Why We Need the Sun
id you know that the sun gives off way more wavelengths than humans can perceive? These visible and invisible waves contain a variety of benefits for your physical and mental health and wellbeing. In today’s post, I’m going to give you an overview of why it is important to begin tapping into the earth’s greatest and most important source of power: the sun.
Think about your day: how often do you go outside and just enjoy the sunshine? Often, we go from our houses to the car, and from our cars right into our offices. When we do that, we miss out on the free benefits Mother Nature’s got to offer us. Instead, the artificial lights we encounter negatively impact our quality of life.
Many people know that exposure to the sun allows the body to produce vitamin D, but not everyone knows the full extent of those benefits or that the fact that taking vitamin D supplements is no substitute for going out in the sun. These supplements give you a different form of vitamin D that has been found to be less effective for preventing diseases and promoting health. The sun's rays help you produce the active form of vitamin D which regulates over 1000 genes in your body, leads healthy growth and development, and can be used in treatments against depression, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Around the world, the vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic that is largely ignored. It estimated that nearly a billion people are deficient and it is especially problematic within cultures that have a negative stigma placed on darker skin such as in Asia and in the Middle East. Not only are they missing out on the benefits of vitamin D, they’re also at a greater risk for issues like obesity, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoporosis, and it may even be responsible for causing some kinds of cancers.
Your vitamin D levels should be around 50-80 ng/mL. You can check your levels here.
Why Do People Get Tired by the Sun?
You may have experienced this before: after a long day of activities outside, you feel tired, dehydrated, and maybe even a little sunburnt. This is because the heat from the sun causes your sweat and other bodily water to evaporate more quickly leaving you feeling drained. Internally, improper sun exposure can damage your cells, cause inflammation, and use up your body’s natural antioxidants. In order to get the full benefits of the sun and avoid feeling tired, you need to build up a tolerance to the sun’s rays.
The sun's energy interacts with your body through a process called hormesis. Hormesis is from a Greek word meaning “rapid motion and eagerness” but it actually describes a phenomenon that requires much patience and discipline. Instead of jumping into something off the get go, hormesis means that you need to work up to it gradually. Think of training for a marathon: you wouldn’t go directly from the couch to running 26 miles! Instead, you’d train every day, adding more and more distance as you gain strength and confidence. Being able to take in all of the sun’s benefits while minimizing its potential harms works in a similar way.
In order to start feeling empowered and healthier thanks to the sun, you need to gradually work your way up to being able to sit in the sun for lengthier times which I explain in Part 3. Want to get out into the sun right away? Start small with no more than ten or fifteen minutes at a time! You can try my how-to video about how to maximize your vitamin D in a shorter amount of time.
Don’t forget to join in our Facebook discussion. How have you made sure to get yourself some sun? What have your experiences been? I want to hear from you!