5 Ways That Sunlight Can Improve Your Health. Diet and exercise are essential to good health, but they aren’t the only factors to consider. Did you know that light and darkness can affect your well-being? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), getting between 5 and 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands, and face at least two to three times each week will boost your vitamin D.
Darkness triggers the production of melatonin in the brain, which helps you sleep. Sunlight causes a similar effect that produces serotonin. Serotonin improves mood and helps you feel focused and calm.
How can sunlight improve your health?
- Boost Mood for Improved Mental Health
As stated above, the sun can boost your mood by triggering the production of serotonin. Researchers at Brigham Young University found that people experienced more mental health distress during seasons with less sun exposure. Less distress was reported on days with more sunshine.
Their efforts indicate that sunlight has a stronger impact on mental health than any other environmental factor, including temperature and rainfall.
- Lower Blood Pressure with Sunlight
Exposure to sunlight can lower your blood pressure. Nitric oxide found on the top layer of skin reacts in the sun. This causes the blood vessels to widen, allowing the oxide to move through the body. Wider vessels lower blood pressure.
The Journal of Investigative Dermatology study suggests that this effect could lower the risk of stroke and heart attack. Connect Electric believes that the sun is important for good health, but always recommends talking to your doctor when managing conditions like high blood pressure.
- Vitamin D Helps Build Strong Bones
Sunlight exposure makes the body transform cholesterol into vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in the growth of strong bones. Medical studies have found a link between low vitamin D levels and rickets in children. There is also a link to bone-wasting diseases like osteomalacia and osteoporosis.
- Lower Cancer Risk Through Safe Exposure
Sun exposure can help lower your risk of some types of cancers. It is important to note that too much exposure can increase your risk of skin cancer. So you should always follow the recommended guidelines when exposing yourself to the sun.
Researchers found that people who lived in regions with fewer daylight hours were more likely to develop Hodgkin’s lymphoma, colon, ovarian, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.
- Light Therapy for Skin Conditions
A little sunlight can go a long way in reducing the symptoms of some skin conditions. WHO reported that sun exposure may help treat psoriasis, eczema, jaundice, and acne. Doctors sometimes recommend UV radiation to treat these conditions.
A dermatologist should be consulted to determine if this is the best course of treatment for a skin condition.
Many factors are involved in nurturing long-term good health. You should consider a multi-faceted approach when coming up with a plan for yourself. Eat nutritious food, get plenty of exercise, and enjoy sunlight in the recommended quantities. A little bit each day can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health.