Is Winter Sun Good For You?

More information showing positive reasons for spending a reasonable amount of time in the sun keeps coming in.

To protect our skin from sun burn

The health benefits are apparent for humans and their well-being. My Grandmother was right about needing some sun to shine on her body. She spent as much time as she could, after being admitted to the nursing home, sitting in front of a window.

However, most windows allow the UVA to come through. Remember UVA is the set of rays that age your skin. The UVB, the ones that help your Vitamin D? About 75 % will filter out. The window will allow about 25% of the good rays from the sun. That same window will allow 100% of the aging rays to get through.

The positive effect of the sun on your skin and your overall health is important. Maybe we need to rethink this business of how we stay out of the sun completely.

As with most things, the key is moderation. Some sun may be good for you. Too much isn’t.

In central Texas, where I live, having your lunch on a park bench in the sun could be an excellent idea from mid-November through till the last of April. Twenty or so minutes of sun several times a week might be just what your body needs for better overall health.

After reading about the study pinpointing some positive effects the sun could have on your weight, I began to search for other good things from the sun. Even a wintertime vacation that gets you out in the sun is good if you have a plan to protect your skin.

Winter Sun For Vitiman D

The sunshine, winter, or summer can provide 90% of the vitamin D you need. Vitamin D helps protect our bodies from disease. This vitamin also slows the aging process.

It only takes 20 minutes a day in the winter sun to be enough for your health needs. Very few of us will burn in that short of time. If you are in the higher risk group, you know that you need some sunscreen on your face.

However, your arms and legs can still make the vitamin you need. Just think about your personal risk factors and use common sense caution.

So you are getting a low dose of healthy sunlight on your skin for reasonable minutes a day, several days a week? How are you liking the soft tan on your face?

If you have tanned a lot for years, you may want to not risk more sun on your face. You may need to use some sunscreen and wear a sun hat.

Vitamin D Health Benefits Of Sun Exposure

Twelve healthy volunteers agreed to take a simple blood test. This was a group of women who worked together.

The results surprised the casual research group that initiated the test. It was discovered that we were all low in Vitamin D. This important nutrient could be vital for safeguarding our bodies against a number of serious illnesses.

Research tells us that even if we take supplemental amounts of vitamin D it’s almost impossible to eat enough vitamin D to keep levels up unless we get into the sun!

It has been found that getting some Vitamin from the sun makes all the other parts of our body that need Vitamin D function better.

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones Growing kids, and senior adults need to be very aware of Vitamin D through sunlight.

If you have low levels of this important vitamin as your get older, you are risking bone thinning. It was this fact that worried the female doctors working with this study the most.

Now there is increasing evidence concerning a link with breast cancer. In one review of these studies, women with the highest levels of vitamin D were 50-70% less likely to have the link that is found with breast cancer than those with the lowest levels.

More Ways Our Bodies Use Vitamin D

Heart disease and depression were found in study participants more often when lower levels of Vitamin A were present in their blood.

So, low blood levels of Vitamin A are a concern for being a warning that other parts of the body may not work as they should. A simple fix of reasonable sunlight exposure to make your body healthy is something you can do.

Several studies have shown the antidepressant effect of vitamin D through sun exposure, leading to mood improvement. Zayed University’s College of Sustainability Sciences and Humanities explained that if you improve your vitamin D level, you will improve your mood.

Better Sleep

I read a report in US Health that suggested going outside in the sunlight in the mornings would help your body quit producing Melatonin which makes you get sleepy in the evenings, ready for sleep. Just 20 minutes is all it takes and is a natural way to feel better and more alert.

This will help your body clock recognize that it’s time to produce it again when it gets dark outside. Our lives are less defined by sleeping and waking times than in the past. You being aware of how the sunlight can help will help you keep better waking and sleeping habits.

I do know that this doesn’t seem too important for you now, but as time goes by, it will become more important. Awareness is the principal thing behind this article. Hopefully, the healthy habits that work for keeping your body healthy will be easier for you to keep.

Do You Need To Maintain A Lower Blood Pressure?

If you have high blood pressure, exposure to UV rays could help. A study by the University of Edinburgh found that the sun can lower blood pressure for some.

Results showed that blood pressure levels dropped significantly for one hour after some sun on their bodies, for two 20-minute sessions. This is where we get in trouble is limiting the sun time to two 20 minute sunshine exposure times.

