Do You Get Enough Sun? Researchers Explain How It Affects Your Health

IF NOBODY HAS TOLD YOU, LET US BE THE FIRST: THE SUN IS NOT DANGEROUS.

Our planet has been around for nearly 4.6 billion years. Human beings evolved alongside the bright star. In fact, the wondrous Sun is what allows and advances life on Earth.

“Dr. Robert Stern, chair of the Department of Dermatology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, calls them “solar-phobes”: people so concerned about getting so cancer that they stay inside or cover every bit of skin.” – Harvard Health Publications: “Benefits of moderate sun exposure”

But do you know what is dangerous? Human ignorance about two key things:

First, not understanding the sun’s effects on us as individuals. Without this information, we can’t know what level of exposure is safe or unsafe.

Second, not taking preventative measures to counteract underexposure or overexposure. Underexposure, or lack of sunshine, is just as dangerous as overexposure.

The Sun is Healthy – in Moderation

Gee, how many times have we been told something is good for us “in moderation?” Alcohol, dark chocolate, dairy, sleeping, exercising… all best done “in moderation.”

Provided that there’s an accurate measure that defines moderation for an activity (e.g. one-two drinks, 7-9 hours), it can be excellent advice! We can then implement this advice to improve and maintain our health – or abstain from things that may be harmful.

This same moderation concept applies to the sun.

Health Benefits of Sunshine

(Note: As with anything health-related, it’s important to be aware of any existing medical condition(s). If you’re unsure, please speak with your doctor.

This article’s contents are not intended to replace professional medical advice.)

HERE ARE 5 HEALTH OF THE BIGGEST (MOST APPROPRIATELY) BENEFITS OF SUNLIGHT:

1. THE SUN PACKS VITAMIN D

In some medical circles, vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” and sun exposure can help produce this crucial nutrient. Vitamin D is also available in certain foods and supplements.

Vitamin D serves many important functions within the body, which include:

– Maintaining normal calcium and phosphate levels

– Promoting bone and cell growth

– Promoting calcium absorption

– Reducing inflammation

2. IT LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE

In a groundbreaking study conducted by Dr. Richard Weller and his colleagues at the University of Edinburg, researchers found a chemical important for reducing blood pressure in sunlight.

Nitric oxide is released into the blood vessels when sunlight touches the skin. This decreases BP.

According to Dr. Weller, the benefits of sun exposure – including a healthier and longer life – “far outweigh the risk of getting skin cancer.”

3. IT IMPROVES BRAIN FUNCTION

In a study undertaken by neuroscientists at the University of Cambridge, Dr. David Llewellyn and his colleagues measured the Vitamin D levels of 1,700 adults aged 65 and over.

After analyzing the results, the research team noticed higher rates of cognitive deficiencies in people low in Vitamin D.

Additional studies claim that sunlight also hastens the growth of brain cells within the hippocampus; the brain region responsible for forming, organizing, and storing memories.

4. ALLEVIATES MILD DEPRESSION

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, “is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons – SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year.” SAD is informally known as the “winter blues” disorder.

Psychologists, psychiatrists, and other medical professionals have linked the low availability of sunlight during certain periods of the year (most notably, fall and winter) to the disorder.

Ever wondered why sunny days perk you up while gray skies don’t?

Because the brain produces more of the neurotransmitter serotonin (“the happy chemical”) on sunny days than on overcast days.

5. IT HEALS CERTAIN SKIN DISORDERS

Skin cancer is perhaps the one biggest knock against the big bright star. Skin cancer caused by Melanoma is “the most dangerous form of skin cancer, (when) these cancerous growths develop (and trigger) mutations that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.”

Per the Skin Cancer Foundation, “If melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable.”

Let’s put what we just read in context. (1) Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. (2) If we pay attention and seek treatment, it’s curable just about every time.

In spite of oft-cited hyperbole about skin cancer, the sun helps heal skin disorders at a far greater rate than it causes them. 

Just a few of the conditions the sun helps include acne, eczema, jaundice, and psoriasis.

