The benefits of Sun Exposure

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Is the Sun Good for You? 5 Benefits of Sun Exposure

Jan Fleming

Jan Fleming, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Jun 8, 2011 “Share your voice on Yahoo! websites.
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Dr. Oz recently encouraged his television viewers to sit out in the sun for 15 minutes a day without sunscreen in order receive one of the benefits of sun exposure – a daily dose of Vitamin D. Although it seems like all we hear about are the warnings of getting too much sun exposure, researchers and doctors are now beginning to appreciate some of the ways that the sun can actually be good for you.

Is the Sun Good For You? What the Experts Have Found

Although there are many dangers related to excessive sun exposure, sun exposure in moderation has actually been proven to have many benefits. For instance, here are 5 reasons why sitting out in the sun could be good for you:

  1. Getting a sufficient supply of Vitamin D. Dr. Oz was right. Spending just 10 to 15 minutes a day in the sun can help you get an adequate supply of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed by the body to promote bone health, boost immune function, reduce inflammation, improve neuro-muscular function, and even protect against some forms of cancer.
  2. Helping you feel happier…and sleepier. The on-line magazine Environmental Health Perspectives states that another of the benefits of sun exposure is that it helps you to produce more serotonin, endorphins, and melatonin in your brain. Endorphins and serotonin are brain chemicals linked with feeling good and at ease. And melatonin is a nocturnal brain chemical that allows you to enter into sleep-mode more quickly at bedtime.
  3. Increasing white blood cell and red blood cell production . Experts have found that the sun is good for you because it helps you produce more white blood cells, which enhances your immunity. Sun exposure also helps you produce more red blood cells, which means your blood becomes more oxygenated.
  4. Killing dangerous substances on your skin . UV rays from the sun can actually kill viruses, bacteria, molds, yeast and fungi that may be found on the surface of your skin. In this way, sunlight acts as a natural antiseptic of sorts.
  5. Clearing up skin diseases . While excessive sun exposure can lead to premature wrinkling and even some forms of skin cancer, there are various benefits from sun exposure when it comes to your skin. For example, moderate sunlight has been shown to help clear up some cases of acne, psoriasis, and eczema to name just a few.


How Much Sun is Good for You?

Dr. Oz and the Medical News Today website both recommend sitting out in the sun for about 10-15 minutes without sunscreen in order to generate a day’s daily recommended dosage of vitamin D. If you prefer to limit direct sun exposure to more sensitive body parts such as your face, you might consider not putting sunscreen on just your legs for those first 10-15 minutes in the sun.

So, in answer to the question “Is the sun good for you?,” it should be obvious by now that a bit of moderate sun exposure each day can actually be great for you.

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