon. That’s crazy. Seriously, don’t do that.

What you should do instead is make sure you’re getting outside enough that you can experience the benefits of sunlight. At the very minimum, install some windows (and maybe even window screens) to get light flowing into your home in the way you prefer.

So what are the main health benefits of getting out in the sun?

Sunlight Boosts Your Immune System

Sunlight Boosts Your Immune System

Not being able to get rid of a nasty cold annoys everyone, but as much as you’d like to huddle up inside and bathe in orange juice, you could be doing yourself a bigger favour to take a short walk in the sun. Vitamin D absorbed from sunlight has been proven to strengthen your immune system and help kick those diseases right out of your body.

Sunlight Boosts Your Serotonin Levels

Your body produces two different types of hormones naturally: one during the day and one during the night. These are serotonin and melatonin, respectively, and both are important. Serotonin has been connected to positively boosting your mood and helping you stay focused and calm. Melatonin, on the other hand, has been connected to helping people sleep better. Studies have shown sunlight can boost serotonin levels in particular. If your level of this hormone gets too low, it can lead to depression and SAD (seasonal affective disorder - possibly the most appropriately-named acronym for a medical issue). This makes sunlight crucial.

Sunlight Reduces Your Risk Of Cancers


Sunlight Reduces Your Risk Of Cancers

Yes, this is a little counter-intuitive: too much sunlight and UV radiation and you become more at risk for skin cancer, but get just enough and you can actually reduce your risk for other types of cancers. Vitamin D absorption from the sun can even be more crucial for men since it can reduce the chance of kidney and prostate cancer. Other notable cancer risk reductions include reducing the chance of pancreatic and colon cancer. No one wants any form of cancer, so make sure to get outside when it’s sunny.

Sunlight Helps You Think More Clearly


Sunlight Helps You Think More Clearly

Believe it or not, sunlight can help get those brain waves flowing so you’re able to think clearly. Think of it like coffee: too little and you never really “wake up”, too much and you’re in for a rough time. Having just enough will help you stay focused and alert. While you might not feel as “supercharged” from sunlight as from drinking coffee, you can still reap the rewards and cognitive ability from soaking up those smooth sunshine rays.

Sunlight Lowers Your Blood Pressure

Having your blood pumping through your veins faster than a full-speed police car in hot pursuit isn’t healthy for anyone so get out in those sunbeams to slow down the chase. What does that even mean? Sunlight can lower your blood pressure by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in your skin. That sounds like you’re exposing yourself to some sort of crazy deadly chemical like in a superhero origin story, but it’s not even close to the reality. Nitric oxide is important in vascular health as it’s the chemical that widens blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure in the body. So don’t explode, go for a walk in the sun to slow down those fast-pumping veins.

While it’s tempting to stay inside to binge so many TV shows, it’s in your best interest to at least get outside once in a while to stay healthy. If you still want to enjoy the sun in moderation, window or door screens provide a simple way to let in just as much sun as you need (although getting outside is still the best way to reap the maximum benefits from sunlight).

**Sources:
theactivetimes.com
selfhacked.com/blog
healthline.com/health



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