The Importance of Spending Time OutsideShare
Most people may be aware of the consequences of spending too much time in the sun. But getting some sun exposure is very important and beneficial for good health. One of the biggest benefits of spending time in the sun is vitamin D production.
The Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an important nutrient, which is critical for good health. Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D is not found naturally in many foods. But the good news is, your body can produce vitamin D.
When you spend time in the sun, the ultraviolet rays turn a chemical in your skin into a form of vitamin D called 25-hydroxvitamin D. From there vitamin D synthesis occurs. 25-hydroxvitamin D is transported through your liver and kidneys and becomes active vitamin D that your body can use.
One essential function of vitamin D is the role it plays in keeping bones strong and healthy. Vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium in the intestines. If the body lacks vitamin D, only about 15 percent of dietary calcium is absorbed.
In addition to maintaining healthy bones, vitamin D is also involved in other important functions. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, some research has indicated that getting adequate amounts of vitamin D may reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Scientists' caution, that more studies are needed to draw a definite conclusion between vitamin D levels and cancer, but initial research is promising.
Deficiency in Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiencies are pretty common. According to Harvard Medical Center, it is estimated that about one billion people worldwide are deficient in vitamin D. The level of deficiency is concerning, since new research is drawing a connection between various diseases and a lack of vitamin D.
One of the main consequences of vitamin D deficiency is weak bones. Symptoms of weak bones may include bone pain and muscles weakness. Eventually, if the bones become weak enough, they may fracture easily.
A deficiency in vitamin D has also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Vitamin D may offer protective benefits to the cardiovascular system by preventing damage to the arteries and controlling blood pressure.
Anyone can become deficient in vitamin D. But there are certain groups of people who may be at a higher risk of the deficiency. Along with the elderly, individuals with darker pigment, and people who do not spend any time in the sun are at an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Although it still makes sense to use good judgement when it comes to spending time outside, some sun exposure can be good for you. The key is to find the right balance between spending time in the sun and avoiding sun damage.