In many instances, increased sun exposure gets a bad rap. Not only can it be a cause of various types of skin cancer, but too much time in the sun can lead to severe dehydration, first and second degree burns and heat exhaustion.
But when enjoyed with caution, the sun can be the key to the improvement of your mood and overall health. This is largely because the more sunlight you enjoy, the more Vitamin D that gets produced in your body.
So what does Vitamin D do, anyway? Known often as the “sunshine vitamin,” this particular vitamin is produced in response to your exposure to sunlight. Its production (or lack thereof) can impact as many as 2,000 genes in the body. For a few more specific benefits of Vitamin D, read on below.
Sunlight & Vitamin D Can Make You Happier: It might not come as a surprise that a little bit of sunlight can make you a lot bit happier. Seasonal Affective Disorder, for example, appears to be strongly linked to limited sun exposure and low levels of Vitamin D.
Improved Bone Development: One of the most important benefits of Vitamin D is its ability to strengthen our skeletal system. Although we often rely on calcium to provide us with enough calcium for our bones, a low level of Vitamin D can result in your bones weakening, resulting in the development of rickets, osteomalacia or osteroporosis.
Increased Mineral Absorption: Increased Vitamin D improves the ability of your intestines to absorb calcium and and phosphorus, which can lead to stronger bones and an even stronger immune system.
Lowered Risk of Cancer & Chronic Disease: Low levels of Vitamin D have also been linked to the presence of certain cancers and disease, including colon cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and even obesity. Vitamin D is often used in the treatment of these and other disorders.
Regulates and Relieves Chronic Pain & Stress: The production of Vitamin D can relieve ongoing body aches and pains, while simultaneously relieving stress and tension.
In order to reap the benefits of Vitamin D from sunshine, you don’t need to spend hours in the sun. In fact, even 10 minutes of casual sunlight a day can leave you feeling healthier, stronger and happier.
For more information on Vitamin D and its benefits for your body, you can check out this page at the National Institutes of Health. And if you feel like you’ve spent enough time reading, then scoot out and enjoy the sunshine!