We know that plants need the sun to grow but did you know that sunlight can have benefits for humans too? Exposure to the sun allows your body to stimulate the production of vitamin D, which may deplete in retirees due to the natural process of aging. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as staying indoors more and not going out for work can affect the levels of vitamin D that your body is producing. Hence, one of the best ways to boost your vitamin D levels would be to spend time in the sun. Read on to find out what vitamin D is, why vitamin D from the sun is important and precautions that you should be taking when you’re spending time in the sun.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a nutrient that your body requires for a variety of processes. When you get sufficient vitamin D in your body, you get to enjoy the following benefits:
- Maintains healthy bones
- Lowers the risk of influenza
- Reduces the risk of diabetes
- Improves your cardiovascular health
- Helps to prevent cancer
There are many ways that you can obtain vitamin D. For example, through fatty fish, egg yolks, fortified milk and certain types of juices, which is why we choose to include such ingredients in our meals. However, all the benefits that we have mentioned above are benefits that you reap when you obtain vitamin D from natural sources such as the sun, instead of through supplements! This is why we advocate for spending time in the sun, as it’s the best way for you to chalk up your vitamin D levels.
Benefits of Vitamin D
- Improves mood: There are many negative emotions that might surface as a retiree. To keep these feelings at bay, it’s important to engage in activities that can keep you in high spirits. Sunlight exposure increases the production of serotonin which helps to lift your moods. In the winter months, try to spend the hours where there is sunlight outdoors as this can help to battle Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a type of depression that happens during the winter months.
- Improves sleep quality: Exposure to the sun can help you to inform your body that it’s daytime, allowing you to be more awake and attentive when you’re up. When this sun is removed, at night, your body cues will let you feel sleepier and lull you to a night of good sleep. Furthermore, getting sunlight during the day allows your body to produce more melatonin at night.
Dangers of Too Much Sunlight
As with all things, too much of a good thing can be bad. The same goes for the sun and spending excessive amounts of time in the sun. There is the potential of heatstroke, skin cancer and burns to your skin if you are outdoors for prolonged time periods. So, the next time you’re spending time in the sun, ensure that you have the appropriate amount of sun protection, such as wearing caps and sunblock, so that your time in the sun is enjoyable. You can also try avoiding the afternoon sun and head on outdoors in the morning or early evening. We advocate for making the right decisions for yourself so that your holistic health will be well taken care of.