One of my favourite things is the feeling of the sun caressing my skin. It’s like a warm blanket and instantly puts a smile on my face. Yet, we are bombarded with messages to stay out of the sun, put on sunscreen or cover up.
Since I work in cancer care, I know the dangers of the sun. I have seen the devastating effects of skin cancer and melanoma. We definitely need to avoid over-exposure and use some common sense when out in the sun. I come from a generation of sunburned shoulders and little sunscreen and that puts me at greater risk for developing skin cancer down the road. Will I stop going in the sun? No way. Here’s why……
For starters, my body needs the vitamin D that it otherwise cannot produce on its own. Yes, I could take supplements (which I do alllllll winter long), but absorption of vitamin D is most efficient when the source is the sun. It feels good and my body uses it to boost my immunity, regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in my bones, increases cell to cell communication and effects my sense of well being in a positive way.
More recently, there have been studies which suggest that vitamin D helps with the fight against flu, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and some cancers. It is also suggested that people over 50 years old may need more than younger folks.
In summary, the sun can be very good for you if you are smart about it. Don’t bake in it. Do cover up or use sunscreen if you are out for longer durations, particularly between the hours of 10am and 4pm. Just remember that sunscreen prevents the absorption of vitamin D. Approximately 10 minutes per day is what is required to maximize health benefits. Everything in moderation.