It is a sad fact of life that many people nowadays shun the sun due to concerns about skin cancer – and the marketing about various sunscreen products that is very one-sided. But sun is a giver of life and health for plants and for people. Without sufficient sunlight on your skin there is the risk that vitamin D levels will be so low as to cause bad health problems. Without sunshine, your body clock finds it difficult to tell you when to rest so your nights may be spent tossing and turning.
When you work inside all day it’s important to spend time lounging on your outdoor furniture in the sun and to forget that sunscreen occasionally. Of course you should wear it when the sun is really hot and if you are going to be out all day, to prevent sunburn. But when it is before 10am or after 4pm or if you are only going to be outside for a little while, there is no need for sunscreen.
Sunshine on your skin offers the following benefits: –
- Sunlight causes your brain to produce serotonin, a chemical that counteracts depression and helps you to feel relaxed and happy.
- It helps your body clock function properly so you sleep better.
- The UVB rays of sunlight on the skin produce vitamin D.
- Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, thus giving you stronger bones and teeth.
- Sunlight has a healing effect on psoriasis, eczema, acne and jaundice.
- It can also help with other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and thyroiditis
- Moderate amounts of sunlight help prevent some cancers such as, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer.
How to get that sun
So how can you make sure you get that important 15 minutes of sunshine on your skin? One way is to create an alfresco space with comfortable outdoor furniture to relax on. An area with a chaise, table and other outdoor furniture can provide the right amount of sun to ensure good health. Sitting here will help you to relax and keep you healthier at the same time.
What not to do
It’s important not to stay out too long. You don’t want to get sunburned. If you add a shade cloth to the area it will ensure you don’t get too much sun. You can sit under the shade cloth or move to it after you’ve been in the sun for fifteen minutes.
Don’t stay out during the hottest part of the day without protection. This is between the hours of 10am-4pm. During this time the sun’s rays are more direct, so are more likely to burn you if you stay out too long. Wearing sunscreen during this time will protect you, as will long sleeved clothing and a hat.