How to Safely Enjoy Daylight
Enjoying the sun is great, but enjoying it safely is even better.
The sun gives us life. We work in it. We play under it. We relax underneath its warm rays. It helps crops grow, it gives us weather that’s perfect for spending time doing the things we love, and it helps keep the world in balance. Suffice it to say: we love the sun. You’d be surprised how many interesting benefits there are to spending time in daylight:
- Getting out in the sun makes you feel good. Exposure to the sun has been known to increase the brain’s production of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter in the body that is most commonly associated with balancing moods. When your body produces it, you find it easier to feel calm, happy, and ready to face the day.
- Regularly getting sun exposure helps you sleep better. No, really, it’s true! When our eyes are exposed to sunlight, a message is sent to our pineal glands to stop producing melatonin in the body. Melatonin is a hormone that is most readily released when it’s time for us to sleep – it makes us drowsy – so, regular sun exposure helps regulate the circadian rhythms that determine when melatonin is released. If your body produces too much melatonin during the day because you aren’t getting light exposure, it can lead to a lack of production at night… and that means trouble falling asleep. Even when it’s not in the sky, the sun has our backs.
- Vitamin D does a wealth of good for your body – and exposure to UV-B rays from the sun is the best way to get it! Vitamin D has a wealth of health benefits. For instance, a recent Boston University study that followed people with high blood pressure showed that increased exposure to UVB rays can significantly reduce hypertension and blood pressure. That’s not the only benefit of Vitamin D: it can also reduce your risk of multiple sclerosis, decrease your chance of developing heart disease, and lessen your likelihood of catching common bugs like the flu.
We told you the sun was great, but just like with all great things – too much can be trouble. If you’re like us and want to live your life enjoying the sun’s life giving rays, but want to stay safe and healthy at the same time, take heed of these great sun safety tips:
- Seek shade. A simple way to make the most of fun in the sun without damaging you or your family’s skin is to plan your activities around the placement of the sun. It is highest in the sky (and therefore hottest) between 10 AM and 4 PM. If you’re going to be out during those times, make sure to know where you will be able to pause or go to take some time out from under those rays. Don’t forget that sunscreen doesn’t last as long in more humid places so reapply often when you’re out having fun in more tropical climates!
- If you’re frequently out in the sun, choose protection products that have the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation is granted to sun protection products that have been thoroughly reviewed by an independent photobiology committee and found to meet specific criteria of safety and efficiency when it comes to protecting the skin against UV rays. Coincidentally, Maui Jim earned the seal three years ago and ensures all of its products meet the high testing standards.
- Use sunscreen. Sunscreen is great. It protects your skin, moisturizes, and lets you go outside without having to worry that you’re going to end up burnt and blistered. The American Academy of Dermatology has researched and found that for the best protection you should choose a sunscreen that is water resistant, broad spectrum, and at least 30 SPF. We recommend keeping a bottle in your car and by your front door so you never forget to apply some on any time you’re heading out.
Spending time in the sun has been proven to be great for your overall well being, but making sure that you do it safely is critical. The next time you leave your house to go hit the waves, play a round, or just enjoy the weather with your family – don’t forget to take a few minutes to slather on some sunscreen and always wear sunglasses. Your skin will thank you.