It’s spring (and almost summer!) and you know what that means: heading outdoors for some good times. Many of us have spent a good amount of time cooped up indoors over winter, so it’s time for us to shed the heavy layers and get out in the sunshine. We all know that practicing sun safety—i.e. using sunscreen, wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat, etc—is essential, but did you know that there are benefits of safe, moderate sun exposure? Let’s talk about just some of the ways sunshine could work in your favor.
It Can Encourage Exercise
How many times have you heard, “It’s so nice out, let’s go for a walk.” The mere fact that it’s beautiful weather out might encourage you to get outdoors and go for a walk, a run, or partake in some other exercise. If you’re looking to lose weight or maintain your weight, exercising in the sunshine could help and might inspire you to get out more often.
It Could Help Ease Pain
The warm sun combined with light exercise could help ease stiffness and loosen/warm up muscles, all of which could help ease pain related to a number of diseases and conditions. For example, those with arthritis may be able to ease symptoms by going out for a walk.
It Could Boost Your Vitamin D Levels
The benefit you probably most associate with sun exposure is getting your Vitamin D which could play a big part in bone health amongst other benefits. So how much of the vitamin do you need per day? It actually depends on several factors, so it’s best to speak with your doctor to determine how much is ideal for you.
It Could Boost Your Mood
Being out in the sun can boost serotonin levels which, in turn, helps provide us with a mood boost. Who doesn’t like feeling happier? If you’re feeling down or having a rough day, getting outside for a bit—even going for a walk—could help make you feel a lot better.
Keep in mind that we mentioned safe sun exposure, which means enjoying the benefits of sun exposure while protecting yourself from the harmful aspects of it. This means if you want to get out and enjoy some sunshine, make sure you’re taking precautions such as slathering yourself with sunscreen, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and wearing sunglasses. Sun protective clothing could also prove beneficial.
Lastly, if you have any skin conditions or health conditions, especially if you’re taking any medications, consult with your doctor before you take up any new exercise or decide to start spending more time outdoors. It might sound pointless, but you want to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your health and you’re going about things safely. Your doctor can help you determine how much sun exposure is safe for you and what precautions are best for you to take for your particular skin and body.