Remember when moms used to say things like this? Back, before pasty white and pale green were fashion colors for the complexion? It may have been a simple plea to get you out from underfoot. It may have been a command. Sometimes it was just because you needed it.
Today, moms don’t say things like this too often. Besides the inconvenience of going beyond wifi, dirt seems dangerous, as does our friend el Sol. But is it really better to leave children indoors to collect gold coins in a virtual world, while gathering fat and the knock-knees of rickets in the real world? Well, at least we know where they are.
And we can buy pills to simulate the vitamin D our bodies make naturally with a little exposure to the sun’s healing light. But pills are expensive for any family on a budget, and assimilate poorly into the bloodstream. As little as 10 minutes of sunshine a day and your body can make all the vitamin D it needs to do its work properly.
Why is vitamin D so important? Well, rickets are one thing, fat is another, cellular function is a third… Basically, your body needs it for just about everything it does. When people go without it they begin to develop things like osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer.
Cancer?! Yes, vitamin D even slows the growth of certain types of cancer because it improves cellular function. If you thought the sun caused skin cancer, maybe you’ll want to look again before you slather on the sun screen.
Most sun screens block the sun enough to inhibit vitamin D production in the skin. That means you will need to stay in the sun longer to receive the natural benefits. Sadly, most sunscreens don’t actually stop the skin-damaging UVB rays from penetrating. So you get more of what you don’t want, and less of what you do. Who wins in this deal?
Here is another chart which demonstrates the increase in cancer rates since the introduction of sunscreen. Studies from several nations show a rise in cancer rates shortly after the introduction of new, more potent sunscreens. Thank you to Graeme Thomas for providing the information on his fitness coaching website.
Once we follow the money chain, it is easy to see that the industrial medicine machine is making a ton of money off folks just trying to stay well. Sunshine is free, and your body likes it better when you sit outside for a few minutes every day. Heck you might even pick up a ball and play while you’re out there.
Don’t be too worried about getting dirty either. There is new science on that one too.
Want more on sunshine and vitamin D? try: