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Summer is just around the corner, and many of us will be spending a lot more time outdoors, making the most of the lighter evenings, and the sunshine. Sun light has so many positives for our body, mind, and soul; here are some great reasons to get outside and soak up some rays!

Sunshine Can Improve sleep

The human body creates melatonin; a hormone critical to aiding with sleep. Your body starts producing it when it’s dark, you usually start to feel tired several hours after sun set, which is one of the reasons our bodies naturally stay up later in the summer. Research has shown that an hour of sun light in the morning will help you sleep better; sunshine regulates the body’s circadian rhythm by telling it to increase or decrease melatonin levels, so the more daylight exposure, the better your body produces melatonin when it’s time for sleep.

Reduces stress

Melatonin also lowers stress. Natural light helps your body manage melatonin, thus reducing stress. And because tend to be more active when you’re outside, that extra exercise can also lower stress.

Maintains bone structure

One of the best ways to get vitamin D is by exposing yourself to natural light. We produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, and since vitamin D helps the body maintain calcium, it can prevent brittle, thin, or misshapen bones.

Strengthens immune system

Additionally, vitamin D is critical to your immune system, and it can be boosted with frequent exposure to sunlight. A good immune system helps to reduce the risk of illness, infection, cancer, mortality, and improves healing.

Helps with weight loss

Spending at least 30 minutes outside between 8 a.m. and mid-day can have beneficial effects on weight loss; it seems there’s a connection between early morning sunlight and weight management.

Sunshine Improves mood

Sunshine improves your mood; it’s a fact. Natural sun light boosts the body’s serotonin, which is a naturally-produced chemical that improves mood, helps anxiety, and improves focus. Increased exposure to natural light may help ease Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) too, which is a change in mood that typically occurs over the cooler months with shorter days.

Can help you live longer

Studies show that people who spend more time in the sun can live six-months to two-years longer than those with less natural light. Depending on the shade of your skin, scientists estimate that the human body can produce vitamin D after only 5-30 minutes sunlight. You may not produce as much vitamin D if you’re wearing sun screen, but if you’re outside for longer, be careful of your exposure levels as too much sun can be harmful.