The sun and your health
Most people take the sun rising every day for granted and do not appreciate the full extent of the role it plays in life on Earth. When it comes to living with vitality, being disease-free, and recovering faster from exercise, there is no pill, food, or any new product or trend that matches the quantum healing properties of the sun. I came across this information a while back, and seeing us coming out of Covid-19 restrictions where we’ve lived a mostly indoor life, I thought it was important to revisit the simple pleasure and health benefits of being outside.
How can one compete with the four-and-half-billion-year-old star that gives rise to all life on this planet through photosynthesis? It makes sense why all advanced ancient cultures, like the Egyptians who built the pyramids of Giza, worshipped the sun as a god they called Ra.
Can your light environment affect your health?
First, let’s define the light environment. Where we live, work, and exercise determines how much and which spectrum of light we receive on a daily basis. It’s important to note that not all light frequencies are created equal!
Our light environment has a profound effect on our circadian biology: the intricate interplay of hormones that regulate sleep, mood, blood sugar, sex drive, fertility, and metabolism.
Our patterns of exposure to light and dark determine how well our circadian clock will function, as they set the rhythm for our hormonal fluctuations throughout the day. If this sounds like some kind of New Age health concept, it’s not! Medicine is just now catching up to what the animal kingdom has known all along: the light environment affects everything from mating patterns (longer days in the spring activate sex hormones), to metabolism speed (based on seasonal food availability), to sleep needs (hint: you need more in the winter).
In October of 2017, the Nobel Prize for Medicine went to three researchers who discovered how circadian rhythms regulate our biology and play a crucial role in health. They found that our light environment has a profound effect on our exercise recovery speed, energy level, and overall feeling of well-being—but most people are not aware of how these factors affect our vitality and strength.
Take for example Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Most of us have heard of this condition, and most of us know that it’s important to ingest vitamin D year-round. However, SAD is not just a vitamin D deficiency; it is an indicator of what kind of light environment we are spending most of our time in.
Some people are affected by the shorter days much more than others, which goes to show that everyone’s environmental light requirements are different due to our unique, geographical, ancestral DNA code.
Other critical factors are age, health status, work and living environment, which all play a role in determining the ideal amount and spectrum of light that is required to have optimal health.
Is a vitamin D supplement equivalent to getting sunlight?
Vitamin D activates the innate immune system, inhibiting over 165 diseases like cancer, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis (MS). Where there are sub-optimal vitamin D levels, we usually find some kind of modern-day disease—there is a direct correlation! For example, while the state of Colorado gets 300 days of sunshine, the intensity of the UV light during the winter months is not high enough to maintain our bodies’ own mechanisms for producing vital vitamin D in the skin. As a matter of fact, approximately 50 to 70 percent of the United States population are deficient in vitamin D, depending on the demographic.
The pill form is void of the approximately trillions of electromagnetic frequencies from the sun, which is responsible for supporting all of life on this planet!
Think of the sun as an infinite power generator that recharges our human battery (endocrine system) via the eyes and the skin. We all have special photoreceptors in the retina of the eye that are intelligently wired to interpret and decode the electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) that the sun provides. The body’s conversion of the sun spectrum data (including visible, infrared, and high-frequency, short-wavelength UV range) activates over 2,000 genes.
Unfortunately, most people are under the false impression that the pill form of vitamin D is equivalent in health benefits to full-spectrum sunshine that we have co-evolved with over millions of years.
In order for our bodies to naturally manufacture vitamin D, the UV index has to be a minimum of 3—and that still only gives you minimal production, not nearly enough to sustain the optimal level.
There are many other environmental factors that can inhibit our vitamin D production.
I see this all the time among clients who, despite their efforts to get outside, cannot get their levels above 30 ng/mL, which is the lowest threshold of sufficient vitamin D levels. (I recommend you get your levels checked at the end of each summer to ensure your vitamin D inventory is appropriately stocked for the upcoming, low-light winter months.)
We can easily build our vitamin D potential simply by being outside. Our magnificent control centre (our brain and endocrine system) also relies on the sun’s input of specific UV frequencies that we receive through cell receptors in our eyes and skin that tell our bodies to manufacture critical hormones like melatonin and testosterone. Full-spectrum light also drives the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine to inspire us to do what we love.
In conclusion, while exercise alone can bring us great joy and euphoric pleasure through moving our bodies and helping us get temporarily out of our left-brain monkey minds, it also matters where we do it.
Many of us don’t actively consider how much natural light exposure we get. In our love of convenience, technology, and comfort, we are being conditioned to also exercise indoors, even though most of us already spend too much time living and working in artificial blue light environments, which profoundly affect our circadian biology.
I find that exercising outside is the perfect ritual to recharge and detox my body from the everyday stresses of modern living. If we can exercise outside on a sunny day, then that is what I call a double recharge! Sunlight is the fuel we require for the quantum human vehicle to thrive.
*apologies in regards to the content of this article – I can’t remember if this is from several sources or a singular article. All words may not be my own.