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Feb 03

Is sun good for you?

Raise your hand if your mother (grandmother, nanny, doctor) told you not to go out in the sun without putting on your sunscreen?  Now SPF 8 and 15 aren’t enough.  Now we need SPF 45 and 60!  Now we’re scared to lay out in the sun for fear of getting skin cancer.  But we’re missing out on all the vital health benefits that the sun provides.

The great yogis and sages tell us to “bathe daily in the ocean of the sun’s healing rays”.  Sunshine kills bacteria.  It fills the tissues and pores with life-giving energy.  It reddens the hemoglobin of the blood, recharging it and making it richer and healthier.  When we stay inside day after day, living imprisoned in a man-made temperature controlled environment, we miss out on the life-giving rays of the sun.sun

Vitamin D

Most of us are walking around completely unaware that we are deficient in Vitamin D.  It is difficult to stay healthy without it.  The best way to get your vitamin D is by exposing your body to direct sunlight.  No, you can’t sit in a sunny spot in your living room because the window glass filters out the UVB rays that stimulate vitamin D production.

You can use a tanning bed, but there are a few things to watch out for.  One is that some tanning beds only put out UVA, which is what gives you the tan.  That’s why most people use a tanning bed, right?  But you’re looking for the health benefits of UVB, so you’ll have to ask if the bed has UVB.

Also, most tanning equipment uses magnetic ballasts to generate light. These magnetic ballasts are well known sources of EMF fields that can contribute to cancer. If you hear a loud buzzing noise while in a tanning bed, it has a magnetic ballast system. It’s best if you avoid these types of beds and restrict your use of tanning beds to those that use electronic ballasts.

Test your vitamin D levels

The only way to know if you’re getting enough vitamin D is to have it tested.  Next time you go to your doctor for blood work, have him or her request the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test.  Then you’ll know where you stand.blood test

If your levels are low, you have 3 options:  get more sunlight, use a tanning bed, or take a Vitamin D supplement.  Obviously, the cheapest solution is sunlight, but for whatever reason it may not be practical for you.  Liquid Vitamin D works really well and is inexpensive.

The Society Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee recommends the following dosages. Keep in mind that these guidelines are thought to allow most people to reach a vitamin D level of 30 ng/ml, which many still consider suboptimal for disease prevention.

  • Neonates: 400 to 1,000 IUs per day
  • Children one year of age and above: 600 to 1,000 IUs per day
  • Adults: 1,500 to 2,000 IUs per day

GrassrootsHealth offers a helpful chart showing the average adult dose required to reach healthy vitamin D levels based upon your measured starting point. Many experts agree that 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight could be used as an estimate for your ideal dose.

Health Benefits of Vitamin Dvitamin d

  • Vitamin D is very important for reducing hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Vitamin D is a potent immune modulator, making it very important for the prevention of autoimmune diseases, like MS and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Vitamin D helps you fight infections of all kinds, including influenza.
  • Vitamin D reduces the risk of developing breast cancer.  A Canadian study done by Dr. Knight showed that women who reported having the most sun exposure as a teenager and young adult had almost a 70 percent reduced risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Vitamin D has a beneficial impact on diabetes, autism, bone fractures, pregnancy outcomes, and more.

How much sun?

That’s a great question!  I can’t give you an exact answer because no one can.  And just to be clear, I’m not a doctor so I’m not prescribing anything.  I came across one recommendation that  makes sense to me and that’s to expose your skin to the sun for half the time it would take for you to get a tan.  You’ll have to experiment with that because it depends on where you are, if there’s cloud cover, the time of day, and the pigment of your skin.

What I shoot for is a 30 minute walk a day, and if I can get my sun exposure at the same time, all the better.  It doesn’t always work that way when it’s cold outside and I’m covered from head to toe.  Then I have to make a concerted effort to get sun, and I’m honestly not very good at that.  So I take Vitamin D every day.

It’s also important to expose your chest and back to the sun, so that can be an additional challenge for women.  It would be frowned upon for us to take the dog for a walk without a shirt.  I personally don’t have the nerve to try that.cat in sun

Is it really safe?

Yes!  I know we’ve all been scared to death that we’re going to get skin cancer.  We probably know people who have had skin cancer.  When we look at that, we have to consider the amount of sun exposure that the person had.  Usually, they’ve had years of accumulated exposure or they spend hours in the sun at a time.

Protect your face.  The skin on your face is very thin and gets the most exposure to sun.  Even in the winter, when every other part of your body is covered, it’s exposed.  So cover it up if you’re on a tanning bed or laying out in the sun.  Use a sun block to protect it from any further damage.  That’s being prudent.

We can always tanimals in sunake cues from the animals in our lives.  They have a natural instinct to know what’s good for them.

 The bottom line

So, what do you think?  Is sun good for you?  I think the benefits of a daily 15-30 minute sun bath far outweigh the risks.  You will feel better, your body will resist disease better, and you will feel more alive.  The healing rays of the sun will keep you healthy.  And don’t forget to drink your water.

here's to you

 

 

Here’s to you!

 

 

I love you,

Alice

P.S.  Don’t forget to leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

6 comments

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  1. Marko Starcevic

    Hey there,

    Nice looking site. I also wrote a piece on vit d and sun exposure. I def think sun is good for you- obviously in moderation. I found that sunblock cremes cause lots of health problems.

    Keep up the good work,

    M

    1. Alice

      Hi Marko,
      I’ll have to take a look at your piece on vitamin D and sun exposure. You’re right about moderation. Thanks for reading.

  2. Enid @BeginPreppingNow.com

    I love the sun! My mom told me that you should get up in the morning and watch the sun rise with a cup of coffee or tea. Then an hour before sun set you should relax in the evening glow with a glass of wine and your toes in the grass. My mom was one of the smartest people I know. The vitamin D from the early/ late sun is perfect. Not enough to burn but enough to be healthy.

    1. Alice

      Hi Enid,
      Mothers can be so wise, can’t they? Of course as kids we tend not to listen to them. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Amanda

    I love the part ” It would be frowned upon for us to take the dog for a walk without a shirt.” I cracked up. I’m sure there are PLENTY of men who would campaign for topless dog walkers and claim it’s for the fight against Breast Cancer. :-) Great article.

    1. Alice

      Hi Amanda,
      You’re pretty funny too! Thanks for reading the article and leaving a comment. Maybe more men will start going topless.

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