We’re currently in the middle of what is proving to be a very busy summer season with the majority of our clients opting for our exciting outdoor events such as Crystal Challenge, Multi-Activity days, It’s a Knockout and The Detective. We thought it wouldn’t be more fitting while we enjoy this beautiful sunny weather to share with you the benefits of being outside in the lovely sunshine.
As most of you are probably aware, sunshine prompts the production of vitamin D which is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to health rewards. Here are seven huge health benefits of moderate sun exposure you absolutely should know about.
1. Lowers blood pressure
According to researchers, when sunlight touches the skin, a compound called nitric oxide that helps lower blood pressure is released into the blood vessels. In turn, if the blood pressure is lowered, this will cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
2. Increases oxygen content in blood
And, it also enhances the body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to the tissues; very similar to the effects of exercise.
3. Improves sleep quality
When sunlight enters our eyes, a message is sent to our brain to pause the production of the hormone melatonin, which helps us sleep and maintain a normal daily routine. When it gets dark, the signal is sent to restart melatonin production and helps us get to sleep.
4. Enhances the immune system
The white blood cells play a major role in defending the body against infections and the number of these cells increase when you are regularly exposed to sunlight.
5. Improves mental health
Sunlight prompts specific areas in the retina which subsequently initiates the release of serotonin, a chemical messenger thought to act as a mood stabiliser. Serotonin is believed amongst many people to work as a treatment for depression and anxiety.
6. Improves your mood
Your mood and energy will be enhanced through the release of endorphins when having fun in the sun.
7. Natural pain killer
One study found that exposure to sunlight decreases stress and pain. Thus minimising the need for pain killers. The pain killing effects of sunlight are due to its ability to increase beta-endorphins in the skin which are natural pain killers.
How to stay safe in the sun
Of course it wouldn’t be right if we told you about the benefits of being exposed to sunlight and didn’t tell you how to stay safe in the sun so here are 5 ways to stay safe in the sun…
- Drink plenty of water, always make sure you have some with you.
- Try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
- Apply sunscreen regularly and wear a hat
- Wear light, loose fitting clothes
- During autumn and winter (from October until the end of March) the sun isn’t strong enough in the UK to produce vitamin D. That means we have to rely on getting it just from the food we eat. Taking a Vitamin D supplement helps to keep levels of the vitamin topped up during the colder months. The following foods will help you get your dose of Vitamin D:
- Egg yolk
- Milk (fortified)
- Cereal (fortified)
- Yoghurt (fortified)
- Orange juice (fortified)