The Benefits of Sunshine

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The sun is an amazing source of warmth and energy.  There is no better feeling than the warm sun on your skin, but the sunshine also has other benefits as well.  One benefit is probably the most obvious one and that is that it increases Vitamin D within your body.  The process of how this works is that the UVB rays from the sun interact with our cholesterol.  That process creates Vitamin D from our liver and kidneys.  It is recommended that you be exposed to the sun at least three times a week for 30 minutes each time.  Even though you may be sitting near a window in the sunlight, the glass from the window blocks the UVB rays from coming in.

Another benefit of sunshine is improving your mood.  The majority of people think about happiness when they think about the sun.  The natural light that comes from the sun lets us perform various outdoor activities like gardening, walking, golfing or sunbathing.  Studies have shown that people who suffer from depression and are exposed to more sunlight actually experience fewer symptoms of depression.  Many people will experience what is called seasonal affective disorder.  This occurs during the winter months when the sun does not come out everyday.  It can also occur during periods of cloudy weather.

Getting an adequate supply of sun exposure may also help you sleep better at night.  The natural light from the sun will assist in increasing the output of melatonin at night.  Melatonin is a natural hormone in our body that helps to enhance sleep, as well as slowing down the process of aging.

While it is true that staying in the sun for long lengths of time can cause skin wrinkling and even some types of skin cancer, there are benefits to your skin from the right amount of exposure to the sun.  Moderate amounts of sunlight can actually clear up some skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne and eczema.

Many experts have determined that moderate amounts of sun exposure are actually good for you since it also assists in producing additional white blood cells.  More white blood cells will enhance your immune system.  Exposure to sunlight will also increase red blood cell production which means your blood will become more oxygenated.

In addition, the sunlight is responsible for getting rid of harmful substances on your skin.  The UV rays that come from the sun can actually destroy viruses, molds, fungi, bacteria and yeast that can be found on the skin’s surface.

Improving your appearance is probably one of the benefits that people enjoy the most from the sun.  Many people will head to the beach, pool areas or their own backyard to reap the benefits of the sun.  Sitting out in the sun will make most people tan; however, caution should be taken since being in the sun too long can result in sunburns. All in all, with moderate exposure, the sun definitely does more good than harm.

By Deana Clarke

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