After a seemingly endless and very wet winter, it looks like we actually summer is finally here. Yes I know there are a few that will always moan about the heat or the lack of air conditioning in the UK, but hey lets be grateful for the sun and all the great things that come with it!
Sunny skies and rising temperatures do more than make our environment a great place to be. They also provide some very significant benefits to our health and wellbeing.
Sunlight not only improves our mental state but our lifestyle as well, I saw a massive increase in my new business bookings when the sun came out in April. Everyone is suddenly happy and wants to wear new summer clothes and clear out there wardrobe ready for the new season – this in itself is a great therapy and cleanses the soul not just the wardrobe.
Here are my top ten reasons why the summer is just what the doctor ordered.
1. Reduces chance of heart attacks
Research indicates that you are less likely to die of a heart attack in the summer than in the winter.
Higher levels of Vitamin D are thought to play a protective part in those who suffer heart attacks.
It’s also good news for those with high cholesterol. Ultraviolet light converts cholesterol to Vitamin D. Therefore, getting out in the sun is a good way to lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Several studies have also shown that ovarian, breast and colon cancers are slowed by exposure to sunlight – no that’s a great reason to welcome the sunshine.
2. People eat more fruit
Rising temperatures and increased availability of summer fruits make it easier to fulfil the recommended quota of eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
They also boost the immune system and, because of their low calorie content, help with weight loss.
Calorie intake tends to be lower (apart from drinking wine in the garden) in the summer because increased body temperature makes us less likely to reach for the fatty comfort foods we eat in the winter.
3. Relieves skin complaints
Controlled exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can have a therapeutic effect on skin complaints such as acne, psoriasis and dermatitis.
4. Increases agility
The summer is an excellent time to begin an exercise programme. Not only do summer clothes provide an incentive to get the body in shape, but the feel-good factor created by sunlight boosts our enthusiasm to begin a fitness regime.
Our Summer wardrobe can also have a negative effect as we tend to show more flesh, so it’s a great time to invest in an image consultation so you know how to dress your bodyshape.
Exercise is not only the most effective way to burn up excess calories, but also improves the vital flow of oxygen to the brain, lowering stress levels and improving powers of concentration.
5. We drink more water
Water is vital to our bodies, promoting digestion, regulating body temperature, improving the health and vitality of our skin and flushing toxins from the body.
In the summer months we are more inclined to drink the recommended two litres of water a day needed for optimum health.
6. We tend to wear less or no makeup
Having a break from wearing makeup is great for our skin, it lets the skin breathe and the sun can clear up any spots or outbreaks which makes us feel great. If like me you still like to wear a little makeup then opt for lighter products such a tinted foundation or primer, a lip gloss or tinted balm. Change the colours you use to softer or more sun like tones.
7. We socialise more
Yes we see our friends and family more in the summer which makes us feel good! We also tend to me more sociable in the summer months, just being outside makes us more likely to say hello to a stranger or stop and have a chat.
8. Effects on diabetes
People’s eating habits are different in the summer and winter. The types of foods, the total calories consumed and the timing of the meals all vary with the seasons. Most people, including diabetics, tend to eat extra fresh fruit when they become available in the summer. This has an important effect on their insulin levels.
9. It’s good for our bones!
A healthy dose of sunshine can prevent us from fracturing our bones.
Half of postmenopausal women have low levels of Vitamin D, which is boosted by sunlight. So try and increase your vitamin D level, this can be found in cheese, butter, margarine, cream, milk, fish, oysters and fortified cereals.
10. Helps to regulate sleep disorders
Waking up to the sun and getting early-morning exposure to its light can help those suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia.