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Mindful Health

Sun Recharges Your Body and Soul

April 3, 2014

When you get tired and depressed getting out in the sun feels good for your body and soul. A study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry found men with higher levels of vitamin D consistently performed better on memory tests as well as on mood and physical activity levels.  This study reinforces medical studies that continue to prove the strong relationship between vitamin D and cognitive function.

Without exposure to sunlight, people get depressed because the lack of vitamin D absorption and conversion in the skin. In addition, it affects our ability to sleep. Melatonin is light sensitive, and without sunlight, our sleep cycles are affected. Lack of sleep and over sleep affects our abilities to concentrate and process information.

This study does not suggest that you bake in the sun, but it’s a suggestion that exposure to the sun nourishes our mind, body, and soul.

As you recharge your body this spring with lots of warmth and sunshine remember these Mindful tips:

  1. Get your daily dose: Health professionals recommend that babies (12 months old or younger) receive a daily vitamin D dose of up to 400 IU. And for individuals between the ages of one and 70, health professionals recommend up to 600 IU. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, “10 to 15 minutes of sunshine three times weekly is enough to produce the body’s requirement of vitamin D.”
  2. Take proper precautions: The sun’s UVA radiation levels are at it’s highest between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. So opt for an early morning stroll or an evening walk around the neighbor to avoid the sun’s dangers. And don’t forget to wear sun block and proper, protective clothing.
  3. Create a plan B for rainy days: On the days in which you can’t get outside for your daily dose of sunshine consider the implementing vitamin D rich foods in your diet. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are great sources of vitamin D. Fortified milk, yogurt, and egg yolks can also boost your daily vitamin D intake as well as mushrooms.
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