Do you find yourself smiling a little more when the weather gets a little warmer and the sun begins to shine? I know I do!
For years we have been told to cover up in the sun to reduce our risk of developing skin cancer, which is true. However we should not completely shun the sun! A little exposure to sunlight is actually good for us.
UV rays from the sun stimulate the production of Vitamin D in our bodies. Vitamin D is essential to the smooth running of our bodies vital functions, particularly keeping our bones strong and boosting our immune system.
Why we should all get a little sunlight...
Keeps your bones strong - Vitamin D stimulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus which helps to keep our bones strong.
Makes you happy - your brain produces more serotonin on sunny days. Serotonin is the bodies natural happy hormone.
Improves your memory - Vitamin D also spurs nerve cell growth in the part of the brain responsible for forming, organising and storing memories.
Improves your immune system - Sunlight encourages the production of white blood cells. White blood cells play a key role in fighting disease and defending against infection.
Improves your quality of sleep - Sunlight tells your body it's daytime and you should be awake. This helps to maintain normal circadian rhythm, so that when it is dark, your body is given the signal to make you feel tired and get ready to sleep. So in short, sunlight exposure keeps your body clock in check, which should give you a better quality of sleep at night time.
Although you can get Vitamin D from foods such as oily fish, fortified dairy and eggs, many of us do not eat these foods every single day. Therefore experts recommend that you spend between 5 - 15 minutes everyday in the sunlight to boost your Vitamin D, depending on your skin colour and tolerance to sun exposure.