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Seven Reasons We Need More Sun

Not so long ago, verandahs, lush lawns, sunroofs or patios were must for any house.

They definitely served some real purpose back then. Families used to spend some quality time in verandahs or lawns to have meals or tea together. Summer evenings used to be real fun. In the same way, sun basking was mandatory in winters.

Even while pen downing this, nostalgia just hit me hard. My childhood was full of happy summer evenings and enjoying winter’s sunshine. With family, grandparents and cousins, spending quality time together while sun basking was so much fun.

Welcome to 2018. Trends have changed.

Now houses have leaned towards bigger indoors and smaller outdoors. Verandahs are not so popular anymore. People have started spending most of their time indoors. Unknowingly and without realizing, most of us have started shunning sun exposure. Thanks to air conditioners in summers and heaters in winters, we no longer feel any urge to sit outdoor.

Since our childhood, we have been hearing about how too much of sun rays can affect our skin in a bad way. Too much exposure to sunlight has been blamed for causing skin cancer.

Unconsciously we have been avoiding sun exposure since long. But have we ever realized that right balance of sun rays is actually beneficial for our general well being?

According to a research led by Shia Kent from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, among participants with depression, low exposure to sunlight was associated with a significantly higher predicted probability of cognitive impairment. This relationship remained significant after adjustment for season

This means sunlight is really essential for our overall health. Let’s look at some of the reasons highlighting importance of sunlight in our lives.

  1. Manufactures Vitamin D and builds strong bones:

Little outdoor exposure to sunlight leads to lack of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is vital for the absorption of calcium in human body which leads to strong bones. This vitamin is an important factor that may have significant health benefits in the prevention and the treatment of many chronic illnesses.

Currently every third person is Vitamin D deficient.

The reason is very obvious: low exposure to sunlight. To counter the deficiency, doctors suggest Vitamin D tablets or injections to everyone.

Natural sources of Vitamin D include fish, cheese, egg yolk and some dairy products. These all sources cannot provide Vitamin D the way sunshine does.

This is the reason it is called “the sunshine vitamin”. The sun is the best source of Vitamin D. Getting out in the sunshine for just 15 minutes is enough to boost body’s vitamin D levels.

  1. Beats Depression:

Sun rays may do more than just uplifting your mood.

They increase level of a natural antidepressant in the brain called serotonin. This hormone boosts your mood. Maybe this is the reason people develop symptoms of depression in winters as there is less sun exposure. Symptoms include, fatigue, low energy, loss of interest in daily activities and mood swings. Solution lies in the sunshine.

  1. Warms up:

The sun breathes life into our lives and makes us feel alive. This is why people feel best when they go outdoors in sunshine. Sun rays jut warm up our whole body and cheers us up.

  1. Beats SAD:

Lack of sunlight can cause seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which is generally known as winter blues. Increased exposure to sunlight can help a lot in beating this disorder.

  1. Prevents SD:

MULTIPLE sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system, leading to tremors and even paralysis. One of leading causes of this disease is low exposure to sunlight. This disease is less reported in sunnier countries.

  1. Relieves body pains:

Sunlight warms up our body muscles and tends to help with body aches and pains. People with arthritis feel better in summers and worse in winters. The answer lies in the sunlight.

  1. Helps to kill germs:

Scientists have discovered that a particular type of ultraviolet light emitted by rays of sun can be very helpful at killing germs. No wonder our mothers and grandmothers have been keeping blankets, beddings and different kinds of grains in sunlight throughout their lives to kill their germs.

Maybe that is why one always finds hotel rooms and guest houses of hilly areas often soggy especially on the icy, snowy and rainy days of winters.

No one knows the exact measurement for how long one should get sun exposure to reap the benefits but one thing is for sure: low exposure to sunrays is dangerous for our overall wellbeing.

Sunshine is the best medicine. To reap the maximum benefits, enjoy some sunshine every day but don’t forget to apply sun block to avoid the harmful rays.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not represent ARY policies or opinion.