Put a “Sunshine Smile” on your face

All of us can use more sunshine and are simply not getting enough Vitamin D into our lives. In today’s modern society, we are mostly indoors. When we do venture outside, we are usually wearing cloths and sunscreen on our face. We are lucky if we even get a little sunshine on just our hands. Getting sunshine is so important, it protects against inflammation, lowers high blood pressure, helps with muscle development, improves brain function, and even protect against cancer. Sunshine is responsible for generating the production of Vitamin D. Vitamin D has so many benefits. First, it is not a vitamin at all, it is a hormone and could be one of the most important substances you can have. It is required to absorb calcium from the gut into the bloodstream. It is mostly produced in the skin in response to sunlight but can also be absorbed from the food we eat. The Suns energy is needed for all plants to make their food through a process called photosynthesis. Green plants capture the suns energy and then converts that energy into the food we eat from the plant. You might find it interesting that the most nutrient dense food on the planet is green grass. Herbivore animals eat this nutrient dense grass. All the nutrients and suns energy from that grass, when eaten, gets stored in the flesh of the animal. Oily fish, red meat, liver, and egg yolks are rich in vitamin D, but there is no substitute for getting sun kissed with those golden rays of morning sunshine each day.

The Sunshine Vitamin

They call Vitamin D the happy hormone and it is also known as the sunshine vitamin, or as I like to call it, Vitamin “S”. There are so many benefits to getting outside, besides simply getting our sunshine smiles on. It is such a crucial ingredient for our overall health, and we must start to make it a priority.

Our bodies produce vitamin D mostly in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, but you don’t have to spend hours upon hours laying out —just about 15 minutes in the sun a day is adequate for most and since Vitamin D helps strengthen your immune system, encourages cell growth, prevents brittle, thin, or misshapen bones, soaking in some yummy rays of sunshine may be just what the doctor ordered!

Earlier we had mentioned the power of the Four Fundamental Forces. The Weak Force, The Strong Force, the Gravitational Force and Electromagnetism. Sunshine is a direct result of the Weak Force at work for you and is critically essential for human health, well-being, and survival. We are still learning so much about how connected we are to nature and the importance of Vitamin “S”. There is no substitute for the real thing, but if you live in an area like Seattle where I do, and 4 months out of the year you do not see the sun, you should seriously consider a Vitamin D3 with K2 supplement. If you are not supplementing with a vitamin D3 you are not on top of your health game and if you still think getting adequate sun just isn’t at the top of your priority list–check this out…

According to Rob Wolf, getting adequate sun exposure reduces our morbidity and mortality as much as the difference between a smoker or a non-smoker. Think about that just for one second. The simple act of taking a walk outside each morning opposed to someone who spends their life mostly indoors is night and day regarding their overall health. This does not mean go out to the beach every day, become a leather bag and age yourself horrifically. More is not better, but getting some morning sunshine whenever you can, if even just for a few minutes could be the difference between dying before your time like a smoker or living a long metabolically healthy life. So get out there and try to get as much sunshine all over your as much of your body as you can. I can see the streaking community getting excited! Okay maybe running around your neighborhood naked in the name of good health is not the best idea, but if you did have a private area to get Sunkissed while only wearing your birthday suit, not only would you be happier, feel amazing and perform better, you will live a healthier longer life as well!

Here are just a few benefits of getting your daily dose of Vitamin “S”

Get your Snoopy Happy Dance on!

Sunshine improves our mood and when the sun is out, we are just happier. But it’s not all just in our heads! Your body’s level of serotonin, the happy hormone, gets a huge boost! Serotonin is a chemical that improves your mood and helps you stay calm and focused. Increased exposure to natural light may help ease the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder–a change in mood that typically occurs in the fall and winter months when there are fewer hours of daylight.

Sunlight can sing you a lullaby

Sunlight plays a central role in homeostasis and regulating your circadian rhythms. This is your body’s internal clock that signals when to be alert and when to rest. Vitamin “S” also affects the production of melatonin, an essential sleep-promoting hormone that is critical to helping you sleep. Because your body starts producing it when it’s dark, you usually start to feel sleepy two hours after the sun sets, which is one of the reasons our bodies naturally stay up later in the summer. Research indicates that an hour of natural light in the morning will help you sleep better. If you look directly into the sun first thing in the morning it will regulate your circadian rhythm. Only look directly into the sun for no more than 2 seconds. That’s all it takes! Do this and you will reset your circadian rhythms for the day. Plus, the more daylight exposure you can get, the better your body will produce melatonin when it’s time to go to sleep. Melatonin has so many benefits. It is best known for sleep, but it also lowers stress levels. A lack of melatonin reduces your mitochondrial performance resulting in less ATP production. Plus, just the fact that you are doing something active when you’re outside (walking, playing, etc.), that extra exercise also helps to lower stress and resets your circadian rhythms.

