We’ll admit it. We’re vitamin D addicts.
Daily sun exposure is one of the simplest ways to increase recovery, mood, digestive health, immune function, neurological health, and performance.
While there’s no question that too much sun exposure can be damaging to your skin and is a known carcinogen, it’s all about appropriate dosing.
Here’s 4 great reasons to get sun on your skin every day.
One of the best-known benefits of sun exposure is vitamin D. Food sources of this fat-soluble vitamin fall far short of sun on your skin. One of the most critical reasons to get your RDI (reference daily intake) of vitamin D is bone density. This vitamin plays an essential role in the absorption of calcium, as well as improving the immune system and lowering blood pressure.
Optimal vitamin D levels are essential for the creation of serotonin, which plays an important role in mood regulation. Ever noticed you just feel grumpier when it’s grey outside? It’s no surprise that serotonin levels are higher in the summertime.
Sunlight plays a key role in the production of cortisol, the hormone that signals “wake-up,” and the suppression of melatonin, a hormone that makes us sleepy. Our circadian rhythm, our internal clock, is directly tied to the sun and moon cycles. Ensuring you get sun exposure in the morning and between 11am-3pm when it’s at its highest helps keep you in rhythm, so you have energy throughout the day and feel tired at night.
Increased Lean Mass
There is a strong connection between optimal vitamin D levels and strength and muscle gains. To produce muscle your body needs to be in an anabolic state, which requires the production of certain hormones and low stress and inflammation. Vitamin D aids in this process.
- Aim for 15-30 minutes of exposure per day without sunscreen, as tolerated
- Never burn and add protection after initial exposure
- Take 5-15 minute walk breaks between 11am and 3pm
- Eat lunch outside
- Ditch your shirt and get sun on your skin
- Take your rower or bike outside
- Live in a cold climate? Try a Happy Light and consult with your medical professional about vitamin D supplementation.
Sun exposure is just one factor that goes into recovery and healthy behaviors outside of the gym. Speak to a professional coach at an OPEX Gym near you to design a holistic nourishment program that supports your individual fitness goals!