We want to take advantage of the benefits of summer and sun. We want to enhance our health and our happiness. Getting outside is synergistic with our other health efforts.
We also want to take precautions to make sure we are protected properly.
The problem is, there’s so much conflicting advice about hydration, sun exposure, and how to address it… IT’S CONFUSING!
Sun is good. Sun is necessary.
- The sun gives life to this earth.
- Our ancestors prayed to it. They worshiped it because it brought life.
- Farmers depend on it. And therefore our food grows from it.
- The seasons change from it.
- We get tremendous health benefits from it.
- We’ve co-evolved with it for hundreds of thousands if not millions of years.
- We’ve also co-evolved the ability to tolerate it so that we can receive these benefits.
Just like many things that are good for our health, it’s all about ebb and flow.
Conventional wisdom would have you think you need to avoid sun at all costs. But nothing could be further from the truth.
The goal is not to avoid sun exposure. The goal is to embrace sun exposure for all its benefits while being smart and minimizing damage from excess exposure.
Too much sun in the form of burning exposure definitely isn’t a good thing. But not getting enough may be even worse.
- Sunlight stimulates the synthesis of vitamin D. Vitamin D acts like a hormone and has uncountable benefits throughout the body including supporting bone health, immune function, hormone production, and optimal gene expression. 30 minutes of sun in a day give you BEYOND what you would get in supplemental form. AND supplements are not a replacement for everything the sun does for you.
- Sunlight improves blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps the blood vessels to open up.
- Sunlight has immediate effects on our immune system such as stimulating and feeding T cells (white blood cells) and stimulating motility of T cells.
- Sunlight protects us against viral pathogens. Getting outside to get sunlight also gives you fresh air, which dilutes the parts per million of pathogens. Sunlight and ultraviolet rays also neutralize most viral and bacterial threats that we know of.
- Sunlight improves your mood! It feels good, and it also stimulates the secretion of serotonin.
- Sunlight supports circadian rhythm entrainment. It supports you in your efforts to be consistent with your rise and bed times and getting quality sleep.
- Sunlight supports eye health. Brightness getting into the retinas is crucial for eye health.
- Sunlight has been used for centuries to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, jaundice, and acne. It’s even recommended by the World Health Organization as a skin treatment.
- Eat real food and avoid processed food. Real food especially animal foods and traditional fats, gives your body exactly what it needs to build itself properly and protect itself properly.
- Avoid highly processed plant-based oils. Canola, corn, soybean, “vegetable,” safflower, rice bran, and sunflower oils are NOT good for your body to build itself with. The fatty acids contained in these oils are highly reactive. If you consume these oils and your body builds its cell structure with these oils, sun exposure will enhance the reactivity and cause sunburn and inflammation.
- Prioritize your sleep. Natural sun protection follows circadian rhythms… a night of poor sleep “shifts” your body’s protection.
- Get consistent sun exposure vs acute bursts. Daily low/moderate-dose sun exposure is way better than infrequent high-dose sun exposure.
- Get early morning sunlight to maximize natural protection. With early morning light, your body anticipates when the sun will be at its strongest, and will better protect you during those times.
- Opt for natural protection by moderating your exposure. Use shade and clothing such as long sleeved shirts and hats.
- Don’t wear sunglasses at least part of the time that you’re in the sun! When you wear sunglasses, your brain is under the impression that the light you’re experiencing is different or less than what it really is. Melanin isn’t produced the way it should be and instead of getting tanned, you are more likely to get burned. BTW, we’ve experimented with this and it works!
- If you must use sunscreen, use the right kind. Do NOT use sprays. Sprays contain toxins that get into the lungs. Do use a lotion that uses zinc oxide. Zinc oxide reflects light, offers the broadest-spectrum UV protection, and cannot absorb into the skin. This is why it stays white and doesn’t rub in.
Bottom line, TO OPTIMIZE YOUR HEALTH, EMBRACE THE SUN and DO IT RIGHT!
This is just a smidge of the info we share in our community. For the full recorded talk, PLUS links and resources to everything we mention including a summary PDF checklist, check out our online community SuperHumans United with a 14-day free trial.
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