The Sun is alive. It makes us feel connected to nature in away that no other element has the ability to. A bright, clear, sunny day gives us hope, clarity and a feeling of wellness. Lately the sun gets a bad rap. Sun exposure can cause cancer, and premature aging to the skin. Which can all be true but the sun is still essential to our good health, even the health of our skin if ‘taken’ in moderation. The Sun is our friend on so many levels we just need to know how to utilize its benefits the right way.
Like so many of you I grew up doing everything outside and never thought for a moment about protecting my skin from the sun. Consequently, I have suffered sun damage, which I take care of by doing some very specific laser work with my friends at AMA skincare (www.amaskincare.com). The treatment with AMA rejuvenates and activates your own collagen growth and gets rid of the damage of years of overexposure. Since working with them I also NOW use sunscreen. BUT I only use natural sunscreen. The skin absorbs everything so sunscreen needs to be as chemical free as possible. I have a found a couple of mineral sunscreens and natural zinc sunscreens that I think are really good. (Check out your local health store for options or look online). That said I think that sunscreen, like skincare, is personal so you have a to try a couple before you find the one you love.
Here are some things you need to know about the sun. Not only is it essential light, it is the most potent and effective form of Vitamin D and we absorb most of it through our eyes and skin, hence why it is important to get sunlight in your eyes and on our bodies. The key here is timing. Get sun before 9 or 10am and after 4pm, unless it is mid-summer and the sun is still very strong at 4pm. If you get sun at these times you will not burn and you will receive all the benefits that the sun has to offer; Vitamin D and of course, my favorite, the joy that the sunlight brings to me.
“Here comes the sun, and I say… It’s alright”
-George Harrison, 1969
The Sun is our source of boundless energy all day. Summer is on the way, which means longer days with more sunshine. For me there are not enough hours in the day to get outside to live life. Road tripping, climbing, surfing, swimming, running, biking, and hiking, from the beach and into the mountains. You have to love this place we live on called Planet Earth.
Up with the Sun and down with the Sun. I prescribe to the internal circadian clock that we all have when we are connected to nature’s natural cycles. Circadian rhythms are 24- hour cycles that are run by light and darkness in the body’s environment. Physical, mental and behavioral changes occur. The sleep wake-cycle is based on morning sunlight to help you sleep at night. To be in sync make sure that when you wake you get outside and get sunlight or turn the lights on in your room. This tells your body that its daytime and the more morning light you expose yourself to the easier it will be to fall asleep at night. Sunlight and darkness produce serotonin, which increases dopamine (the natural happy hormone) and melatonin to regulate sleep. These balance our sleep patterns and well-being. So the saying, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealth and wise”, has some real truth to it.
Fella’s, exposing the skin to sunlight for as little as 15 or 20 minutes can raise your testosterone levels by 120%, according to a report from Boston State Hospital in the United States. Research has also found that your testosterone hormone can increase up to 200% when genital skin is exposed to the sun. A study was done for five days at one hour of first light and it raised testosterone levels 69.5%. Amazing!
Without the Sun there would be no life on the planet. The power and health benefits from the Sun are profound. Go out and soak up the SUN!