Sunlight is present in almost all of our daily activities. With this we get up to carry out most of our productive activities, as well as recreational activities.

We do this, because the sun’s rays have benefited our body in various ways that many of us may be aware of. The natural effect of the sun has very beneficial consequences for health. But it is also a factor that we must also take care of.

In this article, we talk about the benefits of sunlight and what we must take into account to enjoy it without any risk.

Health benefits of sunbathing

Here we give you 12 of the main beneficial factors that the sun brings to our body:

1. Contributes to the production of vitamin D

The body produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to direct sunlight in the environment. For this reason, it is often called the “sunshine” vitamin. Most people meet at least some of their vitamin D needs this way.

Chemically, the procedure is expressed by the endogenous synthesis that is induced by skin exposure to ultraviolet B rays of sunlight, which generates photolytic conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to previtamin D3, which is followed by non-enzymatic thermal isomerization. to vitamin D.

Vitamin D is important, because it serves as a vehicle for the absorption of calcium in the body, a mineral that is essential for the development and growth of bones and to keep them strong.

Without vitamin D, calcium cannot be absorbed, and in adults it produces a gradual process of bone demineralization that causes first osteopenia and then osteoporosis . The hormone that regulates the level of calcium in the blood is called parathyroid hormone.

2. Strengthens the body’s defenses

Moderate exposure to solar energy improves the quality of the blood, increasing the number of red blood cells and, therefore, the capacity to transport oxygen to all cells in the body.

It also increases the number of white blood cells, which strengthen the body’s defenses against infections.

3. Reduces cholesterol levels

It has been proven that cholesterol levels are lower in the summer, partly because UV light is necessary to metabolize cholesterol, preventing it from sticking to the arteries.

4. Promotes good blood circulation

By reducing blood cholesterol levels, it also promotes blood circulation by increasing the vasodilation of arteries and veins, making the circulatory system work more efficiently.

5. Lowers blood pressure

The presence of this vitamin decreases the levels of parathyroid hormone, responsible for releasing calcium from the bones and regulating blood pressure.

When vitamin D levels increase due to exposure to sunlight, parathyroid hormone and blood pressure decrease accordingly.

6. Speed ​​up metabolism

Sunlight regulates the functioning of metabolism naturally and balances circadian rhythms , a kind of clock that we wear that is capable of adjusting to a greater amount of light and running faster.

In fact, they are in charge of controlling the body mass index, so they will eliminate more fat to compensate for what the body understands as a survival activity.

7. Improves breathing

A team from King’s College London found a link between low vitamin D levels and worsening asthma symptoms.

In fact, vitamin D, which is generated by the human body itself from exposure to sunlight, lowers the structure of the immune system that causes asthma.

In this sense, in a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology , it was shown that vitamin D was able to lower the levels of interleukin-17, an element that is part of the immune system and can cause asthma problems when its levels are too high. Vitamin D was able to lower interleukin-17 levels.

8. Control the rhythm of sleep

Solar radiation affects the production of melatonin , a hormone whose functions include regulating the body’s circadian rhythms and inducing sleep at nightfall.

9. Improves mood

The explanation stems from the fact that UV rays increase the production of a neurotransmitter related to the feeling of well-being: serotonin.

Likewise, the fact that exposure to the sun favors the reduction of blood pressure and the rate of respiration, produces a sensation of well-being, calming states of tension and excitability.

10. Prevents and controls skin conditions

Sunlight significantly improves acne, psoriasis and vitiligo, but always in a moderate dose. The key is to take it first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon, when you are not in danger of burning and do not exceed thirty minutes of exposure.

11. Increases sex life

It has been proven that the sun, also taken in moderation, increases blood testosterone levels in men, and this hormone is one of those responsible for sexual appetite.

12. Prevents some types of cancer

Recent research suggests that vitamin D produced by the body itself thanks to controlled daily exposure to sunlight, can protect against certain types of cancer (ovarian, bladder, uterus, stomach, lymphoma or prostate).

How to take advantage of the benefits of the sun safely?

Undoubtedly, uncontrolled exposure to the sun can have harmful consequences for health, however, there is a wide range of options that can allow you to enjoy the benefits of the sun.

Here we list some recommendations for your enjoyment:

Use appropriate sunscreen for skin type

Apply a broad-spectrum barrier cream with a protection factor equal to or greater than 3. Place it on exposed skin and repeat its application every two hours, or after working, swimming, playing or exercising outdoors.

Manage exposure time

To manage the time of exposure to the sun’s rays, the correct regulation of the UV index must be taken into account. This important piece of information helps you plan your outdoor activities to avoid excessive exposure to the powerful rays of the sun.

Sun protection is essential, as long as the UV index predicts moderate to high levels of exposure, for example a UV index of 3 or higher.

Stay in the shade when UV rays are strongest. Do not forget that neither trees, umbrellas or awnings fully protect against solar radiation.

Avoid exposing yourself in central hours

The sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Be especially careful about sun exposure during those hours.

Moisturize inside and out regularly

When excessive exposure to the sun is unavoidable, hydration of both the body and exposed skin is recommended.

The organism’s protection mechanism, against strongly sunny days, is sweating through the pores, but this leads to a decrease in water and minerals, which has to be compensated immediately.

Exposure to sunlight can cause skin damage such as cancer. One way to avoid it is to continuously hydrate it.

keep head covered

A wide-brimmed hat adequately protects the eyes, ears, face, and back of the neck from excessive exposure to sunlight.

protect eyes

Glasses or sunglasses, with a protection index of 99%-100% against UVA and UVB rays, considerably reduce eye damage caused by solar radiation.

Eat foods rich in vitamins

Carrots and tomatoes contain carotenoids , they are the best foods with antioxidant capacity to absorb ultraviolet radiation and protect us from the sun’s rays.

But we must also take into account that consuming too much vitamin also has its consequences, so much moderation.

Avoid applying perfumes and lotions before exposing yourself

Most of these products contain chemicals that react unfavorably to the sun’s rays, causing skin irritation. That is why it is not recommended to apply them before exposing yourself to the sun.

use lip balm

Shea butter is a lip balm of natural origin that can help us with our lips by keeping them hydrated, among other benefits. However, it does not have sun protection, so it cannot be used alone.

Currently there are products such as lip balms, which have very specific ingredients in their composition capable of protecting the skin against external aggressions (sun and water).

Moisturize the skin after exposure

Dermatological recommendations indicate that the skin must be hydrated after prolonged exposure to the sun.

There is a wide variety of products that can hydrate our skin and that we can buy in pharmacies, but it is very important to note that the cream that we are going to apply does not contain fragrances or perfumes to have less risk of irritation.

In this case, you should take a cold water shower with gel without detergent, with an acidic pH (less than 5.5) and that does not contain fragrances or perfumes.

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