In simple terms, this is Sunbathing. This means getting outdoors and getting your dose of Vitamin D. With most of us living in concrete jungles, we rarely get our share of the sun or rather, a chance to stay in the sun. We don’t realize when missing out on sun causes multiple deficiencies in our body, leading to many health problems.
Even though there is the fear of tanning and UV rays, sunbathing has invaluable benefits when done in moderation.
Keeping this in mind, and also its innumerable benefits, let’s explore the importance of Sunning and how to do it right.
Why is Sunbathing Important?
When the skin gets exposed to sunlight, it absorbs all goodness of the sun. Pigments (melanin) in our skin absorb the UV rays from sunlight. These are stored, processed into new hormone-like compounds by the liver, and then used for important bodily functions later.
Benefits of Sunbathing
- PRODUCTION OF VITAMIN D
A vital vitamin, thought it can be obtained from food, a much greater quantity is absorbed via sunlight. When exposed to sun, our skin creates vitamin D3, a version of Vitamin D that has far greater benefits on the body such as – strengthening bones, faster calcium absorption, increasing immunity, modulating chronic inflammation, reduces joint aches, etc.
- REDUCES CHANCES OF CANCER-
Often, prolonged exposure to sunlight is associated with an increase in cancer risk. On the other hand, studies have shown that too little exposure can also be a problem.A review of sunlight’s benefits to human health noted two studies showing that adequate vitamin D₃ exposure helped reduce cancer risk.
- REDUCES CHANCES OF MAJOR CHRONIC DISEASES-
A collection of studies also drew a connection between sun exposure, vitamin D, and many common major illnesses.
- Type 2 diabetes
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Heart disease
- Infections (viral or bacterial)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (and other autoimmune issues)
- Lyme’s disease (symptoms)
THE CIRCADIAN RHYTHM
Beyond vitamin D, sunlight exposure is responsible for another hugely valuable aspect of health: the circadian sleep cycle—namely, the body’s natural ability to procure feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness at the right times (night and day). Sun exposure allows the body to correctly produce melatonin, an enzyme responsible for proper, restful sleep.
Sunlight exposure appears to have minor impacts on the endocrine system. Some evidence shows that sunlight directly stimulates the production of endorphins in the body which help improve mood while alleviating stress and anxiety. It also helps produce serotonin.
What is the best time for Sunbathing?
Studies have shown that the morning sun is the best to reap the maximum benefits, without having to worry about the side effects. The evening sun, just before the sun sets, does the body good as well.
Image Credit: https://fiveseasonsmedicine.com/
Who is it suitable for?
It is suitable for everyone from babies to kids, adults and elderly. An all-natural source of Vitamin D, it does good to everyone when done in moderation. A little bit of warmth in the body is needed by everyone.
It is especially good for babies as this helps in producing more Vitamin D, increase insulin levels, creates healthy nervous system and leads to higher energy.
What is the best way to do it?
Simply sitting, lying down or walking in the morning sun will do wonders to the body. Exposing the aching/inflamed/sore parts of your body to the sun will help you relieve the stress from those parts. You can get 10 mins to 30 mins of sunlight to help get Vitamin D, depending on your comfort level and requirement. You can slowly increase the timing for your sunning. Start with a few minutes and increase it as per your skin’s tolerance of the sun.
With so many benefits to reap, get out there and get your share of daily Vitamin D. If there are any questions about sun bathing, drop a comment below and I will be happy to help you out.