You know about the risks of too much sun exposure — skin cancer, sunburns and wrinkles — but did you know that a little bit of sunshine can make a big difference in improving your overall health? Scientists say spending between 5 to 15 minutes a day outside (up to 30 minutes if you have a darker complexion) is a safe way to get the most out of the sun, without causing potential issues.1 Here's a look at how the sun may be helpful:
Sunlight is responsible for helping your body make Vitamin D. This vitamin helps strengthen your bones, blood cells and immune system, says WebMD.2 Getting about 10 to 30 minutes a day of midday sun a few times a week is the most natural way for your body to get enough Vitamin D, according to Healthline.3
Our bodies are hyper-alert to the light/dark cycle of the sun. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention4 recommend that getting bright light in the morning can help you fall asleep earlier in the evening. Plus, getting some sunlight in the morning may help you feel more alert for the rest of the day.
Not only can morning light help you feel more alert, it could also help you shed a few pounds. Getting between 20 and 30 minutes between 8 a.m. and noon is recommended because researchers from the University of Alberta found that the sun’s rays might shrink fat cells below the skin’s surface.5
Here’s how to stay safe when you’re out catching rays: