Don't be afraid of the sun...
Ahh, sunshine! Is there anything else in this world that makes you as happy as a beautiful sunny day? I personally love seeing the sun, and cherish sunshine as much as I can, especially considering I live in a northern climate and hardly see it at all for many months of the year!
There have been more and more studies coming out lately on the health benefits of sunshine exposure. Everybody, by this point in time, has heard of how positive the effects of Vitamin D, aka, the "Sunshine Hormone", are for the human body. Studies have even linked higher incidence rates of certain diseases to northern climate populations that have lower levels of Vitamin D in their bodies.
Personally, I have always been a firm believer of being as natural with my body as I can. Think about it. The sun has been the primary energy source for the earth, its inhabitants, and humans for a long time. Humans have evolved to benefit from that big, glowing ball of fire in the sky!
Up until now, many of earth's inhabitants have flocked to the sunshine for various reasons, most of which are just being understood by science now. Case in point. Up until now, many scientists believed that Vitamin D was the primary benefactor to soaking up some rays. Well, turns out, scientists in Ediburgh have found other health benefits to sunlight exposure as well.
Edinburgh University research suggests sunlight helps reduce blood pressure, cutting heart attack and stroke risks and even prolonging life.
Now before you all go running outside, oiling yourself up, and baking in the sun all day, let's discuss these findings real quick.
First of all, skin cancer is a very real thing, and can affect anyone at any age. There are other risk factors involved that may increase your likelihood of developing the disease, so precautions should always be taken.
"No pain, no gain" does not apply here. Sunburns are damaging to the skin. I sure as hell don't like to get a sunburn, as it feels terrible and I know that it is a direct message from my baked little skin cells that damage has been done.
Instead, let's focus on one thing that so many people have problems with in all facets of their lives - moderation. Go for runs/walks/hikes/bike rides/etc. outside. Enjoy the sunshine. Bathe in the glorious wonder that is showering your body, but don't lay in it all day looking to get nice and bronzed.
If you are going to be in the sun for a bit, forget the sunscreen, allow your body to reap the benefits of the sun. If you have no choice but to be in the sun all day because of work or other activities, either cover up with clothing, seek shake, or use sunscreen!
Sun exposure has many health benefits, many of which may not even be known yet, but be smart about it.