The first signs of spring mean that most of us are already thinking about a summer holiday, and now you have even more reason to book a flight!

For years we’ve been warned about the dangers of being out in the sun. Sunburn, heatstroke and even serious afflictions like skin cancer are all risk factors of sun overexposure. But what if we told you that lounging by the pool abroad might actually be good for you?

At Express Travel Clinic, our aim is to make sure you’re safe on your travels. We want you to all have fun and look after yourself, and that’s why we’re here to explain some of the great benefits a little summer sunshine can have – taken in moderation and with adequate skin protection, of course.

 It’s a great source of calcium

The sun can do wonders for our skin. It’s packed full of vitamin D – in fact, it provides us with over 90% of the vitamin D in our bodies. And what does vitamin D do? For one thing, it provides calcium to help strengthen our bones. A bit of sun can improve our bone density and our posture, particularly as we get older.

 It reduces the risk of heart disease

Vitamin D is a wonder vitamin, and does all kind of good things for our bodies. One of these good things is reducing the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that regularly exposing our bodies to UVB rays can lower blood pressure just as effectively as prescription medication.

The British Medical Journal found that people are more likely to die from heart disease in the winter than in the summer, due to a lack of vitamin D.

 It relieves aches and pains

When it’s cold, our muscles and joints tend to contract and become stiffer. This is where a little holiday warmth can help. Warm weather eases muscles and relieves tightness and discomfort, helping our bodies relax. This helps relieve the pain associated with inflammatory conditions like arthritis.

 It’s a mood lifter

As a general rule, we tend to feel happier when it’s warm and sunny. There is a science behind this, as sunshine helps us release serotonin. Serotonin is our natural happiness drug, helping us cope with anxiety and depression and making us feel more energized. It also eases the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a kind of depression specifically caused by lack of sunlight.

 It’s good for your skin

Sunlight can help with the treatment of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne, to the point where going out in the sun is often prescribed to sufferers. Sunshine and sea water are a great combination for fighting spots, giving you even more reason to jet off. It is important to remember, however, that your skin is a delicate and precious thing. Never stay out in the sun for hours on end without sun-cream and always ensure that you stick with a high SPF.

 It reduces the risk of cancers

That’s right, sun exposure can reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer. A study by the US National Cancer Institute found that the vitamin D in sunlight can reduce fatality in breast and colon cancer, with similar results being found for stomach, bladder and womb cancer.

Obviously, you need to be sensible with sun exposure. Regularly applying sun cream and wearing hats and light clothing which covers your shoulders can help fend off the harmful consequences of too much sun like heatstroke and sunburn, which affected 72% of Brits last year. But it’s good to know that a bit of sunshine can do you good.

 Heading somewhere hot this summer?

Get in touch with the Express Travel Clinic team and make sure that you have all the bases covered for your trip abroad. We offer a wide range of vaccines and advice on the best courses of treatment, wherever you’re heading.