Daylight savings time has arrived! I celebrate this time of year when we can welcome more sunlight into our lives. Unfortunately the grey days & snow-covered ground don’t exactly make it feel like spring yet. It is undoubtedly on the way, though. I encourage you to let the benefits of sunlight especially on our sunny days work for you. Enjoy the sunlight outdoors as much as possible. Soak up the sunshine while walking, hiking, bicycling, or even reading a book outside.
Here are four benefits of sunlight, quickly summarized from various studies published in professional journals:
- Sunlight reduces pain in joints, muscles, and in many other areas in the body.
- Sunlight burns fat. The sun’s UV light results in increased subcutaneous fat metabolism. Research shows that a deficiency in vitamin D is associated with greater abdominal fat and is linked to obesity. Burn fat the natural way by exercising outside when the UV light is the highest so as to produce more vitamin D. UV light is the highest 2 hours before and after 12:00 noon. Why not take a walk outside over your lunch hour?
- Daytime sunlight exposure improves evening alertness for people exposed to 6 hours of daylight. On the other hand, people who were exposed to artificial light became sleepier in the evening.
- We may convert sunlight to metabolic energy much in the same way plants do. Our skin may contain the equivalent of “melanin solar-panels”, so we may convert energy, as plants do, directly from the sun. This is another way to increase your energy level!
Use the sunshine to help you feel better. Make sure to avoid overdoing the exposure, though, to protect your skin from the negative side effects of tanning and burning. For more information on the benefits of sunlight, make an appointment with me.