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You’ll Be Amused To Find Out What Is The Secret Weapon For Optimal Health!
Have you ever noticed that during the long, cold winter months your mood changes? Week after week of grey, overcast skies leads to lower energy and even feelings of sadness and apathy. There’s a reason for that: our bodies crave sunlight for health. We are evolved to absorb sunlight for a variety of health reasons, and when we do not get enough, our bodies simply don’t function properly.
So many people in the modern, industrialized world spend all their waking hours indoors- watching TV, shopping, or sitting in climate-controlled offices. Regardless of what they are occupying their time with, the effect is the same: insufficient sunlight. You cannot get the amount you need in the 10 seconds it takes you to walk from your front door to the car. In this article, we will explore benefits of sunlight to see why it is so important for maintaining good health, find out the lesser known pros of the sun exposure, and tell you how you can use this information to turn your baseline levels of energy and vibrancy in the right direction.
How Sunlight Affects Your Health
Sunlight gives you vitamin D, and this is the cornerstone of most of the health benefits associated with sunlight exposure. Vitamin D is a somewhat misleading name, as it is technically speaking a hormone which is naturally synthesized (produced) by your body when sunlight hits your skin. Vitamin D plays a role in maintaining overall health and wellbeing, and in the regulation of some 2,000 different genes in the human genome.
Not getting enough sunlight is a contributing factor in a variety of health problems and outright illnesses. These include physical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis and more. There is also evidence suggesting the vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased risk of various forms of cancer, including cancer in the breasts, ovaries, colon, prostate, and more.
The psychological component of not getting enough sunlight also important. Vitamin D plays a role in neurochemistry and hormone levels as well, and deficiency is linked to lack of energy and an increased risk of depression. There is even a seasonal form of depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which is directly linked to the reduction of sunlight hours in winter months.
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Lesser Known Benefits of Sunlight Exposure
There is a recent study (2011) out of South Korea which suggests that exposure to the rays of the sun may actually help the body burn fat! Originally published in The Journal of Experimental Dermatology, the study claims to have found that sunlight exposure was connected to increased metabolism of subcutaneous (under the skin) fat. Other studies have shown that deficiency in vitamin D was linked to higher levels of abdominal fat. While everyone knows that a chiseled body looks best in the summer sunshine, few people know about this study, which suggests that the sun may help you get one. This is certainly not conclusive, and more research needs to be done, but it is definitely something to keep an eye on.
There is also a claim that sunlight may actually help the body cope with physical pain. A study published in 2005 found that that sunlight appeared to have an effect on the recovery process of patients who had just undergone cervical and spinal surgery. Patients who stayed on beds on the brighter side of the room required, on average, 22 percent less analgesic (pain killing) medicine per hour. Once again, it is not proven that correlation is causation, but it is certainly very interesting.
KEEP READING: Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You: Sunlight Cures Cancer
What is certain is that the sun plays an absolutely essential role in helping the body maintain its’ health, high energy levels, and a happier, more optimistic outlook on life. Future research may yield more startling discoveries about how sunlight exposure can help us, as the studies mentioned above appear to indicate. The fact remains that the majority of people around the world are often deficient in vitamin D- a lack of which is indeed associated with all manner of disease, various forms of depression, and a general feeling of malaise. The first step toward rectifying this is to go and get some sun- today. Work on that tan, and work on your health.