Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sunshine Improves Your Health

A study from Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign indicates that all-day exposure to natural light, even by means of a window, leads to longer sleep duration at night, as well as increased physical activity and quality of life.

"There is increasing evidence that exposure to light, during the day, particularly in the morning, is beneficial to your health via its effects on mood, alertness and metabolism," says senior study author Phyllis Zee, M.D., a Northwestern Medicine neurologist and sleep specialist.
The study was conducted on office workers, and windows in the workplace could mean up to 173 percent more white light exposure during the day and an average of 46 minutes more sleep at night, researchers concluded.

They also noted a trend of workers with more light exposure being more physically active than their counterparts. Sunlight gives you energy. Melatonin regulates sleep, so having lower levels of this hormone in your body gives you more get up and go and more energy to exercise.
So, bask in the sun sensibly!

Studies have also shown that a sensible amount of sun reduces your risk of several cancers and other serious health conditions. And it's all thanks to vitamin D, which is made by our bodies through the action of the sun's UVB rays on our skin.
Professor Michael Holick, of Boston University School of Medicine and author of The UV Advantage states, "We get about 90 to 95 per cent of our vitamin D from the sun. It is essential for absorbing calcium, keeping our bones healthy, and for protecting against serious chronic diseases later in life such as osteoporosis, Type II diabetes, multiple sclerosis and many common cancers."

Not to mention, sunshine makes you happier! It boosts levels of serotonin - the body's natural happy hormone. That's why we tend to feel happier and more energetic when the sun shines. Regular sun can stave off moderate depression, particularly if combined with exercise, such as a walk in the park.
Celebrate the last rays of the summer sun and create a lasting fitness program.

To learn how Fitness for Health can help you improve your mind-body connection utilizing state-of-the-art fitness technology, visit www.FitnessForHealth.org or call 301-231-7138.

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