Feeling Sunny? 25 Health Benefits of Sensible Sun Exposure

SunRadiology technicians know that there is radiation everywhere. And we all know that radiation comes from the sun. Indeed, we have received so much information in recent years about how excessive sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, and how excessive tanning can lead faster aging, that we are irrationally worried about sun exposure. We forget that sun exposure has some benefits as well as problems.

The sun’s radiation can help processes in the body work better. But, as with all things related to health and wellness, the key is moderation. Just because the sun offers some health benefits doesn’t mean that you should go crazy. You still need to wear sunscreen if you’ve been in the sun for more than 10 minutes or so; it’s all about common sense.  Here are 25 benefits of sensible sun exposure:

Vitamin D

SunlightWe are learning a lot about how important Vitamin D is to the body. Our own bodies produce Vitamin D, which is not actually a vitamin, but rather a group of special prohormones. Our bodies produce Vitamin D — with the help of exposure to sunlight. You only need about 10 – 15 minutes of sun exposure a day in order for your body to make adequate Vitamin D to offer some of these possible benefits:

  1. Reduce the chance of multiple sclerosis: There is some indication that Vitamin D can help ameliorate some of the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis and even fight against its development.
  2. Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: While there are plenty of other factors involved in the development of type 2 diabetes, there are some studies that suggest that Vitamin D, along with calcium, may help reduce the risk for developing the disease.
  3. Prevent high blood pressure: There is a possibility that Vitamin D may actually help prevent high blood pressure, meaning that a little sun exposure can be good for your heart.
  4. Cancer risk reduction: There are some indications that Vitamin D could actually aid in reducing the risk of different cancers. And some cancers are actually encouraged by a lack of Vitamin D.
  5. Increase chance of cancer survival: If you do have cancer, there is some evidence that the presence of Vitamin D can help increase the chances of survival, due to the possibility that Vitamin D can actually shrink some cancer cells.
  6. Help prevent bone diseases: Because of its role in helping the body to absorb calcium, and due to other factors, getting sufficient sun exposure for the production of Vitamin D can help prevent bone diseases that can result in fractures and other problems.
  7. Prevent some muscle pain: Recent studies point to the idea that sensible sun exposure might aid in reducing and preventing some muscle pain.
  8. Reduce risk of rheumatoid arthritis: Those who have sufficient Vitamin D intake could possibly reduce the chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis, as well as reduce the symptoms the condition.
  9. Prevent flu: Could Vitamin D help prevent the flu? It might, according to some recent studies. It might also help you reduce the duration.
  10. Reduce severity of cataracts: While cataracts cannot be completely prevented, their severity can be reduced with the help of Vitamin D. You can see more clearly if you have proper exposure to sunlight.

Physical Benefits of Sun Exposure

Sunny dayYour physical health can also be affected by sensible sun exposure. It’s not a good idea to spend too much time in the sun, since it can result in skin cancer and other health problems. However, limited sun exposure can have physical benefits.

  1. Boost the immune system: Vitamin D is essential to the immune system, and can help boost your immune system so that you can fight off disease more effectively.
  2. Lower cholesterol: One of the ways you can help lower your cholesterol naturally is to enjoy some sensible sun exposure.
  3. Lower resting pulse rate of the heart: Studies suggest that sunlight can help lower your pulse rate, improving cardiovascular health.
  4. Add resistance power to skin: While too much sun can be damaging to the skin, moderate exposure can actually be helpful to the skin. It can actually help your skin build up resistance to eczema, acne and psoriasis.
  5. Increase metabolism: Sensible sun exposure can help, increasing the rate at which you burn calories. This can be a great thing, helping you lose weight and stay in shape.
  6. Better liver function: The nutrients that come as a result of sun exposure can help enhance your liver‘s function.
  7. Improve digestion: If you are interested in improving your digestion, you can increase your sun exposure to a moderate amount.
  8. Enhanced kidney function: Sun exposure, thanks to Vitamin D, offers help when it comes to kidney function. Kidneys remove waste from the body, so getting proper sun exposure can help decrease the toxicity in your bloodstream.
  9. Stronger skeleton: As the Vitamin D produced from sun exposure is absorbed, it can help strengthen bones in the skeleton. You’ll have less brittle bones, and a better posture.
  10. More physical exercise: It’s more fun to be outside than it is to be inside, and you can use sunny weather as a good excuse to get out and exercise. The sun encourages biking, hiking and even golf. Head out on a nice day and enjoy the sunshine — and get more fulfilling exercise.

Mental Health Benefits of Sun Exposure

SunshineYour mental state can also be influenced by sun exposure. Sensible amounts of sunlight can help you improve your mental health and contribute to your feelings of emotional well being.

  1. Reduce stress: You can reduce your stress level with the help of proper exposure to sunlight. Taking some time to enjoy the sun can help you sleep better as you decrease your stress level.
  2. Reduce anxiety: If you are feeling anxious, sensible sun exposure on a regular basis can help soothe you. Sunlight is one of the natural remedies to anxiety.
  3. Fight depression: There is evidence that sunlight is a natural way to improve your mood. If you suffer from depression, adding a little moderate sun exposure might help you combat the symptoms.
  4. Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): If you suffer from SAD during the winter, you can combat the feelings with the help of natural light. Look for ways to introduce more sunlight into your environment, with the help of open windows. You can also use sun lamps that mimic the sun’s healthful rays.
  5. Better relationships: More sunlight can help your relationships because it offers a mood enhancement. Not only that, but you can knit closer family relationships by using good weather and fun in the sun as an excuse for inexpensive, quality family activities.
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