The Benefits of Sunlight and Being Outdoors

The Benefits of Sunlight and Being OutdoorsMany people are aware of the dangers of excessive sun exposure. While UV rays can increase the risk of some types of skin cancer, moderate sun exposure is essential for human health. The following guide explores the benefits of sunlight and being outdoors.

A recent scientific study showed that almost 40 percent of people in the United States have a vitamin D deficiency. Since many people live sedentary, indoor lifestyles, few people receive the necessary time outdoors for the body to synthesize vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency can result in calcium deficiency, bone deformation, immune system disorders, sleep problems, depression and more.

In addition, people in the northern hemisphere may need more than 15 minutes outside every day. Since UV rays are weaker in the northern hemisphere, many people from countries like Canada, England and Norway may not receive adequate sun exposure to promote vitamin D synthesis.

A lack of sun exposure has also been linked with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of seasonal depression based on a lack of sun exposure and time outdoors. While sun exposure can cure most cases of SAD, some health professional recommend a full-spectrum lamp to help boost natural chemicals and endorphins in the body.

In addition, spending time outdoors can be beneficial for other aspects of one’s health. It can be good for one’s mental health to spend time in a variable environment. When inside one’s home, one experiences a very predictable environment. There are usually no surprises or unknowns in the comfort of one’s home. Unfortunately, a lack of exposure to novel environments has been known to cause depression and a variety of other negative help effects.

Spending time outdoors can also be an excellent way to get away from the toxic air found inside many private homes and businesses. While interior air in most homes is safe, it’s important to understand how certain products and furniture inside a home can vent dangerous fumes.

Most furniture and household products in the United States are manufactured in China and India. While this allows products to be manufactured for a low price, it has several significant downsides. In many cases, products manufactured outside the United States may contain dangerous levels of toxins. These toxins, like formaldehyde, will usually only vent into the atmosphere in small quantities over time. It’s important to spend time outside of one’s home to minimize exposure to these toxins.

While spending time outdoors can be a great choice for many people, it’s important to protect oneself from excessive UV rays. One of the best ways to protect oneself is through the use of skin care products that contain sun protectant. It’s a good idea to purchase sun screen that has a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. This can help reduce one’s exposure to excessive UV rays. While this may not be necessary for very short periods of time spend outdoors, it’s important to protect oneself if spending more than 30 minutes in direct sunlight.

In addition, it’s important to protect oneself from stinging and biting insects. When traveling outside, it’s important to be aware of one’s surroundings. For example, hikers will often come in contact with parasites like ticks and flatworms. Many types of ticks can spread diseases like Rocky Mountain Fever and Lime disease. A bug repellent with DEET can be an excellent way to protect oneself from these annoying pests.

Spending time outside can be a great choice for many people, but it’s important to take steps to protect oneself.

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