Protecting Yourself

Per the United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), there are three key elements of skin protection: genetic and lifestyle traits, monthly examinations, and blocking UV rays.

Genetic and lifestyle characteristics:

a) Do you spend a lot of time outdoors?

b) Do you get sunburnt easily?

c) Do you have any of the following?

– Large, numerous, or irregularly-shaped moles

– Blond, red, or light brown hair

– Freckles

– Fair skin (‘pale’)

If you meet any of the above criteria, consult with your doctor about how much time you should spend in the sun.

Monthly examinations:

– As skin cancers detected early can easily be cured, it is essential that you examine your skin monthly.

– The “most important sign,” per OSHA, “is a spot on the skin that is changing in size shape, or color during a period of 1 month to 1 or 2 years.”

Skin cancers often appear in one of four ways:

– Pale, waxy, and shiny lumps

– Red, scaly, and sharply-outlined patches

– Sores that do not heal

– Small, mole-like growths (melanoma)

Blocking UV Rays

– Limit your exposure: “UV rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.”

– Cover up: “Wear tightly-woven clothing that blocks out light.”

– Use sunscreen: “A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 blocks 93 percent of U.V. rays … Be sure to follow application instructions on the bottle.”

– Wear a hat: “A wide brim hat is ideal because it protects the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp.”

– Wear UV-absorbent shades: “Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive, but they should block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.”

Four Scientists Explain What Sitting Too Long Does To Your Body

Today, we live in a world where modern machines do much of our work for us, which greatly eliminates the need for manual labor.

Not to mention, over 34 million Americans have office or sales jobs, forcing them to remain sedentary for eight or more hours a day.

According to a report published in Annals of Internal Medicinethe average person spends more than half of his or her waking hours in an inactive state (sitting at a computer, watching TV, commuting to and from work, etc).

While technology brings with it obvious benefits, such as getting more done in less time, consolidating our efforts, and connecting us to others at lightning speeds, it has many drawbacks, as well.

Sitting down for prolonged periods of time can cause problems such as chronic back pain, poor posture, and even potentially deadly diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

If you spend a lot of time sitting down for your job, take a look at the specifics of how this can negatively impact your health, according to four experts in the industry:

Brain, Neck, And Shoulder Issues

Moving our bodies means more blood and oxygen flowing throughout the brain, which helps us maintain clarity and keeps our minds sharp. However, by sitting for long periods of time, this slows the flow of oxygen and blood to our brains, inhibiting our ability to think clearly.

Also, slumping forward at work to stare at a computer screen puts tremendous strain on the neck, particularly the cervical vertebrae, which connects the spine to your head.

Poor posture also damages the back and shoulder muscles, as they become overextended due to leaning over a keyboard for long periods of time.

Back Problems

One of the most apparent problems occurs for most people in their backs, as bad posture contributes greatly to back pain, inflexible spines, and disk damage. Moving around causes soft disks between vertebrae in the spine to expand and contract, allowing blood and nutrients in.

By sitting too long, the disks become uneven and compact, even causing collagen to build up around tendons and ligaments.

Also, herniated lumbar disks occur more frequently in people who spend prolonged periods of time in front of a computer.

Muscle Degeneration

Sitting doesn’t require the use of your ab muscles, and if they go unused for too long, this can actually cause you to develop what’s called swayback, or the unnatural overextension of the spine’s natural arch.

Plus, sitting too long decreases overall flexibility, particularly in the hips and back. Flexible hips aid in balancing the body, but by sitting too long, the hip flexor muscles become short and tense.

The glute muscles also become soft after prolonged periods of disuse, and this hinders your ability to take long strides and keep the body stable.

Deterioration of Organs

Remaining seated for long periods of time can cause heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer. In short, these problems are caused by the overproduction of insulin due to inactivity, and sluggish blood flow to the organs.

Regular movement helps kill cancer-causing cells, boosting antioxidants that eliminate these free radicals from taking over the body.

Overproduction of insulin also causes weight gain, which contributes to diabetes and obesity.

