Sun and heat - how it affects your health

Warm days! We Swedes aren't very fond of sun and warmth, but a few days a year the Mediterranean heat strikes. Have you ever wondered what effect the sun has on our health and well-being? In today's article, we list 6 health benefits of hot summer days! 

1. Mood and mental well-being

When the sun shines, we smile more. An extra positive effect of sunlight is that it signals the body to produce more serotonin - the pleasure hormone that is also secreted through physical activity, massage, etc. In addition to regulating our mood in a positive way, serotonin also has beneficial effects on our appetite and sleep. The natural way to prevent anxiety and depression in a nutshell!

2. Vitamin D 

Do you know that you need to strengthen your bones or improve your immune system so that you can fight bacteria and viruses more easily? The sun is our main and best source of vitamin D, and as Swedes are used to getting little sunlight, vitamin D deficiency is a common problem. Our skin contains a precursor to vitamin D, a hormone, which is activated when the sun's rays hit us. Vitamin D is good for the bones because it allows the body to supply itself with calcium. The hormone gives you energy, maintains the balance of the immune system.

3. Outdoor activity 

Unlike our daily routines during the winter months, longer and warmer days create the conditions for us to be more active and social outdoors. Research shows that people in areas with warmer climates keep more active, and so do we when summer comes to us. It's not news that an active lifestyle contributes to better physical and mental health. Maybe you're killing two birds with one stone right now - swimming and playing with the kids has positive effects on both body and mind!

4. Melatonin and fatigue decrease 

We are getting more energetic! The body's sleep hormone melatonin, as the name suggests, makes us sleepy and tired. In sunlight, the body's levels of melatonin decrease and instead create the effect of making us more alert and full of energy.

5. Blood pressure drops 

The heat, unlike the cold, has the effect of swelling our blood vessels and making it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body. High blood pressure is nothing to strive for as it has a negative impact on our health. The heat makes the job of your heart easier!

6. Pain relief on muscles and joints 

Do you recognise that your joints hurt more easily when it's cold outside? The heat can have a pain-relieving effect as it helps to soften the body when blood flow increases. This also has a relaxing effect on your muscles. But remember that heat is not a suitable method for inflammation, instead the opposite is true when we want to use cold to make blood vessels contract and create less blood flow which reduces swelling.

Come on, get out there and catch the day! But remember to moisturise and protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays. Especially during the hours when the sun is at its highest.