This spring-like weather is reminding me of all the benefits we can get from the sun. Being in State College for the winter can feel pretty endless. The snow, the wind, the below freezing temperatures are things I get sick of by the time March rolls around. Last week we experienced the first feel of spring and I saw an instant shift in my mood. That reminded me of all the good we receive from the sun and getting outdoors.
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Going outside instantly gives you a vitamin D boost, whether it's sunny or not. Vitamin D has so many benefits I didn't even know about. It boosts your immune system and helps fight off illnesses and can keep your mental health a little higher with fighting off depression. If for some reason you cannot obtain vitamin D just through the sun, you can always take it in the form of a supplement!
Natural Stress Reducer
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Being in the sun makes everything feel relaxing, but that's not just all in your head. It is scientifically proven that sunlight reduces your stress level. I know this is true because I might be inside my apartment worrying about the thousands of assignments I have due, but the moment I am outside in that sun, I totally forget about it.
Build Stronger Bones
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You always hear that you should drink milk for stronger bones, but what about going outside for stronger bones? Interestingly enough, there is a link between vitamin D, sunlight, and bone strength.
Get That Glowing Skin
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Though the sun can have some damaging effects to your skin, it can also provide some benefits. UV radiation is suggested to some people who suffer from acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Definitely only do this if your doctor suggests it, but if you get a little sunburnt while outside, it also probably won't hurt.
Live A Longer Life
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While doing research for this article, I found a *very* interesting study. A Journal of Internal Medicine followed 30,000 Swedish women over the course of 20 years and studied how much time they spent in the sun. It was found that those who spent more time in the sun lived 6-2 years longer than those who didn't spend as much time in the sun. This is the only study that really explores the idea of sunlight increasing a life span, but it's an idea that is worth being looked into more.
Although there are plenty of benefits from sun exposure, you have to remember the risks of too much sun like skin cancer. If you plan on spending hours outside it's best to just lather on some sunscreen, but a little bit of unprotected sun exposure here and there also has its benefits. You have to decide what is best for you and if you don't feel comfortable spending time outside without sunscreen on, you can always obtain these benefits in another way!