Style & ShowbizHealth

Switch to sunlight workouts

HealthBy Sunday World
Switch to sunlight workouts

It's not a revelation that you probably feel more determined to work out and exercise when it's nice and bright out - after all, who can say they're full of energy when it's grey and gloomy?

Sunlight has a big effect on our everyday lives, and while it's yet to be proven that it benefits your fitness, what has been discovered is that natural light stimulates your mind in a way a bulb can't.

“Light is a very, very powerful signal to the brain,” Phyllis Zee, M.D., associate director of the Center for Sleep & Circadian Biology at Northwestern University, told “It was meant to be that way: We live in a light/dark cycle that influences our circadian rhythm, which regulates our performance.”

And when you're fully awake, your muscles are ready and raring to go more so than when you feel less alert. So it's down to your brain how well you perform, and while more light doesn't necessarily mean more muscular strength, basking in the sun's rays at any time of day can definitely improve your workouts.

Phyllis also notes that the brain is more sensitive to short blue and green wavelengths from intense light, which as a result could make you more motivated. For example: if you're running while it's bright out, you may find yourself going faster or for longer with the sudden surge of energy.

And when it comes to the end of the day, dimmer lights in the red and orange range are perfect to unwind. This is a great time for you to perhaps settle into a yoga routine, as it requires less energy than a swim or jog.

There are plenty of other sunlight benefits too. Also great is its production of Vitamin D, which helps strengthen bones through calcium absorption, and studies have found links between bone density and blood levels of Vitamin D3, with high levels less prone to fractures.

Sunlight is known to be uplifting overall too, so if you're having a bad day or feeling a little down, a stroll outside might help shift your hormones and leave you feeling more light-hearted.

Cover Media