5-Minute Health Tip: Wake Up and Go Outside!

One of the healthiest practices you can add to your morning routine is to wake up and go outside for at least five minutes. Exposure to sunlight first thing in the morning jumpstarts your circadian rhythm and activates your body clock to turn on its active daytime phase. You’ll have more energy during the day, sleep better at night, shore up your vitamin D levels, and keep strong and protected against illness.

vitamin d and cancerGet Those Hormones Flowing

The sleep-wake cycle requires sun exposure to both give you energy during the day and help you sleep at night. Step outside for some fresh air and sunlight and your body produces a healthy dose of cortisol to rev up your energy and get your body and mind moving.

Sunlight exposure also triggers the production of the feel-good hormone serotonin, which makes you feel more alert and active. Sunlight may just be a natural alternative to anti-depressants! A study published in the journal the Lancet found that serotonin production was lowest during the winter, but highest when the subjects stayed in the sunlight for the longest.

Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

When your skin soaks in UV rays from the sun, it produces nitric oxide, which helps to lower blood pressure. Dermatologists at the University of Edinburgh found that when exposed to UV rays from a UV lamp, participants exhibited significant reductions in blood pressure.

Soak in Some Sunshine Vitamin

Sun exposure is our main source of vitamin D, which helps regulate at least 1000 genes in the body and helps protect against all manner of disease. A University of San Diego study found a strong link between vitamin D and colorectal and breast cancers. They determined that 600,000 cases of cancer worldwide (and 150,000 cancer cases in the United States alone) could be prevented by increasing exposure to sunlight and thereby shoring up vitamin D deficiencies.

So open those blinds in the morning, take a stroll around the block, and be sure to expose your skin (SPF-free) to some sunlight. And if you have more than five minutes to spare, even better!

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