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The Health Benefits of Moderate Amounts of Sun

person making heart shape with handsAugust is a great time to get outside and enjoy nature, and it’s also Summer Sun Safety Month. Many people have gone from sun-worshiping to sun-shunning for fear of skin cancer. So do you need sun or is the sun dangerous?

You need to be safe with the sun, and you also need the sun for your health and well-being. Exposing your skin to the sun in moderation can yield many health benefits.

“It’s important that your skin is a solar panel that absorbs the power of the sun. Your eyes – your retina and your back of eyes-need to harness the power of the sun to extract all the health benefits,” said Dr. Knowles.

Boosting Vitamin D – the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’

According to Harvard Medical School, there are a myriad of benefits from moderate sun exposure. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it manufactures vitamin D, a hormone produced in the skin from cholesterol. As cholesterol travels around your body through blood vessels, when the sun hits cholesterol, it turns into vitamin D.

So if you have high cholesterol, it’s typically a sunshine deficiency. Low levels of Vitamin D are also associated with cancer, osteoporosis, depression, muscle weakness and death.

What About Supplements & Food?

“When people get scared about the sun, they might not go outside enough, and they turn to Vitamin D supplements or food,” said Dr. Knowles.

You can get vitamin D from quality supplements and eating animal foods. These include cod liver oil, swordfish, salmon, tuna, beef liver, egg yolks, and sardines. “Food, however, isn’t more important than sunshine, and supplements will not replace sunshine,” said Dr. Knowles.

Sunshine is just important, if not more important, than food. If you have low vitamin D, it’s a signal that you need to get sunshine, smart sunshine.

It’s also essential to find out what your Vitamin D levels are. That’s because if they’re in the low range, you may be at greater risk for disease. Conversely, if your levels are in the optimal range, you may enjoy better overall health.

What Are the Main Benefits of Sunshine?

Sunshine improves blood flow, is a natural blood thinner, and is good for hormone production. Here are some other benefits of getting moderate daily sunshine:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps with weight loss. Getting 20-30 mins between 8 AM and Noon makes a difference with weight loss, because the sun’s rays shrink fat cells
  • Improves emotional well-being, as sunlight boosts serotonin. Getting daily sunshine can help improve symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Helps improve nearsightedness
  • Eases symptoms of eczema and psoriasis

Soak Up Rays Safely

So, how much sun a day is enough? Some scientists say 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes. If you’ll be out for more than 15-30 minutes, it’s important to use sunscreen. You don’t want to get too much sun, because sunburned skin uses white blood cells from your immune system to heal and can affect the body’s ability to fight off germs.

It’s also crucial to protect your eyes and use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or 30. Look for sunscreen with broad spectrum protection. You should also wear a hat and shirt, especially if you’ll be outside during midday for an extended period.

While summer is here, get outside and enjoy the benefits of moderate sunshine!

Take a Natural Approach to Chiropractic Care

The chiropractic care you receive at Network Wellness Center helps your nerve system heal its wounds, which helps increase its organizational capacity. You’ll experience life with a stronger, healthier, more well-aligned spine.

Your spine forms the foundation of your body’s function. When there are obstructions in your neuro-spinal system, it impacts function, healing, and the experience of your quality of life.

If you’re ready to find help through a cutting-edge, unconventional approach at Network Wellness Center, contact us today!


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