Did you know there are many health benefits to getting sunshine every day? Of course, you’ll want to use sunscreen and a little common sense so you don’t overdo, but getting enough sun is critical to feeling good. Check out these 10 health benefits of sunshine:
1. Reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes. Some studies suggest that vitamin D can reduce the risk of developing it (one study found that those with high levels were 40% less likely than those with low levels).
2. Reduce cancer risk. There are lessened mortality rates for 15-20 types of cancer in regions of higher solar UVB exposure, particularly for breast, colon, and rectal cancer. Those patients who had higher vitamin D blood levels when diagnosed had nearly twice the survival rate of those with the lowest levels.
3. Strong bones for better bone health. Vitamin D boosts calcium absorption for strong bones, which means you’re less likely to develop bone diseases, fractures and osteoporosis.
4. Protect eye health. Vitamin D has been tentatively linked to lower incidence of cataracts, and studies indicate good D levels correlate to a lowered risk of macular degeneration as you age.
5. Boost immunity. Researchers believe that vitamin D is integral to proper function of the body’s T cells— the immune system’s first line of defense.
6. Improve metabolism; fight obesity. Several studies show correlation between sun exposure and an increase in metabolism, although the reasoning isn’t cut and dry.
7. Lower blood pressure. The warmth of the sun can improve circulation, and heightened vitamin D levels have been shown to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive subjects— perhaps as effectively as medication.
8. Reduce stroke risk. There are likely a lot of factors at work here, but in one survey people who lived in areas with less sun exposure had a stroke risk that was 60% higher than those who lived in sunshine-y regions.
9. Sleep better. Daily time in the sun helps to regulate circadian rhythms for a better night’s sleep. And sleep has its own host of health benefits.
10. Feel better. Sunshine has been shown time and again to improve mood, fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and lessen stress. Not to mention, we’re more likely to MOVE when we’re outside basking in the sun. And physical activity is definitely good for you!