Six surprising health benefits of a heatwave

Another heatwave is on the way which means slathering ourselves in sunscreen, drinking loads more water, and struggling to sleep.

We all know the dangers of getting too much sun – it can cause sun burn, permanent skin damage, ageing, there’s also the risk of dehydration and sunstroke – so we need to be careful to avoid the midday sun on hot days.

But it’s not all bad news – a heatwave can actually cause some health benefits too. Sunshine, in healthy, safe doses – can be really good for our physical and mental health, so we should make the most of this time.

With the weather heating up, well-being coach, and MD of Sunlighten UK, Joie Risk, has put together her top health benefits of sunlight… which might surprise you.

Soak up vitamin D

When people spend time outside, particularly when the sun is out, they are helped in the manufacture of vitamin D.

This is essential for a number of reasons, inside and out. It strengthens bones and evens the skin’s natural complexion.

Vitamin D is even related to losing belly fat; the higher the levels of this vitamin prior to starting a plan for weight reduction, the greater the likelihood for success, according to one study.

Many windows block UVB wavelengths, which prevents the synthesis of the vitamin, so people do need to go outside for the rays to work their magic.

Improves your mood

Sunlight does not only trip the release of serotonin but other hormones, known as endorphins, as well.

These are associated with overall calm, less depression, and happier moods.

People may simply notice feeling better when the whole body’s system responds to the sun. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder is also believed to have a link to a lack of sunlight. This form of depression comes when a lack of sun exposure causes a person’s serotonin levels to dip low.

There are a number of studies tying sun exposure to the treatment of mild depression as well as to alleviating the systems of moderate to severe depression. 

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