EVERY STEP COUNTS: 13/04/17 – So it’s another Thursday which means another instalment of the Every Step Counts Column. Today is a big day in my social circle as we are all travelling to Prague for a stag do. Clearly we are all going there for the culture so in next week’s column I will give a brief opinion on what Prague has to offer for everyone that hasn’t been there.

For this week I want to discuss the sun and more specifically the benefits of the sun and why you should be getting as much sun as possible in the next few months.  Last weekend, I took the family up north to see the family. We went to the city of culture that is Hull. For everyone that hasn’t been there, get yourself there, it really isn’t as bad as people make out, in fact we love going there to see all the family. The weather last weekend was incredible, I think the average temperature around the UK was around 23 degrees and I can honestly say I didn’t see a cloud in the sky all day Sunday.

Did you feel great sitting in the sun over the weekend?

Have you felt refreshed since the weekend?

Did you feel that you smiled more often over the weekend?

I know for sure that when the sun is shining I feel great. I feel energised, happy, the kids love it, the wife is wearing her summer clothes and everyone just looks as though they have that extra bit of energy and happiness when it is sunny.  But what are the actual scientific benefits for being in the sun? Check out my eight reasons below as to why I think you should grab every minute of sunshine that is available in the coming months:

  1. A recent study found that sunshine actually can help lower your blood pressure. This is due to the release of Nitric Oxide into the bloodstream. This in the long term can mean a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes. How does that sound?
  2. Increased bone health due to increased Vitamin D3 being created in the body due to the sun and its Vitamin D manufacturing abilities. This is particularly important for our older readers who have a higher chance of suffering from bone fractures.
  3. Improved brain function. Without getting too deep here, the Hippocampus in the brain works better with higher Vitamin D levels. The Hippocampus is responsible for forming, organising and storing our memories so it is slightly important.
  4. Sun exposure can improve sleep quality. This is due to Melatonin levels during the day from sunlight. Get outside, get that sun in your face and feel the benefits ironically later in the day.
  5. The sunlight can assist in treating lots of skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema and some fungal infections. In one study, 84% of participants with psoriasis felt their skin was better after a sun based therapy session.
  6. Sun exposure helps boost growth in children apparently. This benefit is especially true for infants. In studies, it revealed that the amount of sunlight exposure in the first few months has an effect on how tall the child grows. There are many cultures from around the world that recognise this. My tip, don’t go overboard but make sure you give your child plenty of sunshine. Kids look cool in sunglasses too right??
  7. More sunshine means more barbeques and what do we eat at barbeques? Yes lots of meat meaning lots of protein which in my opinion is a good thing. You will always get the debate between meat lovers and non-meat lovers but for my family, having a barbeque is always a good thing. In fact we are planning our first friends and family barbeque in the new house, we can’t wait and I can tell you now…there will be lots of meat there.
  8. The brain releases more serotonin on sunny days than on dark days. The take home point for you is that Serotonin is responsible for feeling good. Do you want to feel happier? Yes I am guessing you do, so get in that sunshine and feel happy and full of life.

So there you have it…eight scientifically backed reasons as to why the sunshine is good for you and why you need to take advantage in the coming months. Last weekend was a teaser. Let’s hope it is here to stay.

Turn your face towards the sun and the shadows fall behind you.

And if it is one of those days where the sun is hiding…..…go create your own sunshine.

Happy Thursday everyone, now go grab that sunshine and use its energy for positive change and positive vibes.

And to really make a difference….be a ray of sunshine for someone you care about today J

Be a ray of sunshine for someone today, it feels great