Have fun in the sun, it’s good for you
You should make the most of the current blight weather as a dose of sunshine is good for you, a charity has said.
Arthritis Research UK is urging people to catch a few rays while the unusually warm temperatures last as it is a good way of boosting your vitamin D levels.
A deficiency in vitamin D levels can cause bone loss, muscle function issues and in extreme cases rickets. The charity said that just a few minutes each day basking in the glorious weather can help to fend off such problems.
Arthritis Research UK medical director, Alan Silman, explained: “Vitamin D is essential for strong, healthy bones. Our advice to people is to ‘Step outside!’ as this is the best way to get vitamin D.
“When the days are sunny, go out for a few minutes and expose your face and arms to the sunshine. Don’t allow your skin to go red, and take care not to burn, particularly in strong sunshine and if you have fair or sensitive skin. From June to August just fifteen minutes is generally enough time.”
He added that in less sunny months people can top up their vitamin D levels by eating oily fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines as well as ‘fortified’ vitamin D sources such as breakfast cereals.
It is believed that the strength of someone’s bones is often determined at birth or even in the womb, so Arthritis Research UK is currently funding a project with Southampton University to prove that pregnant women should be given vitamin D supplements.
It is hoped that this will help to increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later life.
It is estimated that around three million people in the UK at present have osteoporosis and as a result some 230,000 fractures occur each year.