There are some great reasons to head outdoors this summer and soak up some sun. Limited exposure to sunshine can help you stay healthy...mentally and physically.   Do you feel happier when the sun is out? It is amazing how the sun makes so many people feel happier and more energetic. Sun exposure can help people with depression, including S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) to feel better. Various research suggests that sunshine exposure suppresses Melatonin (a hormone that helps us sleep) and increases Serotonin (a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happier).

The sun helps our bodies produce a lot of the vitamin D that is necessary for good health. Vitamin D is essential in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones, muscles and immune systems. Limited sun exposure can also help with skin conditions such as acne and eczema.

So there are good reasons to get out doors, but be cautious of your time in the sun. Prolonged and repetitive exposure as well as frequent sun-burns from over-exposure increase your risk of skin cancer. High SPF sunscreen, UV resistant sunglasses and wide brimmed hats will help reduce exposure. You can also limit your time outdoors, especially in the mid-day.

About the Author

Fitness Tips as published weekly in the PG Xpress Fit for lifecolumn

M. Gregor, B.A.

Chief Instructor and Fitness Trainer

Shadow Martial Arts: HapKiDo,

Self Defense and Cross Training

Martial Arts instruction for all ages.

185 Dominion Street. Call: 564-4025