When summer hits, it can mean sizzling hot days which may make one want to stay inside. But there are a lot of great health benefits to getting out and enjoying some of those beautiful sunny days. The main precaution is to try and avoid being in direct sunlight between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
1 – The Sun Provides Plenty of Vitamin D
Spending some quality time outdoors and soaking in some sunlight helps take in a nice natural dose of vitamin D. Health benefits of vitamin D include:
- Maintaining healthy teeth and bones
- Supporting a healthy immune system
- Regulating insulin levels and reduced risk of diabetes
- Aiding in overall lung function and cardiovascular health
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Better chance of a healthy pregnancy
Just 5 to 10 minutes of sun exposure 2 to three times a week is all it takes to give your body sufficient exposure.
2 – More Opportunity to Walk Barefoot
Walking barefoot has been proven to provide many health benefits. One great benefit is that the pressure of the ground against your bare feet can provide a sort of massage to key pressure points, thereby relieving tension and aches all throughout your body. (Read more about the health benefits of walking barefoot here)
3 – More Time to Breathe in Fresh Air
The nice sunshine also serves as a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the sights and the fresh air at parks, rivers, lakes, camping trips, and other great places. The benefits of breathing in fresh air in such places include:
- Increased energy
- Boosted immune system
- Escape from air pollution when in areas with a lot of vegetation
- Increased happiness
4 – More Opportunities to Sweat
Being outdoors during those hot summer months may cause you to break a sweat, which may feel uncomfortable, but can provide great health benefits. Some great health benefits that sweating can have on your body include:
Release of excess salt, cholesterol, and alcohol which can reduce bloating
Reduction in breakouts, as pores open up and clean themselves out
5 – Improved Sleep
Getting outdoors and exposing your eyes to sunlight, particularly in the early mornings, can help improve your sleep as your body begins to connect with environmental cues and your sleep cycle recalibrates.
Take Proper Precautions when Enjoying the Sun
While it is great to get out and enjoy the sun and have fun during the summer months, it is still important to take safety precautions in order to ensure your safety and well being. Some great safety precautions recommended by sunsafetyalliance.org and fda.gov include:
- Remember that the sun is at its strongest between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM
- Wear dark, light woven clothing
- Protect your head and face with a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses
- Do not use sun tanning beds in place of natural daylight
- Keep children, 6 months and younger, out of direct sunlight as much as possible!
- Adults: Utilize SPF 15 or higher sunscreen whenever outdoors and apply it liberally
- Children: Utilize SPF 30 or higher and also apply liberally whenever outdoors
- Be sure to get your ears, nose, and other areas with the sunscreen
- If you don’t have much hair, wear a hat or apply sunscreen to exposed areas as well
- Stay in the shade when you can
Now go enjoy some fun in the sun, keep active, and enjoy the beauty that the outdoors can provide!
Mexico Bariatric Center