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Rear view photo of happy young married people with raised hands walking in modern town looking on sunny sky

Source: Deagreez / Getty

There’s a reason people flock to the sun. As an essential part of our livelihood and other living things around us, sunlight not only brightens up the world, but it awakens parts of us that need a boost in order to function and grow. 

When it comes sunlight, it produces vitamin D for the body that include benefits ranging from bone health to mood enhancement. 

Harvard’s School of Public Health defines vitamin D as a nutrient known to “help the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus; [both of which] are critical for building bone…and can reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections and reduce inflammation.” 

Some of sunlight’s other benefits include: 

  • Boosts to the immune system 
  • Warmth that helps relieve pain
  • Better sleep by regulating your body’s internal clock
  • Reduced skin inflammation and dryness with proper sun safety
  • Enhanced mood and energy through a boost in serotonin

During the winter months, sunlight is especially important for the “winter blues” where nights are longer and colder. It’s during this time when people in colder climates naturally begin to lose interest in daily activities or get easily tired. According to Cambridge University, studies show that people with low vitamin D are at a greater risk for depression. 

Here are some ways to reap the benefits of sun and ensure you’re getting your fair share of the natural light: 

  • Sit by a window during calls or meetings 
  • Open your blinds during the day 
  • Go for a morning walk
  • Take a midday coffee/tea break outside 
  • Avoid dark decor in the winter months 
  • Unblock any windows that might be obstructed 

Now, everything in moderation, right?

While you’re soaking up the sun, don’t forget to protect your skin when the setting and intensity calls for it:

  • Apply sunscreen before prolonged sun exposure
  • Seek shade after extended periods in the sun
  • Wear sunglasses to avoid eye strain
  • Consider a hat with a brim to stay cool

Sunlight offers myriad of benefits we can’t afford to overlook, especially within the African American community. So, embrace the warmth and let the sun shine in!

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Let the Sunshine In: Surprising Health Benefits of Sunlight  was originally published on elev8.com