It’s a hard sell for you tell me that the sun is bad for us. When the sun is out, people get a jump in their step, energy levels rise, moods improve, and aches and pains go away.
You might convince me that excessive sun exposure is unhealthy, but to say the sun should be avoided altogether is too unnatural for me to swallow.
One of the main problems nowadays is that people work inside all day. They go from never seeing the light of day to doing 8 hours of yard work. This is 0-100 overnight.
Back in the day, when people spent their lives outdoors farming, the gradual increase of sun allowed their bodies time to slowly adapt. Now, in the dead of winter, when we haven’t seen the sun in months, we go to Mexico for a week and lay in it 12 hours a day. This leads to skin trauma.
What do I like better than sun screen? Sun safety. This means gradually increasing your exposure over time. Then when your body has had enough, you cover up.
My family wears light, airy, sun-safe clothing to cover up on those days when we’ve had our fill. We start with a little exposure at the beginning of the season and gradually get more sun as the summer progresses.
The healthiest time of day for you to be in the sun is between 10am and 2pm. This is when the rays are the most beneficial for your Vitamin D production. The sun is also strongest during this time, so be wise. Your eyes are a major factor when producing vitamin D, so spend some time with your shades off. After sun exposure, don’t shower the natural skin oils off your body; they aid in the Vitamin D production.
Many of the chemicals in sun screen are not healthy for your body. Remember your skin soaks in most things you put on it. Our rule: if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.
The funny thing is some studies would actually show that outdoor workers who have chronic, steady sun exposure have less incidences of skin cancer than those who work indoors. There are multiple theories as to why but nothing is conclusive.
Our thoughts: be sun smart, get some sun then cover up. Try not to put toxins on your skin. Have a happy and safe Canada day!
Dr. Matt Tonnos
God, Family, Food, Exercise, and Health Strategy for People. Full time Doctor, Dad, and Husband. When I’m not interacting with patients, playing with my kids or exercising at home with my wife, Dr. Amy Culver, you can find me reading books, enjoying a strong cup of coffee, and investing in new start-ups. Remember, If you’re not moving it, you’re losing it.