It’s summer, and that means bright, sunny days, mornings on the front porch, kids’ outdoor sporting events, and trips to the beach. Much of the time, when we talk about the summer sun, we’re talking about how to protect ourselves from harmful UV rays. Wear sunscreen, consider hats, reapply often, and stay hydrated. But the sun’s not all bad; it’s important for your health to be in the sun on at least a few blue-sky days. Here’s why:
- Morning light resets your circadian rhythm, improving sleep quality.
- UVB rays help your body produce Vitamin D, which is important for tissue health throughout the body.
- Sunlight increases melatonin production, which can lower stress levels.
- Increased Vitamin D production is linked to a healthier immune system.
- Sunshine fights depressive symptoms by increasing your body’s serotonin levels.
- Sunlight might be protective against developing diabetes I, MS, and certain types of cancer.
- Exposure to sunlight can decrease pain and speed wound healing.
- Moderate sun throughout younger life can act as a protective agent against developing nearsightedness in later life.
So go ahead – slather on that sunscreen and go have a sunny outdoor summer adventure!