Did you know that sunshine is actually good for you? There are those who are afraid to go out in broad daylight for fear of skin damage. But the thing is, a little sun exposure never hurt anyone, and it certainly does not automatically lead to wrinkles or skin cancer. In fact, a little bit of sunshine could do wonders for our health! Here are three health benefits that you could get from soaking up the sun:
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1. It gives your daily dose of vitamin D.
Vitamin D doesn’t only come from the food we eat or the supplements we take–we could also get it from the sun. The body makes vitamin D when you expose your bare skin to sunlight. Lack of sun exposure could lead to vitamin D deficiency, which may cause diseases and other health conditions.
Vitamin D (also known as the sunshine vitamin) helps your body absorb calcium. It also prevents the development of type 2 diabetes.
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2. It helps you adjust your internal body clock.
Having trouble sleeping at night? A ray of sunshine might be all you need. The National Institutes of Health in the U.S. recommends getting at least an hour of sun exposure in the morning to sleep better at night.
The right amount of sunlight helps your internal body clock (or your circadian rhythm) adjust to a new environment, helping you wake up easily and fall asleep faster. When exposed to morning sun, your body signals the brain to pause the production of melatonin, the hormone in charge of regulating your circadian rhythm. Your body will then resume melatonin production once you hit the sheets, making you feel sleepy and less alert.
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3. It helps protect you from various dieases.
Medical News Today reports that sun exposure may help protect you from heart disease, while a study published in PubMed suggests that vitamin D3 from sunlight could improve prognosis of those with breast, colon, and prostate cancer. This doesn’t mean that you have to stay under the sun for the whole day, though. Remember that overexposure could increase your risks of skin cancer.
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So, how much time should you spend under the sun? According to U.S. News, 15 to 20 minutes of sunshine would be enough. This means you should choose the right time, preferably in the morning. The sun is at its strongest from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M., so better avoid that period. Try to go out for an early morning or late afternoon jog to get your daily dose of vitamin D and exercise.