The sun can get a bad rap.
Yes prolonged exposure to the sun can cause serious harm to your skin, but direct sun exposure can be extremely good for you in small doses as it plays a vital role in supporting our physical and mental health.
Here’s how to safely use the summer sunlight to your advantage over these next few months.
What makes the sun so good for you?
Sunlight is our leading source of Vitamin D – a vitamin that supports bodily functions and is essential for optimal health. When our skin is exposed to UVB rays, our bodies are prompted to produce Vitamin D which helps support our..
Bone health by allowing our bodies to effectively absorb calcium
Immune system by building immunity and fighting off infections
Brain function by regulating important gene functions
Sleep by helping produce Melatonin
Mood by increasing serotonin levels in the brain
On the flip side, lack of Vitamin D can lead to depression, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, and even cancer.
While certain foods like swordfish, salmon, tuna, and egg yolks contain certain levels of Vitamin D, none compare to the amount you can get from sunlight alone.
How to enjoy the sun safely
To fully reap the health benefits of the sun, it’s important to get 10-30 minutes of direct exposure to sunlight without wearing sunscreen at least three times a week – depending on your skin’s sensitivity as well as the daily UV index.
To do so, avoid going out in the sun during peak times – generally from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you do go out in those peak times, limit your sun exposure to 10-15 minutes and make sure to rest in the shade often.
If you stay out in the sun longer than these small periods of time, make sure to apply sunscreen to avoid skin damage. Safe sunscreen options include those that are made from minerals and oxybenzone free – a chemical that can interfere with your body’s natural hormone production.
You might also want to wear lightweight, longer-sleeved clothing and a hat to further protect your skin.
Don’t wash off your Vitamin D
Last but not least, it’s important to note that it can take up 48 hours for your body to absorb Vitamin D from sunlight exposure.
When bathing after being out in the sun, only rinse your body with water to ensure you don’t wash away your Vitamin D, and save the soap for your armpits and genitals.
This will help give your body ample time to soak in the health benefits it needs.
It’s time to go out and get some sun!
If you’d like to know more about how to improve your vitamin D levels or more about how to eat and live healthy, book a free consult HERE.