Don’t ignore the health benefits of the sun

In addition to being the way we get light — directly during the day and with its reflection off the moon at night — the sun is our source of energy and power. It is also our source of health.

Sunlight is not only warm and comforting, it also makes us feel good. Serotonin, the feel-good chemical in your brain, is increased in sunlight. That is why I encourage exercise outside. It protects the heart by increasing the production of nitric oxide and can help prevent diseases such as asthma, strokes, diabetes and obesity. Cambridge scientists have shown that sunlight alters your genetic expression, causing lower inflammation, thereby helping to decrease all the aches and pains life brings.

Sunlight has been criminalized by the medical world of dermatology, as people who live in sunnier climates have more skin cancer, but there is no proof that sunlight shortens life. Researchers have demonstrated that avoiding the sun is just as bad for you as smoking, as non-smokers who avoided sunlight had similar life expectancies as smokers in the highest sun exposure areas. Like everything in life, balance is the key and monitoring all the other aspects of health and well-being should be considered.

Let the sunshine in for better health ]

So how do we in Southeast Idaho get our healthy dose of sun over the next six months? Other than becoming snow birds and going south for the winter, there are light bulbs to brighten your home environment that mimic sunlight and allow you to get the benefits sunlight brings when the sun is hiding behind clouds. Full-spectrum light bulbs, photography bulbs, daylight or sunlight compact fluorescent bulbs, and broad-spectrum light bulbs are great substitutes for our evasive sunlight this time of year.

Nothing, of course, matches the real sun so, after you have made an effort to replace some light bulbs in your house, get outside when you see the sun out there. Bundle up to avoid the cold but expose as much skin as you can to get the health benefits!

Source :-Idaho State Journal

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