Is Sun Exposure Good or Bad for Your Health?

We hear it all the time: too much sun exposure is dangerous, and you should make sure to slather up on sunscreen any time you’re headed outside. How true is this? The sun is the Earth’s major source of energy, and it’s shining all the time. Is it really bad for us?

Although it’s true that there is such a thing as too much sun — sunburn scorches your skin and increases your risk of developing skin cancer — our local star offers many natural health benefits as well. Today, we’re taking a look at why your body loves catching some rays.

The Benefits of Getting Enough Sun

  • It’s a major source of Vitamin D: We’ve talked about the importance of Vitamin D before — it keeps our bones healthy and is essential to many important body functions. Although you can pick up some Vitamin D through your diet, the sun is our primary source of this essential nutrient.
  • It helps us stay on schedule: Human beings run on an internal clock that cycles through periods of sleeping and waking each day. This is called our circadian rhythm, and research shows that we feel our best when we reinforce regular sleeping habits like going to bed on time and waking up at the same time each day. Our bodies take external cues like light and darkness to know when it’s time to sleep, so the sun’s rising and falling helps our bodies stay on schedule.
  • It’s a major mood-booster: Studies show that being out in the sunshine stimulates production of dopamine and serotonin in our brains. These are known as the “happy” neurotransmitters, and they can not only make you feel great in the short term, but also help with chronic depression and anxiety.
  • It can improve energy and strength: Sun exposure has also been shown to increase our bodies’ production of testosterone. Even though it’s known as the male hormone, higher testosterone levels are associated with improved energy, strength, and overall mood for men and women alike!

Choose Your Sunscreen Carefully

Even with the natural health benefits of sunshine, you still need to protect your skin against too much of a good thing. At best, sunburn is uncomfortable. At worst, it’s a detriment to your overall health and well-being, and it could increase your risk of cancer. However, many popular sunscreens are loaded with chemicals that may themselves be carcinogenic, so you should always be careful about what you’re putting on your skin.

Opt for products with natural ingredients, or make your own sunscreen using natural remedies! Otherwise, you can try to stay in the shade or cover up as much of your skin as possible to limit your usage of sunscreen.

Get More Holistic Health Tips at Fast Track to Health

Fast Track to Health is a wellness center based in New Jersey with a focus on nutrition, holistic care, and natural remedies. We are passionate about educating the public on integrative medicine and natural health, so be sure to check out our Youtube channel for weekly videos, or continue browsing our healthy living blog!

Contact us to learn more about our holistic health services, including nutrition coaching, massage therapy, acupuncture, and more. We’re ready to help you reclaim your healthiest self and start feeling your best.