Sunshine- Most people equate a beautiful day to a day full of sunshine, I know I do. When I look outside and the sun is shining I find myself smiling. Dark and gloomy days and I find myself wanting to go back to bed.
So is sunshine good for us or bad for us? I know it can be confusing. One day you hear bask in the sun and the next day you hear stay out of it. Which is it?
The skin is our largest organ. As we discovered in Tip #24 our skin is a window to our health. Not only does our skin reveal on the outside what is going on in the inside, but our skin requires sunshine on the outside to keep the inside healthy too.
5 Reasons We Need Sunshine
- Sunlight makes Vitamin D: Vitamin D is often known as the “Sunshine Vitamin” however, it works more like a hormone that is made in your skin. We have Vitamin D receptors throughout our body that require vitamin D to activate up to 2,000 genes either directly or indirectly.
- Sunlight makes beta-endorphins: Beta-endorphins are endogenous opioids, they help make you feel better.
- Sunlight is good for cardiovascular health: Sunlight makes nitric oxide in your skin and helps dilate blood vessels, which can help lower blood pressure, induce melanin production, enhance wound healing, and has even shown to have antimicrobial effects.
- Sunlight improves immune function: Research shows that sunlight helps reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases, cancer and arthritis.
- Sunlight helps regulate your circadian rhythm: Getting the proper amount of sunshine daily helps your body increase serotonin levels and decrease melatonin production. This helps with healthy sleep patterns.
Should we stay out of the sun?
Just like most things in life: food, water, exercise, stress, sleep. We need a moderate amount to help us live a healthy life. Not enough can cause us to be depleted and to much can cause issues. Sunshine is no different. Instead of concentrating on whether or not we should stay out of the sun how about asking how much sun do we need?
How much sunshine do we need?
Remember we need to listen to our skin? When our skin begins to get pink it is telling us we have had to much sun. Most studies show that if you know how long it takes to get pink then you will need half that amount of time daily in the sun to get a health dose.
As your skin gets darker you will need to be exposed to sunshine longer to get the necessary benefits. Healthy skin is actually perfectly designed to address and heal the DNA damage produced by a moderate amount of sun exposure.
Curious how much sunlight you need daily? There is an app for that! D Minder is a free app you can get on your apple smart phone to see when the best time of day and how much time is needed to get your optimal Vitamin D exposure.
Do you know your current Vitamin D levels? If no, then you may want to have it tested. Ideally, you’ll want your level to be between 40 and 60 ng/ml year-round.
Due to the many years of being told not to go out in the sun or to wear sunscreen which prevents your body from making Vitamin D there are a lot of people that are Vitamin D deficient. There is research project that allows you to purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and not only do you find out your Vitamin D levels for $65, you also get to participate in the research project. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project.)
Putting It All Together
God has given us the sun. He has made our bodies to take in the sunlight and produce that which we need to live healthy lives. We need to be careful not to get to much sun, but covering our bodies with sunscreen and clothing 100% of the time may prevent sun exposure to our skin, but it also may cause our bodies to be deficient of Vitamin D and other mood boosting hormones.
Living a proactive lifestyle means we need to make it a daily habit in the spring, summer and fall to get a daily dose of sunshine. Depending on weather, location and our current health we may require Vitamin D supplementation.
If you are interested in finding out how proactive you are currently living, then I invite you to take the Wellness Quiz to discover your Wellness Score.
Our Growing E-Course has great tools and recommendations to help you on your wellness journey. Think of it as a daily coaching reminder on how your body works and how you can support it. If you would like to take part in our Free Growing E-Course click here.
I am enjoying this write 31 days challenge and I hope that you are finding these tips beneficial to living a more proactive lifestyle.
If you would like to learn more tips, click on the box. I will be adding tips daily.
Shawna Cale, Got-Oils? Administrator
I am a M.O.M: Mom on a Mission to help educate and empower other mom’s to build healthy homes and bodies, and have the energy to do the things they enjoy with their families.