I am lucky enough to live on the Isle of Wight. Yesterday, given that it was the 23rd February (and after living up north for the last fifteen years and expecting February to be the time when you are attacked by horizontal rain and sleet) on the Island of Dreams I was on the beach. Not just on the beach in a winter coat, experiencing the romantic, yet blustery sea air. No, not this time; yesterday I was on the beach in the sunshine, and it was 17.5 degrees centigrade.
Now, most family and friends seem to think that since I moved from gritty, urban Manchester, I am living a life reminiscent of a young Eddy Grant, barefoot walking along a sandy beach with a straw hat playfully perched upon my brow. This is unfortunately not true most of the time, although I know that those that follow me with envy will be disappointed to hear, I actually spend most of my time writing on the computer, or seeing clients. But fear not, a massive advantage of my life changing adventure is that I am in a great position to make the most of unexpected days of bliss. So, while I’m mentioning yesterday I may as well mention that the whole family were on the beach yesterday afternoon, enjoying the sunshine in a carefree way, much like you could imagine a Lilt advert from the eighties. (In fact, why is it that you don’t see anymore Lilt adverts, what has happened to the totally tropical taste that means that the Coca Cola Company sees no more reason to market this perfectly suited summer drink.)
Playing on the beach though made me think. There were loads of people that converged to the same area, and were happily enjoying the playground, as if the playground itself was waking up from it’s wintery, hibernating sleep. What was it that attracted these people to the same area? The same people had lived all around this area all winter but chose to stay inside and watch snooker. The answer is easy, but for those fans of daytime talk shows, I’ll spice it up with a multiple choice.
What was it that pulled the people outside?
a) A large frog
b) A big people magnet
c) The sun
Answers can be text to me at a cost of £400 per minute off-peak.
The sun is amazing, especially when it’s the first time, in a long time, that you get to experience the majestic, power of it. As humans, we feel drawn to this all-giving source of energy, we are invigorated by it, we are soothed and healed by it, and in what ever circumstance your life is, you will feel happier when you are touched by it. There are a few scientific reasons for this, so let me share them with you:
- Sunlight is the main source of Vitamin D;
- this increases the absorption of Calcium by the intestine
- increases the amount of oxygen in your blood which boosts your energy levels and gives you a greater sense of well-being
- it increases your bodies ability to fight disease by generating more white blood cells
- it reduces Cholesterol
- Sunlight triggers the release of the feel good hormone Serotonin, which can control your sleep pattern, body temperature, lift your mood and help ward off depression.
So, in a nutshell this is why everyone is drawn out of their little hideaways on a sunny day to bask in the beauty and magnificence of the sun. While I lived in Sweden, which is plunged into darkness for six months of the year, I observed how different their behaviour was when the summer came around. Nobody would be left inside, they lived as much as possible in the open air, soaking up every last bit of natural goodness before the depths of winter came back to stay.
We should all spend more time outside in the sun. But please be responsible, which means not going out there and turning yourself into a leather handbag, firstly this is not attractive, and secondly, you will probably shorten your life. You have been warned. For any other public health announcements, or to make yourself feel better in any another way, please go to www.clearlantern.co.uk, and have a look around, like my page on Facebook to the right, or follow me on Twitter @clearlanternuk.