Sunny skies and rising temperatures do more than make our environment a pleasant place. They also provide some very significant benefits to our health and wellbeing.
Sunlight helps to regulate almost all our bodily processes, as well as acting as a psychological encouragement to improve our lifestyle.
Today we take a look at some of the health benefits of Summer.
Reduces chance of heart attacks
Research indicates that you are less likely to die of a heart attack in the summer than in the winter.
In a study of almost 11,000 people who had heart attacks in the UK over a period of nine years, the survival rate increased by 19 percent if the attack occurred in the summer.
Higher levels of Vitamin D – which is synthesised by sunlight – are also thought to play a protective part in those who suffer from heart attacks.
It’s also good news for those with high cholesterol. Ultraviolet light converts cholesterol to Vitamin D. Therefore, getting out in the sun is a good way to lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Research has also shown that sunlight plays a vital role in fighting many chronic illnesses. A deficiency of Vitamin D – essential for the absorption of calcium – is associated with diseases such as osteoporosis.
Several studies have also shown that ovarian, breast and colon cancers are slowed by exposure to sunlight.
Relieves skin complaints
Controlled exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can have a therapeutic effect on skin complaints such as acne, psoriasis and dermatitis.
Dermatologist`s say many skin disorders are caused by an over-sensitive immune system. UV rays reduces that sensitivity.
It is better to walk around in daylight rather than sitting directly exposed to the sun for any length of time because sunburn remains a key factor in causing skin cancer.
The therapeutic effects of the sun occur just below the level of turning skin red. Most fair skins can tolerate up to 15 minutes of direct exposure before the skin turns pink. After that, lotion with a sun protection factor should be worn.
The summer is an excellent time to begin an exercise programme. Not only do summer clothes provide an incentive to get the body in shape, but the feel-good factor created by sunlight boosts our enthusiasm to begin a fitness regime.
Exercise is not only the most effective way to burn up excess calories, but also improves the vital flow of oxygen to the brain, lowering stress levels and improving powers of concentration. The warm weather is also good news for those suffering from arthritis. Many people feel more agile and in less pain during the summer.
Increases our water consumption
Water is vital to thousands of chemical processes that take place in the body’s cells to enable it to function. These include promoting digestion, regulating body temperature, improving the health and vitality of our skin and flushing toxins from the body.
In the summer months we are more inclined to drink the recommended two litres of water a day needed for optimum health.
The more fluid your body loses the more you need to drink, so take regular sips of water throughout the day.
Helps migraine sufferers
Canadian doctors running trials testing the link between weather and migraines have concluded that clear, sunny and dry weather reduces attacks of migraine. However, if the weather turns muggy, watch out because the symptoms may return.