5 reasons to get out and spend time in the sun

By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)

This is a lovely time of year in many parts of the country. We are greeted with blue skies, shining sun (most of the time), and mild temperatures. This can motivate us to put on our shorts and singlets and head outside for some fresh air. There are multiple benefits to spending some time in the sun, so if you aren’t already sunning yourself regularly, you should start!

1. It’s beneficial for your immune system

When the UV rays from the sun hit your skin, your skin converts them into vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an important role in regulating and strengthening the immune system, which is why it’s no surprise that people are more likely to get sick in winter (when sun exposure is at its lowest). A link has also been established between autoimmune disease and vitamin D deficiency. See the book Healing Autoimmune Disease.

2. It helps to strengthen your bones

Vitamin D is needed for calcium to be transported to the bones. When vitamin D levels are low, the risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures is increased. Calcium Complete tablets include vitamin D3 to improve calcium absorption.

3. There are mental health benefits

Have you ever heard of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? It’s a known fact that people tend to experience lower mood during winter, or in parts of the world that are colder and have shorter days. Exposure to sunlight triggers the release of the happy hormone serotonin. Regularly spending time in the sun can improve overall mood.

4. It’s good for your skin

Now I’m not talking about that sun-kissed tan you love so much. It has been found that sunlight can be beneficial for those with eczema, psoriasis and acne. Sunlight may also assist those with fungal infections on their skin, or to improve wound healing. Collagen Food powder provides nutrients that reduce inflammation and help to repair skin and improve skin elasticity.

5. You’ll get to appreciate nature

The great majority of us spend way too much time inside! From working to sleeping to cooking and eating to shopping and so forth- we spend a lot of time indoors. When you step outside, you get to inhale the fresh air, watch birds or butterflies fluttering and admire the flowers or leaves dancing in the breeze. There are so many wonderful things about nature that we simply can’t appreciate from the couch.

Whilst it is important to be sun safe and use sunscreen when you spend prolonged time in the sun, sunscreen actually blocks vitamin D from being activated in your skin. If you can, try to spend 10-15 minutes with your arms, legs and face exposed to the sunlight a few times a week to reap the benefits of vitamin D. If you plan on staying out longer than 15 minutes be sure to slip, slop, slap- particularly between the hours of 10am and 3pm.

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