People need to be out in the sun a lot more, and not only because they don’t want to look like one of those sparkly, wealthy pale twits from the Twilight movie series. Let’s look at the reasons why you need more sun in your life!
The sun and I have sort of a love-hate relationship going on. There are times when I want nothing more than to sit out in the sun, relaxing on the warm beach with a good book and a cool drink. At other times, I hate the sun, the way it’s shining so brightly, making me sweat, and generally causing heat-related mischief.
Recently I’ve found out that it’s actually good for my health, so I’ve resolved to spend more time in the sun.
Did You Know: Wearing sunglasses can be damaging for your eyes. If you don’t wear the proper sunglasses that offer full UV protection, you’ll just be blocking out the bright light. The radiation from the sun will actually still get past the sunglasses, and it will be absorbed by your dilated irises.
Let’s see how those tan lines look in a few weeks!
Reasons You Need to Be in the Sun More
Why is it healthy for us to spend time in the sun?
The main reason that being in the sun is so good for you is thanks to the Vitamin D that your body makes when it’s exposed to the sun. Your body turns the ultraviolet B energy of the sun into a precursor – a nutrient or chemical that is then used to produce Vitamin D.
The interesting thing is that you can’t really get Vitamin D from the food you eat, as only a few foods like mushrooms, salmon, and eggs contain this important Vitamin. The best way to get all the Vitamin D that you need is to spend time in the warm, bright sunlight!
Lifehack: Spend just 30 minutes in the sun every day, and you’ll get as much Vitamin D as you’d get from 200 glasses of Vitamin D-enriched milk!
What Does Vitamin D Do for You?
- It strengthens your bones — When you hang out in the sun every day, your body produces the vitamin D that it needs. The vitamin makes it easier for your bones to absorb the calcium you get from the food you eat, meaning that your bones will stay strong as long as you get enough sun and milk. In fact, if you don’t get enough sun, you’ll find that your lack of Vitamin D can make you more likely to develop osteoporosis!
- It keeps you slim — Can you lose weight by spending more time in the sun? Probably not, though it can help to produce more of the appetite suppressing hormone leptin. Also, a lack of Vitamin D can make you feel hungry, which means you’re more likely to snack. Snacking will contribute to your waistline, so get more Vitamin D to stop yourself from being hungry.
- It fights depression — Have you ever noticed how you feel so much happier when you spend time out in the sun? This isn’t just because you’re so glad to get out of the house and sit around on the sunny beaches, but Vitamin D actually causes the levels of serotonin in your body to increase. Serotonin is the “feel good” hormone that makes you feel happy, and it will kick depression’s butt!
- It strengthens your immune system — Vitamin D is one of the nutrients that your immune system needs in order to keep working properly. It’s amazing how spending time out in the sun can help you to feel better after an illness, and it’s thanks to the Vitamin D! Autoimmune disorders are also more likely if you don’t get enough time in the sun.
Lifehack: Do your workout outdoors for more energy. Serotonin makes you feel good, which helps to elevate your mood and give you more energy. Working out indoors may be tough, so take your workout outside where the sun will shine down on you. You’ll find that you can run longer, train harder, and you’ll be less likely to quit before you’re done!
Wow! These are just a few of the reasons that you should get out in the sun more, so it’s worth spending some time chilling out on the beach with a good book, a hat to protect your face, and the bright sun blazing down on you.
I know what I’m going to be doing this weekend!
Understanding Your Sunscreen
Did You Know: Sunscreen can be bad for your health if you spend too much time wearing it while out in the sun. It can prevent your skin from being able to absorb enough Vitamin D from the sunlight, as it blocks 95% of the UVB rays of the sun. It has also been linked to a rise in melanoma.
Sunscreen is labeled with “SPF”, which means “sun protection factor”. This term refers to the ability of the lotion to block out the UV rays, but it really is referring to how much time it would take you to get a sunburn if you weren’t wearing it. SPF 30 means that it would take 30 minutes to get sunburned, while SPF 15 means only 15 minutes of sun for a sunburn.
Interestingly enough, wearing a higher SPF grade won’t necessarily be better for your health. In fact, wearing an SPF 30 means that your skin will still be able to absorb some UVB rays once the sunscreen wears off. Some experts even claim that sunscreens higher than SPF 30 are just silly, as SPF 30 already blocks about 97% of the UVB rays that would give you a sunburn.
The key to using sunscreen lotion is to apply it regularly, but give your skin enough time to absorb sufficient Vitamin D before doing so!