Leg Disorders

Obviously, sitting too long will hinder circulation in the legs. This causes blood to pool around the ankles, which then results in swollen ankles, varicose veins, and even harmful blood clots.

Another more subtle issue caused by prolonged sitting is that bones become weaker and less dense. Regular activity, such as running or walking, helps keep bones strong and thick.

This might explain why so many elderly people today have osteoporosis, as society becomes more and more sedentary.

According to the study, people who watched the most TV over the span of 8.5 years had a 61% greater risk of dying a premature death compared to those who watched less than one hour per day.

SO, HOW CAN WE COMBAT THIS GROWING EPIDEMIC OF INACTIVITY?

sitting
Image source: DailyInfoGraphic.com

First of all, if you DO have to sit for long periods of time for work or other purposes, make sure you sit up straight and avoid slouching or leaning over your keyboard. If you have to, buy an exercise ball, which forces your ab muscles to work and will naturally keep your body straight.

You can also use a backless stool if you want something a little more stable than an exercise ball.

Secondly, make sure to get up regularly to stretch. How often should you do this? At least once every thirty minutes, according to experts.

Get up and walk around your office for a few minutes as well, which will keep the blood flowing and allow your brain and muscles to function optimally.

Thirdly, yoga can help immensely with keeping the muscles flexible and allowing the mind to relax and decompress from the work day.

You can also buy a standing work desk, which will force you to do your work in an upright position. This helps blood and oxygen flow more freely through the body, reducing the risk of blood clots and other dangerous health problems.

Even Doctors Cannot Explain This: Boiled Cinnamon And Honey Is The Cure For Cancer, Arthritis, Gallbladder Issues, Cholesterol And 10 More Health Problems!

The Chinese have been using the marvelous mixture of honey and cinnamon for centuries, so we’ve decided to present it to you.

These natural ingredients form a remedy that can help you against various illnesses and diseases.

Cinnamon is one of the oldest and also best known spices in our history. The same goes for the honey.

When these two powerful ingredients are combined, they can kill any bacteria, microbe or fungi.

WHAT EXACTLY DOES THIS POWER DUO COMBO CURE AND HOW?

HEART ISSUES

Prepare a paste of these two ingredients. Use it as a spread on a piece of bread and make sure you take it for breakfast. It will help you decrease the bad cholesterol, unclog arteries and it will also prevent you from heart attack.

ARTHRITIS

Put 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons on honey into a glass of warm water full. Stir it well and drink it in the morning and at night. The pain caused by chronic arthritis will be gone soon!

GALLBLADDER INFECTION

Add 1 teaspoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon into a glass of warm water. Drink this every day and it will kill your gallbladder microbes.

CHOLESTEROL

Prepare a cup of any kind of tea. Add 3 teaspoons of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of honey in it. Stir well. It will decrease your cholesterol by even 10%!

COLD

In case of a cold, just mix ¼ of a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of honey. Take it for 3 days and it will help you against nose congestion, cough and cold.

STOMACH ACHE

This magical mixture can help you prevent ulcer and stomachache.

IMMUNITY

If you use this mixture every day, it will help you have a stronger immunity and an improved health. You’ll prevent the appearance of any virus or bacteria.

FLU

Honey especially contains a compound that can help you remove bacteria and viruses.

WEIGHTLOSS

Boil a little bit of honey with some cinnamon. Take it before you have breakfast in the morning, at least half an hour before it.

ACNE

Prepare a mixture of honey and cinnamon to create a paste. Apply it on your face before you go to bed. Rinse it off in the morning.

HAIR LOSS

In case of baldness or hair loss, mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Put it on your scalp for 15 minutes. Rinse it off.

CANCER

According to some studies, this combination can help you against belly cancer. If you have this type of cancer, eat 1 tablespoon of cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of honey for 3 months without stopping.

HOW IS THIS MIX MADE?

Add some honey in a pot. Leave it to boil. Then, add the cinnamon and make it thicken so that it can resemble a caramel consistency. Take 1 tablespoon of this with every meal.