The Benefits of Sunlight - FORMULA TRIM

The Benefits of Sunlight

Sunshine has a lot of benefits for our bodies. Here are seven great reasons to get outside and soak in the sun.

Sunshine has a bigger impact on health than most would think!

While there is concern over potential damage to the skin and the adverse effects of ultraviolet radiation, moderate sun exposure is still recommended. The benefits of moderate sun exposure go beyond the skin - they affect the entire organism.

Modern beliefs tend to depict the sun in a bad light. We are often told to avoid direct sun exposure and always wear sunscreen before stepping outdoors. While it is true that some serious health concerns are linked to sun exposure including sunburn and melanoma, the underlying truth is that safe sun exposure can actually be therapeutic owing to some of the amazing health benefits of the sun. Furthermore, recent research shows that being exposed to too little sun exposure can reduce the survival rates of those suffering from certain diseases like cancer.

Why is Natural Sunlight Exposure So Important? 

The advent of antibiotics and other medications have overshadowed natural healing procedures such as sunlight therapy. However, many people are now switching back to holistic therapies to avoid the adverse side effects of conventional medicine. The fear of sunlight began when people started to developed melanoma. Since then, direct sunlight exposure has been marketed in a bad light. In reality, unsafe sun practices are actually what causes melanoma.
In contrast, safe sunlight exposure can offer tremendous healing benefits. New research shows that not getting enough sun exposure can increase your chances of developing many health conditions, including vitamin D deficiency, skin cancer, heart disease, chronic pain, insomnia, and fatigue. Upon realizing the immense health benefits of the sun, sunlight therapy has now regained momentum and more people are choosing natural therapies to heal a variety of health conditions.

1. Improves your sleep
Your body creates a hormone called melatonin that is critical to helping you sleep. Because your body starts producing it when it’s dark, you usually start to feel sleepy two hours after the sun sets, which is one of the reasons our bodies naturally stay up later in the summer.

Research indicates that an hour of natural light in the morning will help you sleep better. Sunshine regulates your circadian rhythm by telling your body when to increase and decrease your melatonin levels. So, the more daylight exposure you can get, the better your body will produce melatonin when it’s time to go to sleep.

2. Reduces stress
Melatonin also lowers stress reactivity and being outside will help your body naturally regulate melatonin, which can help reduce your stress level. Additionally, because you're often doing something active when you’re outside (walking, playing, etc.), that extra exercise also helps to lower stress.

3. Maintains strong bones
One of the best (and easiest) ways to get vitamin D is by being outside. Our bodies produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight—about 15 minutes in the sun a day is adequate if you’re fair skinned. And since Vitamin D helps your body maintain calcium and prevents brittle, thin, or misshapen bones, soaking in sun may be just what the doctor ordered.

4. Helps keep the weight off
Getting outside for 30 minutes sometime between 8 a.m. and noon has been linked to weight loss. There, of course, could be other factors to this, but it seems there's a connection between sunlight in the early morning and weight loss.

5. Strengthens your immune system
Vitamin D is also critical for your immune system, and with consistent exposure to sunlight, you can help strengthen it. A healthy immune system can help reduce the risk of illness, infections, some cancers, and mortality after surgery.

6. Fights off depression
It’s not just in your head; there’s a scientific reason being in the sunshine improves your mood. Sunshine boosts your body’s level of serotonin, which is a chemical that improves your mood and helps you stay calm and focused. Increased exposure to natural light may help ease the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder--a change in mood that typically occurs in the fall and winter months when there are fewer hours of daylight.

7. Can give you a longer life
A study that followed 30,000 Swedish women revealed that those who spent more time in the sun lived six months to two years longer than those with less sun exposure. More research needs to be done in this area, but it’s something scientists are continuing to study.

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