The summer is coming to an end in the U.S., but there’s plenty of sunshine to enjoy, and you can’t discount the many ways getting outside in the sunshine can benefit health physically and mentally. Even when the temperatures cool down into fall and winter, the sun won’t set on the positive impacts.
The sun can have definite benefits if we let it in, and despite what you may have been told, you can be outside without sunscreen for short periods of time (20-minutes or so, depending on the UV index and your skin type) before you have to take protective measures. Here are six reasons to turn off the television and head outside for a brisk walk or a game of catch with junior in the sunshine…
1. Regulated Blood Pressure
If your doctor has told you that your blood pressure is a bit high, then a jaunt in the sun may be one of your best prescriptions (along with any medications they prescribe you, of course). An article posted by WebMD explains British researchers found a link between sunlight and lower blood pressure.
The research team found that nitric oxide in the top layers of skin reacts to sunlight, which in turn causes blood vessels to open up and let more blood pass through – which will reduce pressure in your cardiovascular system. The team was also suggesting that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun could also lower risk for heart disease, but more research was needed. Even the UVA rays in winter can benefit blood pressure, notes other sources.