Today’s episode is the start of The Random Commute Show. The pilot episode got some traction and reaction. I was pleased with the first results and it’s fun creating new episodes. In episode 1 I talk about sunlight and why it’s important to me to get enough sunlight.
Basically when I get enough sunlight and sunshine in general I feel instantly
- more energetic and more creative but also
- I’m in a better mood and feel happier overall (to name a few things)
Here are a few more benefits of sunlight:
- lowers blood pressure
- improves brain function
- improves bone health
- improves sleep quality
- enhances the immune system
The Power of Sunlight: Vitamin D
The reason for all those astounding benefits is that exposure to sunlight invokes the creation of vitamin D. The primary role of it is to support development and maintenance of teeth and bones. It also supports your immune and nervous systems. Furthermore its partially responsible in the regulation of your insulin levels and thus helps or supports diabetes management. A person with Caucasian-white skin can synthesize up to 20.000 IU (international units) of vitamin D in only 20 minutes. This is important because vitamin D deficiency is a very common problem in today’s world. Especially people who get little sun exposure (especially elderly, infants, dark-skinned people, or in high latitudes) are prone to being deficient. The problem with this deficiency is that it impairs the proper functioning of above mentioned systems and processes. Furthermore it increases the risk in bone fractures in elderly people significantly.
That’s why it’s important to synthesize as much vitamin D via sunlight exposure as possible. When this isn’t possible people might consider supplementing it. Before opting to use pills, I would suggest to optimize your vitamin D levels with the food you eat. Rich sources of vitamin D are many fatty fishes and mushrooms. You even can supercharge mushrooms (if you grow them at home), by giving them sun exposure during the hottest hours. If you still remain deficient in vitamin D you might consider supplementing it. Always consult with your physician!
There are different types of vitamin D available. The major ones are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Both can be absorbed via food intake, whereas the later has been proven to be the result of ultraviolet irridation (i.e. part of the sunlight spectrum).
The Bottom Line
Sunlight has its benefits but treat it with caution as overdosing on it can lead (but doesn’t have to) to skin cancer). It is generally recommended to get no more than 15 to 20 minutes of direct sunlight daily for a healthy adult. Of course this recommendation depends highly on the intensity of the sunlight and also on the colour of your skin. The darker the skin colour the higher is the implied sun protection. After this time apply sunscreen with a minimum Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30.
That all being said, make sure to expose yourself gradually and slowly to direct sunlight. Give your skin time to adapt and adjust. As with anything, it’s like a training and you need to build up your tolerance. In this case tolerance means the avoidance of sunburn.
I hoped you enjoyed this episode. Share it with your friends and the internet and subscribe on iTunes or stitcher. Of course any 5-star review would be welcome to get the podcast more visible for other people.
A short update from my part. I recently listened to a great episode about light, blue light and UV light from the Flowgrade Podcast. The episode is in German:
If your German is not on par yet don’t worry. I have a similar episode with Alexander Wunsch at hand. Back in February 2017 Ben Greenfield had him on his show: