Ah the sun … we either worship and love or fear and avoid it! Some of us just can’t wait to get every inch of their bodies covered in a glowing suntan – while others actively strive to avoid it by covering up their skin completely or staying indoors.
The ancient healing practice of sunbathing has been used to improve wellbeing, maintain health and fights common illnesses by boosting immunity.
Sunbathing, for short periods of time, covering exposed areas of skin with a good quality sunscreen, actually has many benefits. Sunbathing is:
- antiseptic and antibacterial
- Ihelps to support the immune system by increasing the amount of white blood cells in our bodies
- induces sweating which enables the body to release toxins
- supports the circulation system, activates red blood cell production and enhances the body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to the tissues
- contributes to the production of endorphins, helping us to feel happier, and
- produces Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is important for our overall health. It helps our body to regulate calcium and phosphorus absorption, maintains healthy bones and teeth, and improves our auto-immune system.
Research shows that Vitamin D imbibed directly from the sun lasts two to three times longer in our blood than if we simply take a supplement. But how much sun is enough?
Even if you’re fair skinned, experts say you should still try to get a few minutes of exposure to natural sunshine every day.
When you are out in the sun, make sure you look after your skin:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Include plenty of antioxidant rich foods in your diet
- Gradually expose your skin to the sun – never overdo it
- Morning sun is best
- Always wear sun cream, and
Moisturise after exposure.