Sunshine, Vitamin D and Well-Being

“If you wish to know the divine, feel the wind on your face and the warm sun on your hand.” – Buddha

Did you get your sunshine today!? 

Vitamin D (especially from the sun) is imperative for physical, mental and emotional well-being and yet up to 42% of the US population is deficient!!!

Your body REQUIRES it.

Without sunshine nothing grows. Not your mood. Not your health. Not your well-being. Not plants to eat, and not plants for animals to eat. Without sunshine there is nothing but cold, and darkness, and death.

Here in Colorado we have 300+ days of sunshine per year (that’s a fact!) and we eat it up as often as possible on the trails or on the water. I realize that 300+ days of sunshine is not the norm and that we are very lucky, but aside from health conditions, no Coloradan should be Vitamin D deficient.

Sunshine is free, and the beauty is that your skin produces the Vitamin D it needs when it’s exposed to the sun. How very synergistic of the Universe and our bodies to make this happen. 😉 All it takes is stepping into the sun for a few minutes a day, a few days a week to reap the seemingly endless benefits that we literally cannot live without.

Getting sun is as simple as putting on some shorts and a short-sleeved shirt and sitting outside for a few minutes in the sun. Preferably midday (** see second to last paragraph for precautions). This would be a really great time to become mindful of your breath and to work on breathing correctly. 

Mt Evans, Colorado

All you have to do is google Vitamin D deficiency to see how dire it can be to your health. That number that I mentioned at the beginning of the post…. that 42% of Americans are deficient, is a real (real alarming) number! Almost HALF of the US is deficient. Ugh. We don’t have to be!! 

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Even increased risk of cancer!

Vitamin D is really important and not just for your well-being, but your bank account as well. It’s not secret that medical costs continue to soar. Yet even with this knowledge our collective health, due, no doubt, in part to unhealthy and sedentary lifestyles seems to be getting worse. It is truly frightening and maddening.

Other benefits of regular short bouts of sunshine are: help to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, neuromuscular pain reduction, help keep your immune system strong, regulate cortisol (stress hormone that can be related to weight gain and sleep issues), help to regulate sleep cycles (via melatonin)…. 

So, what if it’s that simple?

That just a few minutes each week in the sunshine could have a benefit on your health and well-being? Would you make it a priority?

IT IS THAT SIMPLE. The compounding benefits of spending time outdoors while will benefit your well-being exponentially. Try it.

No, I’m not saying that you’ll experience life-changing results, but it certainly is a possibility. A few minutes of sunshine a day isn’t likely to reverse years and years of damage done to your body, but it certainly is a step in the right direction. And it certainly has benefits that should not be ignored. Not to mention that we can, and need to be using this knowledge as preventative for our youth – who now spend more time indoors than EVER.

If you live in a region that doesn’t get much sunlight, you can get vitamin d from food sources such as fish, cheese and eggs, but it isn’t nearly enough to satisfy your body’s total Vitamin D requirement so you may want to consult a professional about the option of a Vitamin D supplement. 

**You do need to be sure that you take necessary precautions not to over-expose yourself to the sun! And do your own research on how to go about absorbing the benefits of sunshine safely. Talk to a professional or click on this link for search results on “how to safely get vitamin d from the sun“. 

This article Vitamin D Deficiency – An Ignored Epidemic is a great resource and I also highly recommend the book Go Wild by John Ratey.

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