“When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble is difficult to overcome”. Wilma Rudolph
As I am sitting on a bench in my parent’s terrace, this quote seems more fitting than ever. I left London yesterday and the weather was….horrible. Cold, snow, grey, a real winter weather.
Now sitting in the sun , studying in the comfort of my parent’s home I am left wondering…
How big of an impact sunshine has on our bodies? If you ask me, a I would certainly say that it has a massive impact. Just today, after sitting in the sun for 20 minutes I feel re-energised and happy. I intuitively rolled up my sleeves imagining my bones taking up this sun to get strong. It is not even that warm here, but compared to London it certainly is. 15 degrees and sun, it almost feel like summer holiday.
I have this feeling that my entire body was craving sun. Is that just a psychological effect given that I come from south of France and that London is mainly grey or is my body really craving sun? As most of you will know exposure to sun leads to the natural production of Vitamin D, a vitamin that is often cited for its wide range of benefits.
What are the benefits of the sunshine vitamin ?
- Vitamin D helps you to built stronger bones: Many researchers have underlined the importance of vitamin D in the building and maintenance of strong and healthy bones. The vitamin helps your bones to absorb calcium and is then along with calcium the key to strong bones!
- Vitamin D could help you live longer: A study from Oregon state University leaded in 2012 concluded that people getting out in the sun and getting more vitamin D are likely to live longer.”The randomized, nationally representative study found that older adults with low vitamin D levels had a 30 percent greater risk of death than people who had higher levels”.
- Vitamin D make you happier: This one is quite easy to relate to. It is a fact that people living in sunnier places tend to be happier. One might think that this is purely psychological but here again researchers and health professionals have underlined the importance of sun and Vitamin D to fight depression and mental problem in both children and adults.
- Vitamin D boots your immune system: Here again researchers have underlined a connection between vitamin D and immune health. Melamed, epidemiologist and nephrologist says: “Vitamin D is seen as essential in immune function. In theory, lacking it early in life disrupts the immune system and you start having immune reactions to things you should tolerate.”
- Vitamin D protect against other diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases: As seen perviously vitamin D can lead to a stronger immune system and consequently undermine your chances to develop cancer or other diseases. In short Vitamin D may improve your immune system and keep you away from many diseases.
It seems safe to conclude that exposure to sun is not only good for your mental health but also for your wellbeing as a whole. That says, too much exposure to sun may lead to other problems such as skin cancers. The good news is that you don’t need much time in the sun to produce enough vitamin D for your body. Moderate exposure to sun along with the right protection should allow you to feel good without turning pink and burning your skin!
Hopefully spring will hit London soon and we will all get or Vit D fix. Meanwhile, advertisers are playing on our need for sun to convince us to take a weekend break in a sunny place. That might be the plan. After a day only it seemed to have worked for me!
Meanwhile, I would be really curious to know how you manage to keep your vitamin D level on spot? Do you take short breaks in the sun often? Do you take Vitamin D supplement, and if so did you notice a difference on your overall health? Please share your tricks here!