Fit & Fab: Secrets to happiness and vitality
Updated Wed., 6/6 – Oh it’s so exciting! Summer is certainly in the air, and you can actually FEEL the energy of people around you expanding and becoming happier. Why is that? Is it the vitamin D? Is it just the fact that we can be outside and one with mother nature? I have my own theories, but let’s start with a bit of research on sunshine.
We all know that the sun provides us with a certain magic that causes our bodies to make a hormone that we call vitamin D. This hormone is a master of all trades and a jack of none. No, it’s not just the happy hormone. It is known to play a major role in staying clear of cancers, keeps bones nice and strong, fights off invaders such as bacteria and viruses, supports proper muscle cells, and carries messages from the body to the brain and back again. And that’s just the beginning.
Since we have started this ban against the beautiful sun, our vitamin D related issues have skyrocketed. But vitamin D is not all we are benefitting from when allowing the sun’s rays on our skin. The sun also suppresses the production of another hormone called melatonin. This is the little signal that helps to regulate our circadian rhythms to allow for proper sleep/wake cycles. During the winter months especially, researchers are showing that melatonin is not properly regulated which messes up the sleep patterns and can lead to a compromised immune system (chronic colds, infections, and depression).
But that’s still not all. The sun also provides us with a special kick to increase our serotonin levels, which gives you that all-around great feeling. And of course when you feel great physically and mentally, things seem to miraculously go your way.
As a caution, I realize that sadly, we cannot spend all day out in the hot sun without consequence. The point is moderation. You know your own skin. A very slight pinking is an OK amount, but anything after that is too much. And please, take a second look at your sunscreen. It’s poison. Your poor skin is a sponge, and it completely absorbs everything you put on it. When absorbed, it goes directly to the blood stream and becomes toxic to your system. The rule at our house is that if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin!
What can you do instead? There are several natural sunscreens out there that are an OK alternative (although I wouldn’t eat those either), you can make your own using a natural form of zinc and vitamin C (google it), or there are plenty of new natural light clothings now available to use when outdoors (and don’t forget that big old sun hat!). The point is, pay attention to your body, but allow some of the sun’s rays to embrace you at least once daily.
Now, I must say that I believe there is another reason we are so happy and healthy in the summer time-it is known as earthing or grounding. Did you know the earth is full of negative healing electrons that can actually effect your body in a dramatic way? That’s right, putting your bare feet on the earth, or laying in the grass allows you to partake in a mini-healing session! No wonder we love the beach so much, we get both earth and sun! As more research becomes available on grounding, I will fill you in. For me personally, I find time every day to make contact with mother earth.
So there you have it. Two great ways to enhance your health and vitality that have nothing to do with food, supplements, or exercise! Pretty cool, huh.
A big thank you to our wonderful sun and earth!
The information provided by Dr. Allen-Bergman in this column, or by any of her businesses, agents or employees, is for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as recommendations for a specific treatment plan, product, course of action or medical treatment/advice. If you would like further information on this or any other articles, visit EducatingWellness.com. Send questions to email@example.com, or mail to Fit & Fab, Star Journal, 24 W. Rives St., Rhinelander, WI 54501. All submissions will be treated in a confidential manner.