Sun up!

Let’s face it, most Latinos love the sun and anxiously wait for the spring and summer to get here to get some rays. Yes, too much sun is bad for you causing you to freckle and sun spots, or even worse, melanoma, but let’s dig deeper.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

During the fall and winter months it’s often cloudy everyday. You might live in a city where it’s dark in the morning when you leave to work and dark when you come back. This might make you feel a little sad, tired, and with no energy. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This condition makes you feel sad when less natural sunlight is available. Your body rhythms get out of sync because you’re not getting enough sunlight. You’re not alone because about 3 % of the U.S. population feels the same way.

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Benefits of Sunshine

For many years you’ve been told that the sun is bad for you and has been linked to skin cancer. One of the main reasons people get skin cancers is because they abuse the amount of sun they get each day. You only need 20 to 30 minutes of direct sunlight a week to get the benefits. Many people spend hours a day in the blazing sun without sunscreen and that’s when problems arise.

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When you get just a couple minutes of sun, you can benefit from an instant endorphin surge and a drop in your blood pressure. The sun can also regulate your hunger hormones that can help you keep your weight off. The effect of vitamin D controls how fast your bones age: men start losing bone mass at age 30 and women at 40. In addition to slowing the loss of bone mass, vitamin D can help strengthen muscles, reduce swelling, stop respiratory infections, and help maintain good sperm count in men.

People with good levels of vitamin D also have a lower chance of developing cataracts and a lowered risk of macular degeneration, which is when a part of your retina known as macula, deteriorates. Researchers have also found that vitamin D helps your immune system fight off sickness. In addition, when you go for a walk and get some sun, it helps you sleep better.  The sun can help put you in a good mood and fight off stress. So, go outside and enjoy some natural rays, it’s worth it.

Check Out: Green Your Sunscreen