To say that the sun is good for us is an understatement. Putting aside the fact that the whole planet would be frozen, pitch-black and lifeless without it (kind of a big deal!), it does have a number of tangible effects on the human body. Now that summer is finally here, there's a reason why people flock to parks for their lunch breaks to try and asorb as many rays as possible. It feels good. But why?
Vitamin D and our immune system
Did you know that our bodies make their own vitamins? When we are outside in the sun, we immediately begin to synthesize Vitamin D which is essential for healthy bones, boosting the immune system and generally keeping us feeling good! Vitamin D production is one of the main health benefits of sunlight which is why when people who go for long stretches in darkness or are otherwise deficient in Vitamin D, they can have weaker bone density and may be more susceptible to illness. So get out there and make some vitamins!
It keeps us moving
When it’s bright outside and the weather is fine, people are more likely to go out walking, cycling or playing sports in the park. No one likes to go outside when it’s dark, cold and rainy but as soon as things brighten up, people grab their Frisbees or footballs and hit the parks for some fun. The summer is the peak period of the year for exercise because we simply feel more energetic and motivated when the weather is beautiful.
It makes us happy
Although our biological wellbeing is intrinsically linked to our psychological health, there’s a lot to be said about the simple pleasure of being out in the bright sunshine and seeing the world’s colours come to life. Plants thrive, the birds sing and our senses suddenly seem keener which all contribute to increasing our happiness whilst outside. Coupled with the production of Vitamin D
Of course you can always have too much of a good thing – the links between sun and skin cancer are strong but with the amount we get in the UK, this is not a large risk. If the weather is particularly hot and you plan to spend your time outside, sunscreen and plenty of water are essential companions.
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