Health & Wellness

Let the Sun Shine!

HF-couple-walking-outdoors-1100x733From – Gimmeinfo.com

The sun is a very good source of important vitamins and feel-good chemicals for your body! Here are a few reasons why you should open the drapes, pull up the blinds and let the sun shine!

Why sun?

Science supports the need for humans to have access to sunlight. Studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic show that sun exposure can increase your serotonin levels, the feel-good chemical manufactured in your brain and intestines. Serotonin helps regulate cyclical body processes and has been shown to maintain mood balances. Since it is a neurotransmitter, it relays signals between your neurons, or nerve cells, and regulates the intensity of signals.  It also regulates bowel function and helps reduce your appetite while you are eating.  People who have less exposure to sunlight may have an increased risk of depression and anxiety and high a higher risk of sexual dysfunction.

Additional studies have shown a marked increase in the mental abilities of elderly people exposed to sunlight in the early part of the day. They also experienced better sleep patterns.

The Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin. It is produced by the body in response to the skin getting exposed to sunlight, and it is found in some foods.  Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones and it helps the body to use calcium.  Allowing sunshine into our homes can increase our Vitamin D.  This exposure is likely helpful to prevent and treat various medical conditions.  There is a strong link between Vitamin D and happiness.  It is thought that Vitamin D increases the amount of monoamines, the amount of chemicals found in the brain.  A lack of Vitamin D is strongly linked to depression, though the connection is not fully understood.

Protection

Make sure you slather on plenty of protection when you venture outdoors. Sunscreen on your exposed limbs and your face is very important to avoid burns. Pay attention to your ears, nose, lip, forehead, and neck; these often overlooked areas are particularly prone to burns. A hat, light scarf, or umbrella are best if you expect longer periods of sun exposure, as burns can occur even in cooler weather.

Window Exposure

For some people, access to outdoors is limited. However, sitting in front of a window full of sunlight is also a good way to receive your daily dose. Try to get as much sun exposure as early in the day as possible, especially if you suffer from disturbances in your sleep.


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