On the Metro Screenworks blog we have talked about the wear and tear that the sun can put on our homes and even our bodies. However, we feel it is also important to point out that getting some sun exposure is incredibly important for your physical and mental health.
5 Benefits of Sun Exposure
Our modern sedentary lifestyles have made it more difficult to experience the benefits of the sun and may often not even be aware of what we are missing out on. Today is that day to change all that! Keep reading to learn about the benefits of opening up the windows and getting a little sun.
Our bodies are incredibly sensitive to light and darkness not only due to our internal clocks, but also the hormones that are released at different parts of the day. Serotonin is released when we come in contact with sunlight and conversely, when it begins to get dark, melatonin is released. Serotonin is is a mood-boosting hormone that also provides calmness of mind and focus. Low serotonin can cause depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you are feeling a little down or it’s difficult to get off the couch, open the shades, let some light in, or even take a short walk outside. If you go outside, don't forget the sunscreen!
Letting the sunshine in won’t just make you feel happier, calmer, and have more focus; it will make you stronger, too! Exposure to sunlight is a must for the process of fortifying your bones. Many people believe that they if they take calcium supplements that they will have strong bones, but this isn’t completely true; you must also have a sufficient amount of vitamin D for your bones to absorb the calcium. Low vitamin D can cause issues such as susceptibility to broken bones and even rickets, osteoporosis, and osteomalacia. Just spending 30 minutes in the sun can create as much as 50,000 international units (IUs) of vitamin D!
You may be all too familiar with the destructive nature of too much sunlight exposure and how it can cause cancer. Conversely, sunlight exposure can also contribute to cancer prevention. Sun exposure can help prevent:
- Colon cancer
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
Treatment of Other Severe Conditions
Sun exposure doesn’t just prevent cancer. It also can help treat other severe conditions such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Though sunlight may not necessarily cure these conditions, it can ease the condition and make a significant contribution towards the relief.
Sunlight can also treat systemic skin conditions:
Have you ever taken a walk and later found your acne may be less resistant to extraction and healing? Sunlight is likely the cause!
Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Sufficient vitamin D intake has been linked to the reduced risk for type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Diabetes isn’t a pleasant disease and can have repercussions on your entire body — avoid it with getting a little sun and investing time in other healthy practices.
Getting outside will also boost your immune system! Again, because sun exposure is linked to healthy levels of vitamin D, your immune system is another part of your body that benefits for healthy levels of this crucial vitamin. Specifically, vitamin D is contributes to the production of T cells, which helps to fight infections and disease.
Lower Blood Pressure
Are you particularly susceptible to high blood pressure? Open the blinds and let the sunshine in! When nitric oxide that is located in the top layer of our skin interacts with sunlight, it naturally widens your blood vessels which lowers your blood pressure.
Sunlight exposure can also help you get more and better quality sleep. Sunlight exposure in the morning wakes up your body and can direct your internal clock to cue your body to start winding down at the end of the day.
Because sun exposure can help with remeding depression and the effects of insulin resistance, sunlight can also help you lose weight. When your serotonin levels are in check, it also helps with appetite control. If you want to drop a few pounds, it’s time to get active and spend some time outside.
Sunlight and light therapy can also lessen the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Patients that were exposed to sunlight experienced less depression, agitation, and wakefulness during the night.
You may assume that the sun is not healthy for our eyes. You are right in believing that looking into the sun is extremely damaging for your eyes. However, wearing sunglasses and getting some sun exposure can actually improve your eye health. How? Vitamin D!
Our brain needs sunlight to remain health and in balance. Not only does sun exposure influence the release of serotonin, it also helps your brain to produce melatonin which contributes to sleep quality. Melatonin can also combat depression. Enjoying some sunlight can significantly affect your mental and emotional health.
It’s Time to Bask In Some Sunlight
As with many things in life, moderation is key for receiving the benefits of sunlight while avoiding the damaging effects that UV rays can have on our skin. Though the amount of time that you should spend outside is a bit arbitrary and dependent on your skin type, it is suggested that you spend an average of five to 15 minutes outside two to three days a week.
Need Replacement Window Screens?
Are you ready to upgrade your windows and screens? Shop Metro Screenworks! We provide traditional and customized window screen options that can allow you to get the most out of your screens. We also provide solar shades and solar screen, to help you get a balanced amount of sun exposure. To learn more about the possibilities for your home, visit the Metro Screenworks website and shop replacement window screens and more online!