Hair, Skin, Nails, Bones

Don’t abandon your sunscreen while on vacation just yet, but sunlight in small doses has a direct relationship to your Hair, Skin, Nail, Bones & Teeth’s health. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin which is essential for the absorption of calcium to keep you looking your best. Think of sunshine as a kind of medicine for your health and beauty. We often think of how the sun can damage our skin, but small amount of sun, especially in the morning, can help skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Vitamin D has so many benefits when it comes to your hair especially. Sunlight helps to build collagen and stimulate the regrowth of new hair follicles helping to prevent hair loss. Makes you think twice about wearing that baseball cap doesn’t it, could it be the old wives’ tale is true?

Shed those unwanted pounds

Getting outside for 30 minutes sometime between 8 a.m. and noon has been linked to weight loss. There are of course other factors that could be the reason for this as well. For example, in the summertime we want to look good in our swimsuit’s & bikinis, and just the fact you are outside doing something could be why those that get a bit of morning sunshine seem to be able to control their weight. Whatever the reasons maybe, there’s a real connection between sunlight in the early morning and weight loss.

Live to the year 2100

A study that followed 30,000 Swedish women revealed that those who spent more time in the sun lived six months to two years longer than those with less sun exposure. Blue zone centurions live in climates that are rich in sunshine. Research in this area points to living a longer life by incorporating morning sunshine into your live.

Strengthens your immune system

Vitamin D is also critical for your immune system, and with consistent exposure to sunlight, you can help strengthen it. A healthy immune system can help reduce the risk of illness, infections, and mortality after surgery. Some research suggests that Vitamin “S”, the “sunshine vitamin”, can protect against heart disease, breast, prostate, and other cancers as well.

LifeSpanners Aging Forward- “SUN” Quick Tips:

Quick Tip #1-Take a walk first thing in the morning. The best time to get your sunshine smiles on are between the hours of 8am to 11am. Start your walk by heading directly towards the sun. Stare directly into the sun for no more than 1 to 2 seconds to reset your circadian rhythm. Let the warm rays hit your face and your eyes. During your walk find a spot where the sun is brightest and just stand there for a couple minutes and soak up those yummy rays.

Quick Tip #2-Take a Vitamin D3 that has a K2 with it. Most vitamin D supplements are no longer available because they were plant based, cheaply made and are not as effective in humans. Most vitamins D supplements you will find are now a D3. D3 comes from higher quality sources such as fish oil, fatty fish, liver, or egg yolks. Vitamin D3 will help your body push calcium into your tissues, and this is a good thing, however you don’t want that calcium to deposit into your penis (for men), your (uterus for women) or your Arteries. Taking vitamin K2 prevents this from happening. Vitamin D3 + K2 are a pivotal combination because they work together to optimize the flow of calcium through your body. This process ultimately supports healthy bone composition. Because vitamin K2 also plays such a big role in making your blood clot, if you are pregnant, it is of the upmost importance that you supplement with K2.  This will prevent excess bleeding during the birth of your child.

Quick Tip #3– Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2 are both fat soluble so take them with a meal.

Quick Tip #4– Once you are consistently taking your D3+K2 supplements you must turn it on and what does this is sunlight! Sunlight will sulfate vitamin D3, turning it into a bioavailable form the body recognizes and can use. Try to get a small dose of real sunlight every day. Morning sunlight is the best, get it into your eyes and all over your body every morning.

Quick Tip #5-In winter seasons sunlight can be scares. There are safe tanning beds you can use during the winter months. Look for higher end, high pressure tanning beds. These beds are usually your level 4 or level 5 beds which have max times of 8 to 10 minutes. Stay away from the cheaper low-pressure beds that have max times of 15 to 20 minutes. Do not go for the max time. Everyone is different. If you are a ginger, you may want to go in for just 2 to 3 minutes max. If you have olive skin and can tan easily, you may go in for 4, 5 or maybe even 6 minutes. THIS HEALTH HACK IS NOT ABOUT GETTING A TAN! Being tan does not equate to good health. The point here is to activate your vitamin D and to enhance your mood. Safe reasonable sun or UV exposure is your medicine.

Quick Tip #6-Redlight therapy is a fast-acting alternative to the lack of sunlight during winter months. Natural morning sunlight is your best option. However, as we have discussed above, there are other ways to get Vitamin D into your body other than direct sunlight. You can take a vitamin D3 as a supplement and activate it using a tanning bed or through red light therapy as well.

It is such an easy and free health hack to incorporate into your life and the benefits are immense. So go out there and catch as many of those morning golden rays as you can and know that you are doing your mind and body so much good! Sun exposure in small quantities is so good for us mentally and physically that this makes Vitamin “S” (Sunshine), your LifeSpanners #8 Health Hack.