Now that spring is here, the sun is shining bright and we finally have nice weather, we should be outside enjoying it! So I thought I would mention the health benefits that the sun has. It does more than give us a nice tan (or for some, a nice sunburn) and vitamin D. We get these amazing benefits from 10-15 minutes of sunlight each day:
- The sun’s light kills bad bacteria.
- Sunlight has a beneficial effect on skin disorders, such as psoriasis, acne, eczema and fungal infections of the skin.
- Sunlight lowers cholesterol. The sun converts high cholesterol in the blood into steroid hormones and the sex hormones we need for reproduction. In the absence of sunlight, the opposite happens; substances convert to cholesterol.
- The sun’s rays lower blood pressure. Even a single exposure significantly lowers blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
- Sunlight penetrates deep into the skin to cleanse the blood and blood vessels preventing or improving atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
- Sunlight increases oxygen content in human blood. And, it also enhances the body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to the tissues; very similar to the effects of exercise. The sun has a great effect on stamina, fitness and muscular development.
- Sunlight builds the immune system. The white blood cells, which increase with sun exposure, are called lymphocytes, and these play a major role in defending the body against infections.
- Regular sunlight exposure increases the growth and height of children, especially babies.
- Sunlight can cure depression. Sunlight deprivation can cause a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression. It is more common in winter months, but also common in people who work long hours in office buildings.
- Sunlight can improve sleep quality. Exposure to sunlight during the day increases the natural production of melatonin (hormone that helps you sleep) at night. Low levels of melatonin production are linked to poor sleep quality.
So go outside, relax and soak up these benefits!
Dr. Jessica Stensland is a busy family wellness Chiropractor in Urbandale, Iowa. She spends her weeks taking care of dozens of families. Not only does Dr. Jessica specialize in pediatric and pregnancy chiropractic care, but she’s a board certified Acupuncturist. Dr. Jessica believes that a healthier community means taking care of all ages. She is a Minnesota native and enjoys seeing family and friends in her free time, in addition to staying active and reading the many books she has on her kindle.