Can Sunny Weather Help Overall Wellness?

Can Sunny Weather Help Overall Wellness?

Spending time in the sun and having improved moods can promote recovery

Many people have been warned about the harm of excessive sun exposure, which includes sunburns and various types of skin cancers. However, sunlight should not be completely feared, as spending a moderate amount of time in the sun has many benefits and promotes overall health. Benefits of sunlight include a healthier heart, increased supply of vitamin D, happier moods and reduced stress levels, while a lack of sun exposure can lead to vitamin D deficiency and even depression. In fact, avoiding sunny weather altogether can damage someone’s health.

Sunlight Is Good for the Heart

According to Medical News Today, research scientists at the University of Edinburgh discovered that the benefits of sun exposure for the heart may outweigh the risk of developing skin cancer. In their research, they found that sunlight releases the compound nitric oxide into the bloodstream, which lowers blood pressure. Therefore, a healthy amount of sunlight helps prevent heart attacks and strokes. For many individuals, the heart-health benefits of sunlight may be more important for their long-term health than the slight risk of skin cancer.

Furthermore, the negative effects of sunlight are not as far reaching as many people think. Environmental Health Perspectives describes how, according to the World Health Organization, excessive sun exposure only accounts for 0.1 percent to of the disability adjusted life years (DALYs). DALYs measure how disabilities from disease affect lifespan: according to this unit of measurement, the negative effects of sunlight don’t have a significant impact on life expectancy. Therefore, although excessive sun exposure can lead to health problems, these problems are not considered a prominent global issue.

Sunlight Provides Vitamin D

Many people are aware of sunlight’s ability to provide vitamin D. Sunshine is capable of releasing vitamin D into the human body through a photosynthetic process. In fact, sunlight is such a significant source of Vitamin D that the most common cause of vitamin D deficiency is a lack of exposure to sunlight. WebMD, lists the following physical benefits of Vitamin D:

  • Healthier bones due to the promotion of calcium absorption
  • Decreased risk of certain illnesses including diabetes, arthritis and multiple sclerosis
  • Decreased risk of certain types of cancer

Depending on a person’s skin type, he may need more or less time in the sun to receive a healthy amount of vitamin D. Lighter skinned people can retain a large amount of vitamin D from the sun within a short period of time, while darker skinned people need significantly more time for optimal absorption.

Sunlight Can Aid Addiction Recovery

Recovering addicts learn ways to cope with problems without turning to drugs, and sunlight can aid this process, because it can improve mood and reduce stress. An article on the Healthline website describes the following two studies that demonstrate how sunlight improves mood and lowers stress:

  • In a study performed by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, sunlight boosted the moods of surgery patients, and it even seemed to lessen their pain. Patients in brightly lit rooms with windows reported less stress and took less pain medication than patients in darker rooms.
  • Sunlight gives people vitamin D, and it also increases serotonin, which regulates mood, memory, sleep and appetite. Research from the Baker Heart Research Institute revealed that participants who spent more time in sunlight demonstrated happier moods than those who received less sunlight.

Stress perpetuates addiction, so any healthy method for combating stress can aid recovery. Spending time in the sun and having improved moods can promote recovery by allowing people to find joy in life. Individuals who are happy with their lives often see less appeal in substance abuse, so spending a healthy amount of time in the sun is a good idea for anyone, especially people in addiction recovery.

Find Quality Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you love suffers from poor health due to substance abuse, reach out for professional help. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to learn more about high quality, effective treatment programs. Our admissions coordinators can connect you with the treatment that will bring about lasting recovery, so don’t hesitate to call today.

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