If the sun is finally shining and you’re still sitting indoors, it’s time to make some changes. Getting out in the sun (even for just 30 minutes!) may help to make your day a better one. Read on to discover the link between sunlight and vitamin D, which in turn, should give you some reasons to get out in the sun today.
1. Your Body Will Thank You For It
Did you know that the majority of the vitamin D you need is absorbed through the sun? When exposed to strong enough sunlight, your skin produces vitamin D3.
But – unfortunately – there’s a catch. The sun isn’t strong enough all year round, meaning there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to produce enough vitamin D every single day. The easiest way to safeguard your intake is through vitamin D supplements and a balanced diet.
2. It Is Important For Your Immune System
According to the EFSA (2010), vitamin D is important for the immune system (your natural defences). This means that, without a sufficient amount of the vitamin, your immune system might not be able to function normally. One of the easiest ways to support your immune system is by getting out in the sun and living a healthy lifestyle.
3. It’s Good For The Muscles
Vitamin D has also been found to help build and maintain strong muscles (EFSA, 2010). Once again, spending time in the sun during the summer months should be enough to contribute to their normal function.
4. How Much Sunlight Are We Talking?
It’s important to note that being out in the sun doesn’t suddenly solve all health matters. While the above instances are linked to obtaining enough vitamin D, you can’t rely solely on sunlight to keep your health in check!
According to the NHS, spending around 20 to 30 minutes outside in the summer should be enough, but the sun is very rarely strong enough during the winter months. This is why it is so important to maintain a balanced diet (as this is how we obtain a lot of vitamins!) and take supplementation if necessary.
5. Staying Safe In The Sun
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of the warm sun on your skin, but, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. It is so important to find a balance between obtaining enough vitamin D through sunlight and keeping yourself protected. You can do this buy:
- Always wearing sunscreen (higher than factor 30)
- Wearing clothing that covers the skin
- Wearing sunglasses with UV protection
- Spending time in the shade (particularly between 11am and 3pm)
You should also take extra care to protect children, as younger skin tends to be more sensitive. Never leave children in direct sunlight and always follow the above measures closely.
The sun is a wonderful thing and so is vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin! With this guide in mind, you have everything you need to enjoy a safe day (or lunch break!) in the sun.