10 reasons why sunshine is good for your health
I somehow keep forgetting how important vitamin D is for my general wellbeing and so I am happy to read this story at the seaside where I have just arrived for a 2 week vacation.
Hopefully the weather will prove to be sunny so I can get loaded up for the next couple of months, may I suggest you read this story too and take it to heart:
why sunshine is good for your health
1. You’ll start the day better
Being woken up gradually by the sun’s natural light switches off melatonin, the hormone that stimulates sleep. This improves your energy and mood without the “fight or flight” stress of an alarm clock forcing you awake. Leave your curtains open – or use a “dawn simulator” alarm (from £59.95; lumie.com) to feel less tired and more alert.
2. It boosts your mood
Sunshine boosts levels of serotonin, the body’s natural happy hormone. Just five minutes of exercise outdoors – such as a walk in your local park – is enough to make you feel happier and less stressed, according to research published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal.
3. It’s easier to lose weight
Just 20 to 30 minutes of early morning sunshine can help lower body fat, say scientists. Light is the most potent agent to synchronize your internal body clock – regulating circadian rhythms which, in turn, also regulate energy balance, says Dr Phyllis Zee, professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Not getting sufficient light between 8am and noon can de-synchronize your internal body clock, altering the metabolism and can lead to weight gain. Serotonin can also act as a natural appetite suppressant for some people.
4. Your memory works better
A high level of vitamin D in the bloodstream can boost memory and protect against dementia.
A study, in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, found middle-aged and older men with higher levels of the vitamin had a better memory and were quicker to process information.
5. Things hurt less
Being out in the sun helps to warm the body’s muscles and eases stiffness, reducing the pain caused by inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University noted that patients who were placed in bright rooms reported less perceived stress and took less medication per hour than patients in dim rooms.