Some companies have worked very hard to make you believe that sunlight is dangerous to your health. They talk about sunburns and skin cancer and a bunch of other things to scare you into staying indoors or buying their toxic products. I’m going to show you why sunlight is good for you.
The sun powers our planet. It creates the wind and gives us heat and light. The sun gives us the energy to move by way of the plants and animals that we eat. We can’t live without the sun.
Why Sunlight is Good for You
An article on Healthline.com lists several benefits of sunlight. Half of them have to do with mood and depression, which I will talk about in a little bit. Others have to do with strong bones and preventing several kinds of cancer. Research will probably show that they are all linked to vitamin D. Still others are skin conditions which may have to do with moderate exposure to the ultraviolet component in sunlight.
Sunlight can also help to lower your blood pressure. When you get outside and soak up sunlight, you get warm. That causes your blood vessels to dilate and make it easier for your heart to pump blood through them.
Sunlight is one of the best ways to get healthy naturally.
What Does Sunlight Do
Vitamin D is a big part of why sunlight is good for you.
You probably know that your body makes vitamin D with exposure to sunlight. Contrary to everything I said so far, you need ultraviolet light to make vitamin D. Specifically, you need ultraviolet B light on your skin to make it. You don’t need much of it though. 15 minutes is probably enough. If you want more, break it up into 2 or 3 sessions of 10 to 15 minutes outdoors.
The Healthline article I linked above says that a caucasian person wearing a swimsuit will make 50,000 IUs of vitamin D in 30 minutes. Dark skinned people will make 8,000 to 10,ooo IUs. That’s a whole lot better than paying for capsules with only 1,000 IUs.
How Sunlight Affects Mood
Exposure to sunlight makes you happy. Chemically, increased sunlight causes your brain to produce more serotonin, which makes you feel happier.
Areas closer to the north and south poles receive a lot less sun in the winter, so people who live there have less serotonin and can get depressed during the winter months. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. People who live in areas with a lot of overcast days and people who spend way too much time indoors can experience it as well.
I hear all the time that sunlight and exercise is the best treatment for depression.
How to Stay Safe in the Sun
It is one thing to know why sunlight is good for you. It’s another thing to know how to stay safe.
The sun is amazingly powerful and needs to be respected. Like everything, you need to take it in moderation and at the right times.
I think everyone understands that water is essential for life, but too much water can be very bad. For example, don’t swim in the river during a flash flood or in the ocean when a hurricane comes ashore.
Likewise, avoid long, unprotected exposure to the sun when it is at its peak. Wear a lightweight shirt and a hat when you are outside during the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky.
Sunscreen and Suntan Lotion
I generally avoid sunscreen and suntan lotions. They are toxic and change how your skin reacts to the sun.
People don’t seem to realize that what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. In a lot of cases, what goes on your skin will get into your bloodstream.
With that in mind, I don’t usually put anything on my skin that I wouldn’t put in my mouth. We use coconut oil when we are going to be out in the sun for a while. Spread a little bit it on your skin and it does a pretty good job of protecting you, and it’s good for your skin.
The best solution is to wear a lightweight long sleeve shirt and a hat if you are going to be out for very long.
The Best Time to Soak Up Sunlight
People want to know which time sunlight is good for health. That would be for the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset.
The potentially harmful component of sunlight is the ultraviolet part. It is what can damage your skin and your eyes if you get too much of it. For the first hour and last hour of the day, when the sun is low in the sky, there is no ultraviolet in the sunlight.
Sunlight Versus Artificial Light
There is one more reason why sunlight is good for you, and that’s natural light to see by. Have you ever compared how well you can read by sunlight versus how well you can read by artificial light, like fluorescents?
Sunlight wins hands down. If I have trouble reading something or my eyes are tired, I will take off my glasses and read at the window. Sunlight makes everything clearer.
The reason is that artificial light doesn’t contain all of the same frequencies of light at the same concentrations as natural sunlight does, and that’s the light that our eyes developed in. It makes sense that sunlight should work best for us.
Simulating Sunlight with LEDs
I use a full-spectrum LED lamp that creates a light spectrum much closer to natural sunlight than other artificial lamps. I use it for reading and when I’m working on my computer (yes, it is on right now). My Mom has one that she uses when she is sewing and quilting.
You can see the full-spectrum LED lamp here.
I am an affiliate for the lamp, so I may earn a commission is you order one through this link. I’ve had mine (2 of them) for a few years and I wouldn’t part with them for anything.
Are You Getting Enough Sunlight?
Hopefully you now see why sunlight is sunlight is good for you.
I go outside every morning at sunrise for about 30 minutes to soak up the UV-free sunlight. It’s a great way to start the day.
Do you get outside most days to get a little love from the sun? Leave a comment below to tell me what you do to get sunlight in you day, and please share this post with your followers on social media.