As seen in The Brussels Times
Your day is immediately off to a good start as soon as you draw the curtain in the morning and sunshine pours through the window.
That scenario, day after day, starts to have a positive effect, not only on the mind, but also the body, and is exactly one of the main reasons why a lot of people from darker climates have started including South Africa on their travel bucket lists, or for those struggling with addiction, as part of their research when looking for a drug rehabilitation facility.
South Africa’s abundant year-round sunshine eases body aches and aids emotional healing, an extremely helpful duo right before starting a journey towards addiction recovery. Not only do you feel lighter on your feet, giving you the energy to perform daily activities and exercises, but you enjoy a clearer mind and the ability to look inward and reflect.
Here, we explore some of the top benefits of sunlight, which are scientifically proven and backed up by guests who have stayed at the South African luxury rehab centre White River Manor and woken up to sunshine and clear skies almost every day during their stay.
Vitamin D is your body’s best friend
South Africa’s sub-tropical climate means mild winters and idyllic summers and the perfect opportunity for your body to create vitamin D, no matter what time of the year it is.
The vitamin D our bodies create which comes from direct sunlight on the skin plays a role in regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body which is essential to keep teeth, muscles and bones in a healthy condition.
Vitamin D is depression’s worst enemy
Serenity and sunshine go hand in hand as vitamin D helps fight off depression and improves mood. Sunshine boosts the body’s level of the feel-good chemical serotonin, which improves your mood and helps you stay calm and focused.
Increased exposure to natural light may help ease the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, a change in mood that typically occurs in the fall and winter months when there are fewer hours of daylight.
Also, if you’re struggling with addiction, an improved mood will go a long way towards seeking out healthier options, instead of feeling the need to give in to temptations and triggers.
Reduces stress and lowers blood pressure
The body creates a hormone called melatonin that is critical to helping sleep and also lowering stress levels. Being outside will help your body naturally regulate melatonin.
The sun’s rays can also lower blood pressure. It’s thought this is because nitric oxide – a molecule produced naturally – is in the top layers of our skin. It reacts to sunlight and causes blood vessels to widen as it moves into the bloodstream – this lowers blood pressure.
Inspired to explore the outdoors
With an improved mood and newfound energy, the world is your oyster. White River Manor is situated in the perfect location where guests can go off to appreciate the stunning surroundings and fully disconnect.
The Kruger National Park is nearby, offering no better chance to seek peace and quiet than the home of lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos.
Experiences at White River Manor can include a day’s safari tour of the site, as well as the opportunity to mountain bike or hike through mountain and forest scenery, canoe on the Sabie River or relax by the stunning Komati River.