Sunny days are here! Get a glow, but don’t become a lobster!

When you think of the sun, your first thought might be about the damage it can do. And too much can definitely cause issues! But some exposure, especially early in the day before it’s at its brightest, can do a lot of good!

Why should I get some sun?

1. Get Vitamin D:
The sun’s UV rays help your body make Vitamin D, which is important for your bones, blood cells, and immune system. It also helps you take in and use certain minerals, like calcium and phosphorus. Low Vitamin D
has also been linked to the risk of developing certain conditions such as multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.

2. Get Sleep:
Your eyes need light to help set your body’s internal clock. Early morning sunlight in particular seems to help people get to sleep at night. This may be more important as you age because your eyes are less able to take in light, and you’re more likely to have problems going to sleep.

3. Get Skinny:
Morning light also seems to help people keep the fat off. You need 20 to 30 minutes between 8 am. and noon to make a difference, but the earlier you get it, the better it seems to work. Scientists think the sun’s rays may shrink fat cells below your skin’s surface. More sunshine means you’re probably getting more exercise too, which is good for you in lots of ways, including shedding the kilos.

4. Get Happy!
Sunlight helps boost a chemical in your brain called serotonin, and that can give you more energy and help keep you calm, positive, and focused. Doctors sometimes treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and other types of depression linked to low levels of serotonin with natural or artificial light.

5. See Better:
Moderate amounts of sun over your lifetime might make you less likely to have problems seeing things at a distance (nearsightedness). But be careful! Too much direct sunlight can hurt your eyes. It can lead to blurred vision and raise your chances of cataracts.

6. Treat Your Skin:
Regular, small amounts of ultraviolet light may help ease the symptoms of certain skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and vitiligo.

But be cautious!

-Avoid Too Much Sun
Too much time outside without protection can make you more likely to get skin cancer, make your skin age faster, cause wrinkles, a leathery texture, and dark spots.

-Protect Your Eyes
You need sunglasses that block UV light and broad-brimmed hats whenever you’re outside for a while. The sun can damage your eyes any time, not just in summer, and the rays can pass right through clouds.

-Use Sunscreen
An SPF of 15 or higher is best. Look for “broad exposure,” which blocks more of the UV light. Try to stay out of the direct sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest, and take breaks inside.

-No Tanning Beds!
This significantly raises your risk of skin cancer. If you do it before age 35, you’re 60% more likely to get melanoma. Even one session can raise your odds of melanoma by 20% and other types by as much as 65%. Rather use a tanning lotion.

-Go to the Dermatologist
Check your skin once a month or so. See your doctor or dermatologist if you notice anything unusual.

So, in summary, What is sensible sun exposure?

How much sun exposure you can have is different for everyone. It depends on your skin tone, age, health history, diet, and where you live. Talk to your doctor about what’s right for you. As a general guideline, around 15 minutes in direct sunlight (without sunscreen) 3 times a week is enough for your body to make the vitamin D you need. (Any longer, use Sunscreen).

Exposing your skin to the sun increases your risk of skin cancer, so be sensible and make sure you don’t get sunburnt.