Sunlight is the source of all life on Earth. With the warm, sunny season of Central Oregon upon us, we want to encourage you and your family to soak up the healthy rays and have fun in the sun. Sunshine is one of the most important facets to your healthy lifestyle and we are very fortunate to have so many days of sun in beautiful Bend, Oregon.
The Sun & Your Body
The UVB rays from the sun are vital to allow your body and your child’s body to produce a powerful hormone called Vitamin D3. Benefits of healthy amounts of Hormone D3 include strong bones, better eyesight, richer blood, normalized hormones, more energy, happier mood, boosted immunity, and healthier nerves. Before the introduction of antibiotics, Heliotherapy, through sun exposure, was used to successfully help people heal from infectious diseases, such as the flu and tuberculosis.
Research estimates show that 80% of people in the U.S. are deficient in this hormone due to lack of sun exposure. This includes all ages – children to seniors. The deficiency is correlated with fear of sun exposure. Everyone has been warned that the sun is dangerous and should be avoided due to the harmful ultraviolet radiation leading to skin cancers. New scientific advances are showing that the sun can only reinforce unhealthy conditions in your body. If your internal environment is unhealthy and imbalanced, the sun will intensify your underlying health conditions, literally bringing them to the surface to manifest as skin disorders. Making healthy lifestyle choices – eating a clean balanced diet, exercising, avoiding toxins, and making sure your nervous system is tuned and balanced with chiropractic care – are all prerequisites to having fun in the sun!
Toxic Sun Protection
Scientific studies have linked the overuse of mainstream chemical sunscreens to cancer. There are numerous toxic sunscreens on the market and companies are not strictly regulated on their ingredients. Testing has revealed that 97% of Americans have sunscreen chemicals in their blood. Many of these chemicals are hormone disruptors and can wreak havoc in the body. Can you image what this can do to a young child’s system? On top of that, these chemicals are also a leading cause of pollution in our oceans, rivers, and drinking water resources.
Overall sun avoidance combined with wearing sunscreen effectively blocks your body’s ability to experience the amazing health benefits of Hormone D3 created by the sun!
Tips for Time in the Sun
Different skin tones can handle different levels of exposure. Fair-skinned and blue eyed, light haired individuals only need approximately 10-15 min of sun exposure per day for their bodies to produce sufficient quantities of Hormone D3. Darker skin tones need longer sun exposure, up to 1-2 hours. Know what is best for you and your family’s skin and create your own time limits.
Practicing baby sun safety is very important. Baby skin is too sensitive for sunscreen and it is also too delicate for long sun exposure. Infants under six months should be kept out of the direct sun as much as possible. Avoid mid-day sun for infants and toddlers by taking morning or early evening walks. Allowing 10 to 30 minutes of indirect sun per day while on a walk or at the park will create the health benefits of Hormone D3 in your child. Any longer duration, hats should be worn and skin should be covered with light clothing for protection, and always make sure to bring an umbrella when travelling to the beach. As a child gets older, their body is able to produce more melanin, the darkening component of skin, and they can handle longer exposure times.
If you do decide to use sunscreen, make sure to buy non-petroleum based, natural and organic options with an active ingredient called zinc oxide. Also, be sure to test the product on your child’s wrist at least one day before you plan to use it. Being mindful of what your child needs is of most importance.
If you are an expecting mom, there are precautions to consider when spending time in the sun. It is important while pregnant to prevent your core body temperature from overheating. A drastic increase can negatively impact your baby. You will know when it is getting too high, because you will feel very uncomfortable. This is the same reason why you should avoid hot tubs while pregnant. Listen to your body and what your growing baby needs. If you use sunscreen, it is especially important during pregnancy to avoid any brands that contain hormone-disrupting chemicals. During pregnancy, your skin is also more sensitive to the sun and you may develop hives, a heat rash, or increased darkening chloasma. Stay extra hydrated while pregnant and enjoy the healthy benefits of the sun in moderation.
Optimizing the Sun’s Beneficial Properties
A natural and delicious way to protect yourself from overexposure of the sun is the same way that plants do – from the inside out! Eating, juicing, or blending chlorophyll rich foods – dark leafy greens – help to fortify your body from the harmful effects of sun exposure. Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking at least 64fl oz of purified water per day. Nourish your skin and hair after a long day in the sun with natural and organic moisturizers based in organic coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera, and essential oils.
It is crucial to make healthy lifestyle choices for yourself and your family, so that you can all enjoy the sun everyday! Ensure your body is clear and thriving by having your spine and nervous system checked with routine, neurologically-based chiropractic care. Having a clear and balanced nervous system is one of the most important things you can do before you plan your outdoor adventures this summer.