Over the years, sun exposure has gotten a bad rap. And don't get us wrong, in large doses, the sun can damage the skin and body beyond repair. While the harsh impacts of the sun's rays must be taken into account, we can't let this reputation overwrite the many benefits that short sun exposure can have on the body.
In fact, we spend so much time telling others to get out of the sun and sit in the shade that we often forget the powerful benefits that 10 or so minutes can have. Now, we aren't telling you to pull out your beach towel and spend hours and hours under the UV. But, there's no harm in taking an early morning or late afternoon walk and reaping the benefits of the much softer rays.
Spending just half an hour in the sun can make a huge change. With moderation in mind, some of the key benefits include:
It kills bacteria
That's right. Sunlight is a great sanitiser, and it works to cleanse the air. In this, it can also kill bacteria. Not only can it clean the bacteria in the air we are breathing, but when we are in the sun, it can kill off any bacteria flora that is lurking on our clothes or skin.
Some barbershops used to sterilise their tools in a UV lightbox using this exact same phenomenon. It's a chemical-free cleanser.
It reduces blood pressure
While it may seem far-fetched, it is 100% the truth. Sunlight exposure releases a compound called Nitric Oxide. When released, it can reduce blood pressure in the circulatory system and help the body feel more at ease.
This effect can take place in as little as a few minutes under the sun's rays, meaning you don't need to spend long outside to see the benefits.
It can reduce the risk of cancer
As the saying goes, it's important to keep things in moderation. It has been proven that the population who live in locations with more daylight tend to have a reduced cancer rate. Some studies have even shown that some cancers can diminish in the sun. This most commonly includes colon cancer, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer.
It strengthens your bones
Working to stimulate the absorption of calcium into the body by way of Vitamin D production, sunlight is great for the bones. It is particularly beneficial to young children who are growing and need all the bone strength they can get.
It can improve sleep quality
Think back to a day at the beach. After you get home, you are ready for a long and deep sleep. By boosting melatonin production, the sun can help us achieve a restful night's sleep. As always, just be sure to absorb the sun's rays in moderation.
The Australian sun is powerful, even in the winter months. When out and about, don't forget to be sun safe. And remember, you know your body better than anyone. So when you've had enough, it's okay to call it a day.