Spending Time In the Sun For Your Health
Living here in Puerto Vallarta, all year does allow me to be in the sun almost daily. Of course I had to learn to wear a hat or baseball style cap once I got here. I really hated wearing anything
on my head, having worn a chefs hat most of the day for 40 years. However when some friends moved here from Tucson, Arizona they helped change my mind. They pointed out that about 80 to 85 percent of senior citizens that move to sunny Arizona, have eye problems because they do not protect them from the sun. A good pair of sun blocking eye glasses will do the trick as well as the hat. I would need prescription sun glasses so for now, my little $15 cap is doing the job.
What did it for me was finding a cap that fit perfect with a design I like. I found
it at “Bucky’s” which is a gas station chain in Texas. Well it is way more that gas. Each Bucky’s makes fresh food in the kitchens, plus they have a clothing area and about the biggest candy/snack store I have ever seen plus much, much more. Their sandwiches are so good, that when my wife and I start planning our trips from Puerto Vallarta to Wisconsin, we include plans to include two stops at Bucky’s each way. So I have my Bucky’s cap, now more about the Sun.
Spending time in the sun for your health has great effects on both your mind and body. If you live in an area where there is plenty of sun as we do, it shouldn’t be so hard to get out into the sunshine. If, however you live in an area of the world that has many overcast days, you want to find at least a few days where you can find some sunshine to bask in.
Here are four health benefits of spending time in the sun:
1. Spend time in the sun to get your Vitamin D intake. The major source of vitamin D is being out in the sun. The UV rays of the sun will help build up vitamin D in your body so you won’t have to take a vitamin D supplement. Research has shown that most people don’t have enough vitamin D in their system, which is essential for many bodily functions. Rather than relying on vitamin D supplements, take your vitamin D through a walk in the sun with at least some of your body exposed to the UV rays of the sun. Be careful in really sunny areas as you can be burned by the sun. You should always wear appropriate rating of sunscreen to protect your skin, especially if you have fair skin and burn easily. Sunscreen will allow for some sun exposure but will help you get enough vitamin D. In general, it is best to spend time in the sun on less heated days and not be in scorching heat.
2. Spending time in the sun helps you be in nature. There is nothing more relaxing than the scent of grasses, trees, and flowers. If you have the opportunity, you should try to spend time in one of the more natural parts of the world, such as a neighborhood park or other wooded area. You can take in the local wildlife, even if it is just birds and squirrels. Communing with nature helps reduce stress and allows you to function better in your daily life. Even a half hour during your lunchtime spent out in the sun can improve your productivity and can help you have less stress at work.
3. Spending time in the sun reduces stress. You will likely find that you are less
stressed and happier when the day is sunny. You can help increase this stress-reducing phenomenon by spending time outside, soaking up some rays. You can sit on a park bench in the sunshine and meditate a bit or take a walk in a sunny area. You can process your stressors better in the sunshine and will have a lesser chance of being stressed afterward. Try getting out in the sun every day for at least a half an hour. You will immediately experience stress reduction and will find being in the sun to be an enjoyable activity.
4. Sunshine can help you sleep better. Being out in the sunshine, especially if you do something relaxing or exercise in the sunshine, you will be more relaxed afterward and will have a better time sleeping later in the day. Just a half hour of sunshine per day has been found to help you get to sleep easier and will help you stay asleep longer. It really doesn’t matter what you do in the sunshine as long as you get out there and get some rays.
Even if you can’t move to a beach area in sunny Mexico, make it a daily practice to grab a little natural sunshine whenever you can. There are other benefits that I have not included here but as long as you don’t allow yourself to get burned, and you protect your eyes, spending time in the sun for your health is one of those benefits that don’t cost any money and have big results.
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