Sep 22 2021

The Great Outdoors

Happy First Day of Autumn! 

Tis’ the season to cuddle up inside, drink apple cider, and bake yummy treats. But, don’t take this mild weather for granted.  It is important to continue getting outside to let the sun hit your skin. Despite the cooler weather, you can still take advantage of the free health benefits the sun has to offer!

Four reasons you should still get your daily sunshine:

1. Sunshine is a great source of vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that is important to calcium absorption into the body. Vitamin D deficiencies can mean weak bones and teeth as well. The good news is that Vitamin D is something you can get from being in the sun!

Some other benefits of Vitamin D include:

2. Sunshine may decrease inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

  • In a study done at the Australian National University, researchers found that children who were exposed to the sun for just an additional 30 minutes a day had a lower risk of developing IBD by at least 20%
  • This disease can be very expensive for both employees and employers, so getting out in the sun is one way you can reduce you or your kids risk of developing IBD. Plus, sunshine is free!

3. Sun exposure reduces the incidence of certain cancers

It is known that excessive exposure to the UV rays of the sun can cause certain cancers; however, the right amount of sun can keep them away as well!

According to an article that was published by the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, sensible levels of sun exposure can reduce the likelihood to develop certain cancers including: colon, ovarian, prostate, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and pancreatic cancer. The authors of this study also notes that achieving healthy levels of Vitamin D is not possible from dietary sources alone; thus, they emphasize safe amounts of sunlight as necessary to health.

4. Sunlight and your mental health

Have you ever heard of the term SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)? SAD occurs most often in the late Fall and Winter months and is associated with reduced levels of sunlight that can disrupt the body’s internal clock, or even serotonin levels that affect our mood.

Getting your daily dose of sunlight can be even better for you when combined with exercise. Researchers at the University of Essex have begun to investigate the impact of “green exercise,” or exercise done outdoors or in “green spaces.” These researchers found that just 5 minutes of “green exercise” resulted in improvements in self-esteem and mood!

So, any chance you get this fall/winter, get outside and let some of those sunrays hit your skin!

While there are clear health benefits to sunshine, it is important to get your daily dose of sun safely.  Always wear sunscreen and sunglasses when you are out in the sun. Damage to your skin or eyes can happen during any month of the year. It is important to protect your skin and eyes while you are getting out and soaking up all of the wonderful benefits the sun has to offer!

Of course, a healthier you means a more safe and productive employee at work.  Take some time to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather while it lasts!

Tara Willis

Health Coach & Client Coordinator