Fitness

The Magic Pill…that isn’t a pill at all!

It may sound too good to be true, but there really is one simple thing you could be doing right now that would have an immediate, positive impact on your health.

Calling it a magic pill might be a bit strong, but when you consider just how impactful this one thing is, you’ll quickly see why it’s not far from the truth.

What is this “magical” health booster?

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The SUN!

If you are like most people, you get almost zero sun exposure on most days. This, in large part, is why 75% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D.

But sunlight does more for us than just boost vitamin D levels.

The Top 5 Benefits of Sunlight

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There are a ton of positive changes that sunlight can make to your health and well being, but here are what I consider to be the top five:

1) Builds your immune system

Your immune system is reliant on white blood cells and the more you have, the better off you are! As it turns out, exposure to the sun increases your white blood cell count.

2) Fights depression

Your brain chemistry is greatly affected by the amount of light your eyes and skin experience each day. Unfortunately, even if you are in a well-lit workspace, you cannot compare artificial lighting to what the sun delivers.

That is why just 15 minutes of sunlight can boost your mood and can help fight things like Seasonal Affective Disorder.

3) Increases oxygen content in blood

Sunlight improves your blood cells’ capacity for delivering oxygen to the tissue. This means that sunlight is actually an important part of any exercise routine. When you are regularly getting sun exposure, you will see increases in stamina and strength.

4) Helps fight heart disease

Did you know that sun exposure can actually help soften your arteries? People with atherosclerosis who increase their sun exposure see benefits to their artery health while also experiencing the heart health benefits of increased levels of vitamin D.

5) Lowers blood pressure

With very little sun exposure, you can start seeing changes in your blood pressure. It actually begins to decrease while you are in the sun and if you can be out in the sun daily, you can help keep your blood pressure in check.

How to Increase Your Sun Exposure Safely

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The biggest concern around sunlight is the risk of skin cancer. In all honesty, this fear is actually way overblown; unless you are consistently burning yourself, your risk is very low.

In fact, there are a number of issues that can arise from chemical sunscreen use that have come out in response to sun exposure fear.

That is a whole topic to itself...so if you want more on that, here is a good article.

The point is, getting sun exposure is actually a very good thing. Of course if you have not been out in a while, you need to ease into it!

So, to start getting more sun, begin by going outside, rolling up your sleeves and taking a 5 minute walk. Eventually, you will want to increase this to about 15 minutes.

Once you have your 15 minute/day walk, see if you can get outside on the weekends and show a little more skin. Work your way up to 30 minutes of being outside in shorts and a tank top and you will start seeing more and more benefits!

Mint Condition Fitness empowers people to take control of their fitness and fully enjoy the life they have built.