Can Sunshine Keep You Slim?

May 26, 2019
Ashley Lawrie

Author: Riley Pearce
Social Media Director
Personal Trainer – Byward Market

In a study published by the University of Alberta last year, they discovered that the cells just below the skin that store fat droplets decrease in size when exposed to the blue light emitted by the sun.

So that extra bit of “padding” we put on over the winter months is partially due to less exposure to the sun. Does this mean that sitting out in the sunshine all summer is all you have to do to get rid of the winter padding?

This should come as no surprise – but no. It does, however, mean that putting in the hard work over the winter months, and keeping that effort consistent into the summer months will likely lead to better body measurements as summer goes on.

What is fascinating about this study is the fact that it acts as a reminder to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. There are so many manufactured solutions for weight-loss and disease, meanwhile mother nature provides us with many of the resources we need to be healthy – and it is free!

We have talked about the importance of sunshine before and there are so many more reasons to get outside and enjoy the sunshine this summer. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Cancer prevention
    • Research is starting to report more on the cellular protective effect of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps to regulate normal cellular growth, and as cancer is the instance of irregular cellular growth, it makes sense that vitamin D is crucial to prevent cancer
  • Mood Regulation
    • Vitamin D plays a role in the production of your mood-regulation hormones and neurochemicals. This is why we we see less of the sun in the fall months and through winter, that many of us experience the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder.
  • Healthy Bones
    • Vitamin D deficiencies in children lead to a condition known as rickets, where the children’s bones are very porous and brittle and they are at a high risk for fractures. In adults, the same is true. By not having enough vitamin D in the body, there cannot be proper calcium absorption and therefore the bones slowly become weak and brittle.
  • Encourages Play and Socializing
    • Getting outside in the sunshine is a great way to spend time with friends and family. Socializing is a critical aspect of good human health and being outside with other people, especially when there is play involved a free and easy way to maintain good health.
    • Of course, no sunshine article can be written without cautioning you against the harmful effects of too much sun exposure. The sun emits radiation and that radiation can penetrate deep into the skin. When we spend too much time in the sunshine without creams and lotions that protect us from the radiation, then we put ourselves at a greater risk for developing things like skin cancer.

After the very long winter we had here in Ottawa, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. But hey – now you have even more reason to do so!

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