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Step out into the Sun! : 3 Health Benefits of Sunlight

As the sun peeks out from behind the clouds (ever so slightly!), it’s time to start making the most of it! Australians spend just 10% of our time outdoors (and this is a pre-COVID statistic). This is quite a common number for industrialised countries, aside from New Zealanders who spend 30% of their time outdoors. Many of us Ozzies grew up being sunsmart, which is a fantastic improvement from previous generations. But while it’s important to be diligent, it’s also interesting to recognise the importance that sunlight plays in our physical and mental wellbeing. 

3 key health benefits include: 

Improved moodWhen the sun hits your skin, your brain is triggered to release serotonin. Serotonin, also known as ‘the happy chemical’ (!), helps to boost your mood and keep you feeling calm and focused. Without sun exposure your serotonin levels dip, which is why we are all a bit more moody in winter! (SCL Health, EnvironHealth

Better sleep –  Melatonin (a chemical in your brain that lulls you into slumber) is fundamental to a good night’s sleep. Melatonin production is also supported by the sun.  According to Dr. Mithu Storoni, physician, researcher and author of Stress-Proof – “The brighter your daylight exposure, the more melatonin you produce at night.” (Forbes). This helps us keep our optimal circadian rhythm

Increased Vitamin D – We’ve all heard of this one, but why is it the sun in particular and what is Vitamin D good for? Vitamin D is found in cows milk, but is very hard to get from food sources alone. It promotes reduced inflammation and modulates cell growth. Vitamin D is a significant component of bone health, keeping our bones strong as we grow older. (Tricitymed)

So let’s take a lesson from our outdoorsy Kiwi neighbours, and spend more of our lives in the great outdoors. 

Note: it’s of course always important to protect yourself from harmful UV rays, and to consistently follow the latest lockdown regulations. 

 

Enjoy!

The Stable Team.