Want To Live Longer – Get Yourself Outdoors

I think I’ve cracked it, Italian folk aren’t the longest living people because of their diet, they spend longest on the planet compared to any other nationality because of their beautiful weather! Who wouldn’t want to stick around and bask in the glorious sunshine?

Whether it’s key to a long life or not, one thing’s for sure, sunlight must be a contributing factor to people’s overall mood and so quality of life, and this must indeed lead back to  life longevity, no?

I ponder over this point as I dip one toe into the pneumonia-inducing waters of the English Channel, while the other remains firmly on the shingled beach of Brighton this bank holiday.  Temperatures soar into the twenties (degrees celsius) as sweltered sweaty bodies lie down soaking up the sunrays like cold-blooded reptiles.

The sun boosts everyone’s mood, there’s just something so comforting about the (picking off your sunburnt peely skin the day after) smell of suncream and the sounds of waves crashing against the seashore. Sunlight is my version of rose-tinted glasses.

 
The Benefits Of A Sunny Day

Vitamin D – Your skin produces vitamin D whenever you are exposed to UVB sunlight rays. Vitamin D helps maintain the health of the bones and teeth, playing an essential role in regulating the amount of phosphate and calcium in  the body in addition to numerous other health regulatory roles.

T-Cells – The T-cell is a type of white blood cell which is essential to human immunity. Recent research into the body’s reaction to sunlight has quite literally shed new light on its effect on the body’s immune system in particular. Some studies conducted have highlighted the effect of low levels of blue light (present in the sun rays) exposure on T-Cells. The blue light is believed to trigger the release of hydrogen peroxide by the T- cells, a reaction produced in response to an infection normally. This release of hydrogen peroxide thus leads to the increased mobilisation of the cells throughout the body. Thus an increase in mobilisation would mean the cells could get to sites of infection more quickly.

Mood Booster – The winter blues are no doubt a real thing. And so is SAD – ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’, which links seasonal changes with patterns of depression. With a lack of sunlight resulting in lower serotonin levels, a rise in sunlight thereby boosts serotonin in the body, serotonin is the chemical neurotransmitter that boosts our mood. Sunlight triggers special areas of your eye – the retina to produce serotonin.

Lowers Pollution Levels – Your descendents will thank you as they aren’t left permanently attached to an oxygen tank.Reducing the need to burn fossil fuels should surely be something that brings a smile to our faces? That is, ofcourse, if you feel the planet is worth saving. If you don’t then wake up now! Sunshine is unlimited, fossil fuels are not. Although solar power is not completely waste free, it’s still doing a better job than the waste produced from oil and coal burning.

What more reasons could you need for the sun to put a smile on your face? Get outdoors now! Your T-cells will thank you!

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