As it continues to heat up, it seemed like a good time to go over the many benefits there are to working out in the sun. After reading today's article, hopefully you'll be more likely to move a couple of your workouts outside to reap all these benefits the sun has to offer!
Vitamin D and Recovery
In a 2015 study from the American Journal of Sports Medicine that looked into injury patterns in the Pittsburgh Steelers, scientists found that players with low vitamin D levels had at least one bone fracture. Athletes released during pre-season due to injuries or poor performance also showed low levels of vitamin D.
Exposure to sunshine actually boosts testosterone, which aids in muscle growth. Try doing some challenging bodyweight exercises in sunlight for a muscle building boost. If you're experiencing a bit of a plateau or are starting to get bored of your routine, switching up the environment could be helpful as well.
Another study conducted on the Chicago Blackhawks showed that consistent sun exposure strengthened fast-twitch muscle fibers, reduced inflammation and decreased the chances of contracting a respiratory infection. But what qualifies as enough, consistent sun exposure?
How Much Sun Is Optimal for Performance?
HQ Coach Sean McGovern explains that it depends on the shade of skin and "the paler you are, the less time you need to spend outside in the sun to get the suggested amount of Vitamin D. The darker your skin tone, the more time you need to spend outside."
While paler skin is an adaptation response to less light in the enviroment, darker skin is a protective evolutionary adaptation response to excessive sunlight. This means those with darker skin won't burn as fast but require more time to produce optimum amounts of Vitamin D, and the opposite for those with paler skin.
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Hopefully this has provided some insights on the benefits of sunlight and muscle recovery, bring some water with you, and as always...