WHY 10-15 MINUTES IN THE SUN CAN DO A BODY GOOD!
Just like plants need the sun for photosynthesis, humans can really use the sun to stock up on Vitamin D nutrients! When the sun's UV-B rays hit the skin, a reaction takes place that enables skin cells to manufacture vitamin D. With the new internet age and the advancement of technology, I feel like a lot of people (including kids) of our generation don't spend nearly as much time in the outdoors as they probably should. When the weather is really nice like today (high 70s), it feels amazing just to take a few minutes to go outside and soak up the sun. Even if you are at work in your office cubicle, take a moment to sit by the window and find that perfect warm spot. Or maybe during your lunch break, sit in your car and close your eyes for a few minutes with the windows rolled down. Let the warmth embrace you before you have to head back into your freezing office. I had no idea, but experts say UV radiation doesn't penetrate glass. The heat you feel is "infrared radiation" from the sun, which doesn't have any health impact beyond making you overheated or causing sunstroke if you get an excessive amount. (So for optimal results, I guess you really need to get your butt outside!)
Getting "sunkissed" feels so wonderful and brings me back some needed energy and color! Over the past two weeks I have been down with a cold so I've been at home and in bed most of the time. I feel really pale and sickly and I'm really excited that it's going to reach as high as 79 degrees today so I can finally get some sunlight and color on my face!
According to an article I read in US NEWS - "The sunshine vitamin may protect against a host of diseases, including osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancers of the breast, prostate, and colon. What's more, sunlight has other hidden benefits—like protecting against depression, insomnia, and an overactive immune system."
Experts say if you are fair skinned, going outside for 10 minutes in the midday sun—in shorts and a tank top with no sunscreen—will give you enough radiation to produce about 10,000 international units of the vitamin. Dark-skinned individuals and the elderly also produce less vitamin D, and many folks don't get enough of the nutrient from dietary sources like fatty fish and fortified milk.
According to a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine, experts believe that up to 77% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. I guess a big part of it has to do with where you live, how often you are able to go outside, and if your skin is sensitive to the sun's UV rays. Obviously if you have really sensitive skin, or have a high risk of skin cancer, basking out in the sun for 15 minutes a day can do you more harm than good. You can always use Vitamin D supplements or make sure you are eating lots of food that provide you with enough of it.
I had no idea but according to Women's Health Magazine, new research suggests that vitamin D may be one of the best vitamins of all for your body (even more important than vitamin C). Studies in labs have uncovered up to 2,000 different genes—roughly one-sixth of the human genome—that are regulated by the nutrient. That means almost everything your body does relies on it. In the past few years, studies have shown that a lack of the vitamin may also be the primary culprit in pregnancy problems, birth defects, and multiple sclerosis.