The Health Benefits of Living in Southern Utah
By Krystal Anderson
Beautiful Southern Utah has a unique landscape. Each direction you look offers views different from the other, and yet each breathtaking in its own right.
Not only is this sunny high desert a gorgeous place to live, there are clear benefits to our health.
There is plenty of sunshine to go around
Moderate sun exposure offers some advantages. Sunshine:
- Improves your mood. When in the sun, your body produces serotonin, a hormone that helps you feel calm and focused. This also decreases the risk of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression more common in areas and seasons with fewer hours of sunlight. Anxiety-related disorders are also less prevalent in locations with more sunshine.
- Increases vitamin D production. Vitamin D is key in several metabolic processes within the body and aids the immune system.
- Helps build healthy bones. Low levels of vitamin D are connected with rickets in children—which weakens and softens developing bones—and osteoporosis and osteomalacia in adults.
- Can increase cancer survival rates. Individuals with Hodgkin lymphoma, as well as breast, ovarian, colon, pancreatic, prostate, and other cancers have some correlation with too little sunshine.
Great weather promotes outdoor activity
Residents of Southern Utah enjoy over 300 days of sunshine per year, according to the St. George Chamber of Commerce. That equates to over 300 daily opportunities to delight in activities outside. There is nearby entertainment to suit all interests, such as mountain biking, running trails, hiking, swimming, fishing, camping, golfing, and much more. If you keep moving, you will generally feel healthier.
Several types of disease are triggered or worsened by humidity
- Some individuals with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) feel better in dry, warm climates.
- Mold and fungus thrive in warm moist environments, which can be especially detrimental to individuals with asthma.
- Studies monitoring humidity in relation to heart disease show that the number of heart attacks among the elderly increases as average monthly humidity rises.
It is clear that living in this dry, arid climate has advantages for our bodies. Whether you love adventurous repelling off the red cliffs or going for a walk on a mild afternoon, residing in this colorful corner of the state is a luxury we should each profit from.