“O, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.”
The air is laden with the smell of winters. Winters are finally here with their chill. The image of cosying up in bed in a blanket with a hot cup of coffee is what this season brings. But aren't you forgetting the best thing about winters? The blissful sunshine? Yes! All that we want in winters is to just lazily relax in the sun without a care in the world and fight the winter blues. So don't cocoon yourself in that snug blanket but go out and soak up all that wonderful sunshine for a little while.
That said, one should be careful about the duration of time we expose ourselves to the sun. The sun's rays feel pleasant but long exposure to sun causes most of the wrinkles,age spots and skin cancer. So one should be careful about safe sun exposure.
Small amounts of sun exposure offers many health benefits so everyone should aim to spend at least 15 minutes in the sun every day. Here are some reasons why you should:
Your body needs the sunshine vitamin:
We need vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorus from our diet which in turn are important for healthy bones.Vitamin D also protects against muscle weakness, is necessary for thyroid function and is involved in the regulation of the heartbeat. Our body creates most of our vitamin D from direct sunlight on our skin. Various research have shown promising associations between our vitamin D consumption and decreased risks of developing a variety of conditions including autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, certain cancers and diabetes.So it is essential that we have enough of this sunshine vitamin.
Boosts your immunity
Vitamin D is crucial in activating our immune defences as it triggers and arms the body's T cells, the cells in the body that seek out and destroy any invading bacteria and viruses.
Brightens up your mood:
It has been found out that 1 in 6 people develop SAD (Seasonal affective disorder) who live in cold or rainy climates. For some, winters can be a depressing time. The right amount of sunshine is the perfect remedy for it as it effectively recharges you. Spending a little time outside can help increase the levels of serotonin and create extra endorphins in your body. Sunlight exposure can affect your emotional well-being and help you ward off depression and stress. So make sure you take a little walk in the sun whenever you can because sunlight is the most abundant and easiest to absorb anti-depressant you will ever find.
Reduces risk of serious diseases:
Many studies have revealed the links between vitamin D and its association with protection against colon, kidney, and breast cancer. Vitamin D has also been associated with improvement in the conditions like diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disorder, obesity, infertility, PMS etc. Sunlight also improves liver function in your body and assists the breaking down of body waste thus effective in curing jaundice. Effective sunbathing can help prevent more than 25 chronic diseases and help save lives.
Aids in minimizing pain:
Soaking up the sun can reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. It has been found that women regularly exposed to sunlight reduced their risk of developing the condition by a fifth. Sun exposure can lower pain levels and assist in natural healing. Also moderate exposure to sunlight can help make the recovery process after a surgery less painful.
Helps you sleep better:
If you are battling insomnia, it's a good idea to step out in the sun. Exposure to natural light during the day can assist you to sleep better at night. Sunlight shuts off the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone produced at night that makes you feel drowsy.
All said, it should be noted again that like everything else, sunlight should be enjoyed in moderation to reap the benefits of the essential sunshine vitamin. So step out and enjoy the advantages of this free commodity!