Do you feel wilted? Does your head ache? Are you down in the dumps? Has your enthusiasm for life taken a downturn? You probably haven’t been outside in a month of Sundays. Walking from your house to the car doesn’t count. Neither does walking from your car to your workplace. Not unless you park a mile away and hike in. And this is addressed to all the wusses (like me) who have a hard time getting outside when the temperature is below 55º F. If I were talking to the hardy souls who run six miles a day rain or shine, I’d be preaching to the choir.
There are many benefits we get from sunlight and very little on the downside.
First, and often foremost, is we “get” vitamin D from Old Sol. But not really. Our bodies use the sun to synthesize vitamin D. We have to have the exposure. It doesn’t work otherwise. I’ve heard you can get sufficient from 10 minutes’ on a square inch of skin to you have to be in the sun with as much of your body exposed as the law allows. Now, the truth has to be somewhere between those two extremes. The important thing is not to get too much sun. Too much of anything isn’t a good thing.
Our serotonin levels are linked to the sun. If the level gets too low, we can suffer from depression. Yet another reason to get outside during the day.
I try to go out in the winter months closer to both sides of noon. With the sun headed South (like I’d like to be) the rays aren’t as strong as they are in the summer. As winter wears on toward spring, I tend to go out earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon.
I’m often asked if I wear sunscreen. Well, no. That negates the sun’s effects. There’s the old bugaboo that, if you go out in the sun without being slathered in sunscreen, you are going to end up with skin cancer. From some of my research about what causes skin cancer I’ve found that a high fat intake can be the culprit. IF you eat a lot of raw gourmet, otherwise known as Atkins Raw, you can be a candidate for skin cancer if you spend a lot of time in the sun. On Dr. D.’s 80/10/10 plan, it would be less likely you would have any problem with it.
Eating a diet high in animal products is a good way to form lactic acid in the body which promotes cancer. Logically, if you don’t consume animal flesh or animal secretions, it could be an insurance policy against the disease.
Today, I took myself in hand and went outside for a full 20 minutes dressed in sweats, heavy socks, and pile lined “crocs”. Oh, wow you say. Well, it was better than nothing and that much more than I’ve done for many a day. The sun was playing peek-a-boo. Sometimes the holes in the clouds let it through and sometimes they missed. It felt so good when the sun hit my starved face full on. I’m not a good example when it comes to getting out in the winter. The temperature was 56 when I let myself out the door and reclined on my lounge. I do know I need to get out and I promise I’ll try to do better in the future.
I’m up later tonight than I intended but the lunar eclipse has kept me looking out into the night sky frequently. The clouds are scudding along like they were earlier so the view isn’t totally unobstructed. I’ve been able to see it progress quite nicely in spite of that fact. My neighbor was outside looking for something and was smoking. When I came back in, Twinkle didn’t like the smell and hissed an angry hiss. Smart cat.
My cough quieted enough last night that I slept well. I’ve had a few “fits” today but I’m better. Maybe my time in the sun has moved me on toward health. Tomorrow…