We’re in full swing - Summer! While sunny skies and warm temperatures do more than make our environment a pleasant place. They also provide some very significant benefits to our health and wellbeing. Sunlight helps to regulate almost all our bodily processes, as well as acting as psychological encouragement to improve our lifestyle. Here are a few more reasons summer is great for your health:
- There are Reduced Rates of Heart Attacks in the Summer Research indicates that you are less likely to die of a heart attack in the summer than in the winter. In a study of almost 11,000 people who had heart attacks over a period of nine years, survival rate increased by 19 per cent if the attack occurred in the summer. Higher levels of Vitamin D - which is synthesised by sunlight - are also thought to play a protective part in those who suffer heart attacks.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- Increases our water consumption Water is vital to thousands of chemical processes that take place in the body's cells to enable it to function. These include 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.
- 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. This is because sunlight helps the body's internal biological clock reset itself. Sleep experts recommend exposure to an hour of sunlight between 7am and 9am each morning to help those who have problems getting to sleep at night.