Time to use our city’s relentless sunshine to our advantage instead
If you’re Singaporean, it’s simple — you just can’t stand the heat. Our island’s precarious position near the equator also means that we’re destined to live with an endless summer. And while it seems we should be getting used to it by now, we’re not. In fact, cussing at the soaring temperatures is pretty much a daily affair.
As much as we love hiding out in shopping malls or choosing to lunch in our frigid offices, you might be surprised to know that getting a little sunshine could just do more good than harm. For starters, you could actually feel less miserable about life. Don’t believe us? Read on below. Of course, don’t step out without a generous slab of sunscreen — you still need some form of protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
1. You’ll be a happier person
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is not a myth. In fact it rings true, during cold wintry months when nights are longer and days are shorter. Those who have relocated to wet and gloomy cities can testify to the winter blues, which happens when you experience less sunlight during the day. A 2016 study published by the BYU Counseling and Psychological Services showed that the amount of time spent in direct sunlight between sunrise and sundown played a important role in swaying the mood and energy levels of the participants.
2. You won’t fall short of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for bone health as well as regulating your body’s immune system function. And instead of loading up on foods like fatty fish, cheese and cereal (which are all sources of the vitamin), the easiest way is to just head outdoors for a brief moment under the sun instead.
3. Lower your blood pressure and improve heart health
This might sound hard to believe, especially when you can feel your blood boiling under what seems to feel like a billion degrees out. But the truth is, rates of high blood pressure and heart disease were measured to fall with an increase in sun exposure, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. In this case, UV was the main aiding factor, and not the high temperatures.
4. Better chance at weight loss
Circling back to Vitamin D, which was shown to lead to improved weight loss (in a 2009 study), in conjunction with a low-calorie diet. The study also revealed that insufficient vitamin D inhibited maximum weight loss and led to obesity. Our next grand plan? Incorporate copious amounts of sunshine with that paleo diet.
5. Boost in your libido
In a 2016 study, male participants who were exposed to full-spectrum light for a period of time were found to experience a helpful boost in sexual function. Having said that, you might want to reconsider your daily outdoor routes. The sun might not be your biggest enemy after all…
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