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​5 Reasons Why We Need Natural Sunlight

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For decades, humanity has been spending less and less time outside, and even fewer moments are spent immersed in natural settings, bathed in sunlight. Whatever the reason we eschew the sunshine, there is science to back up why we should make a genuine effort to spend more time outside when the sun is shining. Here are just a few benefits of natural sunlight.

  1. Sunshine is Free Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for good health. It combats depression, bolsters the immune system, and helps the body absorb calcium. It's also one of the easiest vitamins to come by. Just ten minutes outside can create 10,000 international units of vitamin D. This is excellent news, considering you only need 2,000-2,500 IU daily. Don't worry — sunscreen won't prevent you from getting your vitamin D.
  2. Invoke Calm and Reduce Stress. The color green has strong associations with feelings of calm and renewal, and natural light improves mood. Spending just 15 minutes in the natural sunlight can lower your heart rate and reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. For even better benefits, walk around the neighborhood and get some steps in while you're at it.
  3. Improve Memory. Walking in a natural setting bathed in sunlight is great for your mental state. In fact, being in such an environment has been shown to increase short term memory, according to an article published in Psychological Science. A walk on a trail may be the perfect solution to work through a problem in your personal or professional life, and it can even trigger a creative boost.
  4. Increase movement. When we think of going outdoors, we think of hiking, running, and biking. Just the act of going outside to clear your head increases the chance that you will get some physical activity. It's not often someone will get outside their front door and immediately sit still. After all, even a little movement is always better than none.
  5. Better Eye Health. We spend so much time glued to our screens, and we don't even consider what it's doing to our eyes. Myopathy, or nearsightedness, is quickly on the rise all over the world. As it turns out, staring at glowing objects two feet from our faces for hours on end is bad for the old peepers. Luckily, the cure is to get outside and look at objects that are far away, an easy task while outdoors in the sun. According to The American Academy of Ophthalmology new studies even show that natural light is intrinsic to healthy eye development. There are studies underway that show some reversal of myopathy in adults who spend more time outside in the natural sunlight.

It's not hard to see why getting out for a little R and R in the sunshine can be amazing for your mental and physical health, and there's nothing quite as delicious as the warmth of sunshine on the skin. So, get up, get out, and get bathed in sunlight.