Here are four great reasons to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.
It's no secret that getting outdoors to soak up some sun is good for your health, but it's easy to get caught up in life and not get outside for days at a time. Between work, family, health challenges, and keeping up with our daily routines, spending time outdoors is an afterthought. This may be affecting your health, however. Here are four great reasons to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.
What is Vitamin D and what does it do for our body?
The National Health Institute defines Vitamin D as "a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement." You can take it in capsule form and it can be prescribed by a doctor if your vitamin D levels are low. We also produce it naturally in our bodies, but this requires that we get sufficient sunlight. Sitting by the window in your office allows you to get some sun, but this may not be enough.
Vitamin D is necessary for the production of calcium to build strong bones, support our immune system, promote muscle function, heart and lung health, brain development, and to fight certain cancers.
What is Vitamin D deficiency and the impact to our body?
A Vitamin D deficiency means that you aren't producing enough in your body or getting it through your diet and supplements. It impacts our body in several ways. Rickets is a disease that may affect children who don't have enough Vitamin D in their system. It causes brittle, soft bones that break easily. Osteomalacia is a similar disease that affects adults.
Other diseases that may develop due to a lack of Vitamin D are:
- Multiple sclerosis
- High blood pressure
- Type-I diabetes
- Type-II diabetes
How much Vitamin D do we need to benefit from it?
This is something you need to discuss with your doctor as some people may need more Vitamin D than others, especially if you have a severe deficiency. A simple finger test called 25(OH)D blood test will let you know if you are deficient and if you need to take supplements. It's even possible to do an in home test or go to a lab.
Different organizations recommend different levels of Vitamin D, so discussing it with your private physician to determine what amount is appropriate for you.
What does low Vitamin D contribute to?
Vitamin D contributes to stronger, healthier bones. It also helps boost your moral.
Benefits to Mental Health
Exposure to sunlight allows the brain to release a hormone called serotonin. Healthline defines serotonin as "a chemical nerve cells produce." It's essentially helps the nerves communicate with each other. It also a vasoconstrictor that helps the blood vessels narrow. Serotonin helps regulate moods, depression, and anxiety, promotes bone health, and helps wound healing. Some of the benefits of adequate serotonin are:
- Better sleep
- Less anxiety
- Increased emotional stability
- Overall calmer mood
Benefits to Muscles and Bones
Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium. Without calcium, our bones would be soft and brittle, so producing enough Vitamin D to absorb calcium is crucial.
Sunlight tells us it's time to wake up, so exposing yourself to some rays each morning will help with grogginess. At night, draw the shades to dim the light to help get to sleep on time. This helps your body learn to regulate its sleep schedule naturally.
While sunshine is vital to our health, it's important to protect your skin with sunscreen and stay hydrated. Spending time outdoors can improve overall health and wellness, and you can have a great time doing it.
Looking for more tips? Contact us for more information. The experts at Church Home LifeSpring are happy to discuss any questions you may have.