This is what makes sun blocking clothing so helpful. You can do the early part of your walk with full sun shining on you. After 15 or 20 minutes, put on your long sleeve loose fitting sun blocking shirt and hat. There are so many ways to stay protected from the sun and stay comfortable as well.

Remember, if you are going to be out with your skin exposed for more than 20 minutes, make sure you protect your skin.  Your awareness should help you to avoid sunburn and skin cancer.

Vitamin D And Weight Control

Do you enjoy winter? We have another reason for you to bask in the sunshine. According to a recent study, our fat cells are sensitive to sunlight. When I saw those words the question of do how “sensitive fat cells” react to the sun? Maybe that is why I still have so many!

Reading farther I found out that sitting in the sun can reduce fat cells! Reduced sunshine can lead to weight gain!

The study has shown our fat cells, just the ones that lie right beneath our skin shrink when exposed to the blue light from the sun’s rays.

“When the sun’s blue light wavelengths, the light we can see with your eye, penetrate your skin and reach the fat cells just beneath, lipid droplets reduce in size. These clear drplets are released out of the cell.”

“In other words, our cells don’t store as much fat,” said Peter Light, senior author of the study.

“If you flip our findings around, the insufficient sunlight exposure we get eight months of the year living in a northern climate may be promoting fat storage and contribute to the typical weight gain some of us have over winter,” he added.

Light cautions the finding is only an initial observation and that pursuing exposure to sunlight is not a safe or recommended way to lose weight.

“For example, we don’t yet know the intensity and duration of light necessary for this pathway to be a useable process, at this point.”

“However, he added the novel discovery opens up new avenues of future scientific exploration. This could someday lead to pharmacological or light-based treatments for obesity and other related health issues such as diabetes.”

“Maybe this mechanism contributes to setting the number of fat cells we produce in childhood. These are thought to stay with us into adulthood,” he speculated.

“Obviously, there is a lot of literature out there suggesting our current generation will be more overweight than their parents. Maybe this feeds into the debate about what healthy sunshine exposure is.”

Will This Research Help With Weight Control?

Researchers at Edinburgh and Southampton Universities recently found that exposure to UV rays helped release nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide is a protein that slows the development of obesity and types 2 diabetes.

“It was serendipitous,” said Light. “We noticed the reaction in human tissue cells in our negative control experiments, and since there was nothing in the literature, we knew it was important to investigate further.”

Based on the finding, the fat cells we store near our skin may be a peripheral biological clock, said Light.

“Its early days, but it’s not a giant leap to suppose that the light that regulates our circadian rhythm, received through our eyes, may also have the same impact through the fat cells near our skin.”

He explained that the molecular pathway they discovered was first identified as being activated by the eye when exposed to the blue wavelengths in sunlight.

“That’s why you should not look at digital devices before bed because they emit the same blue light the sun does, that signals us to wake up,” Light states.

“Well, perhaps that pathway, the exposure to sunlight that directs our sleep-wake patterns, may also act in a sensory manner. Perhaps the pathway is setting the amount of fat humans will burn depending on the season. You gain weight in the winter, and then burn it off in the summer.”

“This could be an evolutionary process. Consider the fact that, unlike many other mammals, our fat is all over our bodies just underneath our skin,” he says.

The study has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

We will need to watch for more news of this sun burning fat information.

Learn How To Protect Your Skin
Sami’s Take on “Is Winter Sun Good For You?”

Winter sun can be a safe way to help our bodies stay healthy. Ignore winter sun? Not me. You will get sun damage that will include early aging, even in the winter.

Wearing sun blocking clothing can be an easier way to protect your skin in the cooler months of the year. Being able to get your Vitamin D, and have the benefits from this in your daily life will make your life more pleasant and enjoyable.

As lifestyles change and we find ourselves living differently from our parents, we can be able to activitly choose healthier habits for ourselves. Will the sun play an important part in a healthy weight? Maybe for maintaining dibeaties? So much left to find out about.

Sunlight is better than depending on chemicals in medications. I hope that you will take what information you may find here and think about the information. Become aware. Figure out for yourself the best path for you and your family to stay safe in the sun.


The information shared here is for your information only. Any questions about how the winter sun can help you should be discussed with your Doctors. Medical knowledge is to help you know about things being researched and early conclusions.

Please become more aware and stay safe. Learn to rely on your own judgment about how to stay safe from the sun.

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