A little sunshine can boost your mood and help prevent serious illnesses, says Averil Nunes.
Outwit Osteoporosis: Given that one in three women will break a bone or two at the hands of osteoporosis and the bone-building Vitamin D is best synthesized in the presence of the sun, it's advisable to get your daily dose of sunlight. It's even more important to get these doses of sunlight in your pre-30 years when your body is building bone faster then it is losing it. The bigger your bone density bank, the longer it will take for menopause to bankrupt it. Dr Ambrish Mithal, of Medanta Hospital, New Delhi, who is board member and lead author of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Asia-Audit, 2013, tells us, "The sun remains the single largest source of Vitamin D, and contrary to popular belief, catching some sun between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm is highly recommended". Yes, you read right! The noon time sun is good for you.
Beat the Blues: Sting has sung about the healing power of the lithium in sunlight. Now, while sunlight may contain too little lithium—known to be effective at treating depression—to have the same effect as the physician-prescribed version of it; sunlight does release good doses of the feel-good hormone serotonin into your blood, making you feel happy. Perhaps even happy enough to sing, dance and clap along to Pharrell's Happy, like half the world seems intent on doing at present. With one in four women thought to be afflicted by depression, it seems wise to get some light before you become a statistic.
Boost Immunity: From ancient yogic systems to contemporary scientific observations of our biological clocks, everything points to keeping pace and time with the sun for a happy and healthy life. Cancers, heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, infertility, insomnia, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, strokes... the sheer number of lifestyle-related disorders thought to be deterred by adequate sun exposure, is well worth spending time in the sun. And if that wasn't enough, sunlight is known to boost immunity levels, kill harmful bacteria and microbes on your skin, and prevent as well as cure skin diseases.