The Health Benefits of Sunshine: Why You Should Retire in St. Petersburg, The Sunshine City
St. Petersburg, Florida, is known as The Sunshine City, a title it has earned and wears with pride. The city boasts an average of 361 sunny days each year and has won a Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine. This connection to the sun makes St. Petersburg a great spot to retire, because residents are sure to reap all the benefits of sunlight on their physical and mental health.
The Benefits of Sunlight
Sun exposure offers many advantages that make it a vital component of healthy aging.
Sunlight has been proven to boost an important chemical in the brain: serotonin. Serotonin helps stabilize mood and heightens your sense of well-being and happiness. Low levels of serotonin commonly cause depression, including seasonal affective disorder. Getting enough daily sunshine can help keep you feeling positive and healthy.
Promotes Vitamin D Production
The body’s systems create vitamin D when the skin absorbs sunlight. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin the body needs to regulate its levels of phosphate and calcium. Both of these nutrients are key in keeping bones and muscles healthy.
A vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, cognitive impairment, and cancer. The simplicity with which it can help the body create crucial vitamin D is one of the most important benefits of sunlight.
Spurs Better Sleep
Your body keeps time with a sleep-wake cycle called a circadian rhythm. Certain aspects of your daily life can throw off or reset your internal clock. Early morning sunlight tells your body to wake up, and taking in more light may be more important for seniors. As you age, your eyes take in less light, which can upset your circadian rhythms. Light tells your body clock it’s time to be alert and awake, making it easier to fall asleep when night falls.
Lowers Blood Pressure
As a response to sunlight, your body releases nitric oxide into the bloodstream. This compound has a beneficial effect on blood pressure. Lower blood pressure lessens your risk for cardiac disease and stroke.
Helps with Memory and Cognition
Sun exposure has been proven to have a positive effect on cognitive functioning. Brain processes improved by sunlight include attention, cognitive flexibility and working memory. And while the research is still in its infancy, sunlight and vitamin D may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
Still Take Precautions
While sunlight is crucial to a healthy lifestyle, it’s still smart to protect yourself from the adverse effects. Remember to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Wear light, breathable layers to protect your skin while keeping you cool. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. And drink lots of water and eat food with high water content to keep your body hydrated while enjoying all the benefits of sunlight.
Retire in the St. Petersburg Area
Come experience the retirement lifestyle of your dreams in the sun and fun of the greater St. Petersburg area. Explore some of the best outdoor activities near Seminole, Florida, to reap all the benefits of sunlight on the vibrant, 15-acre campus of Freedom Square of Seminole in the suburbs of beautiful St. Petersburg.