Our parents grew up in the sun. With tanning reflectors tucked under their chins, they bronzed away throughout their adolescence. Getting sun was associated with only the healthy perks that sun can provide. And now, as our parents are in and out of dermatological appointments getting this zapped and that removed, we see firsthand the result of too much sun. As more harmful UV rays make their way through our endangered ozone layer, and as we become more and more aware of the dangers of skin cancer, we've had to adjust our relationship with the sun.
But let's not confuse the sun with a villain. Although it can cause burns and skin diseases later in life if you're not careful with your exposure to it, the sun is still essential to promoting life in plants and cells. The sun keeps the Earth warm so we can live on it. The sun plays a major role in precipitation. And most importantly, the sun offers a good hour of golden lighting for optimal Instagramming.
No, most importantly the sun (in small doses, so don't throw your sunblock away) keeps us healthy and happy. Here are six ways getting enough sun can change your body, for the better.
It Improves Your Mood :-)
Moderate exposure to sunlight can increase serotonin production – everyone's favorite brain hormone. Serotonin increases your mood, wards off depression and helps you to feel motivated. Studies suggest that the brain releases more endorphins when people exercise outside as opposed to inside a gym, too.
It Provides Vitamin D
Sunlight is our main source of Vitamin D — 90 to 95 percent, to be specific. Vitamin D is absorbed through the skin and converted internally into a usable form. It promotes the absorption of calcium, which keeps our bones strong and healthy. You only need five to 30 minutes of sunlight twice a week to get your fill.
It Reduces Aches And Pains
You know how taking a hot bath can reduce inflammation and squander pain? Well, the sun can have the same effect on a sore body. The sun warms muscles, reducing inflammation and thus reducing pain.
It Boosts Your Immune System
White blood cells are the little immunity soldiers that help fight off disease and infection in the body. Exposure to sunlight can increase white blood cell production, in return boosting your immune system.
Helps Keep Your Skin Clear
Too much sun can dry out your skin, causing it to go into overdrive oil production and make you break out. Just enough sun (under 30 minutes) can reduce inflammation and help heal infections.
It Increases Fertility ;-)
Sunlight reduces melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that can suppress fertility rates. This same hormone promotes sleep, so with a reduced amount of the hormone in your system, you can expect to feel a spike in your energy level, too.