Getting outside and soaking in the sun’s rays (no sunscreen) is a simple Mindful Axn you may take to build bone strength, reduce depression, and heal skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
Ever notice how your teenager’s face clears on beach vacations?
Stronger Bones :
Sunlight’s UVB rays interact with a substance in your skin, 7-dehydrocholesterol, which first becomes previtamin D3 and then converts into vitamin D3. What’s vitamin D’s primary role? Absorbing calcium from the intestines. Better calcium absorption results in stronger bones.
Vitamin D Sources & Recommendations
Vitamin D may be obtained through sunlight exposure, foods you eat, and/or supplementation. Is one better than the other? Short answer, no. Be careful when supplementing. Because vitamin D is fat soluble, your body stores it in your fat tissues until needed. Thus, excessive amounts has negative health implications. Obviously, too much sun exposure without a good UV blocking sunscreen equals risk of skin cancer.
CFit’s Vitamin D Guidelines –
- Eat vitamin D food sources daily —
fatty fish, fortified dairy foods, egg yolk, mushrooms exposed to sunlight. Note: There really aren’t that many foods naturally high in vitamin D.
- Limit supplementation to 400-800 IU
- Limit direct sun exposure to 15 minutes
(before 10:00 a.m. or after 3:00 p.m.)
Reduces Depression :
Direct sun exposure increases the mood lifting hormone, serotonin. Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression. Have you ever wondered why a sunny day puts you in a good mood and cloudy days bring you down? Blame it on reduced sunlight.
In addition to serotonin’s mood boosting power, higher levels of serotonin help you focus. Better focus leads to better productivity. That may have an indirect impact on your mood as you will be able to accomplish important tasks. As mentioned in the previous section, 15 minutes of direct sun exposure will do the trick.
Healthier Skin :
Before dermatologists start bashing and trashing this post, hear me out! Remember, the recommendation that keeps being emphasized is no longer than 15 minutes of direct sun exposure several days a week. Those 15 minutes will not cause skin cancer. What those 15 minutes will do is help control skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
After your 15 minutes of making your dermatologist crazy, go inside and apply sunscreen. It’s a best practice to apply then WAIT 30 minutes before going back in the sun. This allows the sunscreen to be absorbed into your skin.
Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. If you are going to be active which means sweating, make sure to select a sunscreen that’s water and sweat resistant. Of special note, getting outside to exercise vs. indoor activity boosts mood with or without sunlight. Fresh air and open space – enough said.
One sunscreen I favor and have successfully used sunburn free on beach vacations as well as lots of runs and outdoor activity is Elta MD sport. Here’s a link to purchase from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2EpcHzG