The sun makes life on earth possible. Without the sun, there’d be no way for plants to photosynthesize, and the earth would freeze and instantly become uninhabitable.
The sun is important for human life, too. For thousands of years, humans have worshiped the sun and created solar architecture as a tribute to the sun and its healing benefits.
But today, most people seem to have forgotten how important the sun is to our health, wellbeing, and energy. Many folks work in offices or behind desks during the day and, in the winter months, many people are at work from sunrise to sunset.
Failing to get enough sunlight is a recipe for disaster — both for your physical health and energy. Fortunately, this is a misstep that can quickly be resolved, meaning you can start enjoying the healing benefits of nature
and the sun today.
Health and the Sun
The sun provides us with an all-important health vitamin: vitamin D. Vitamin D
is essential for bone health and helps fight off conditions like osteoporosis and rickets. Getting enough vitamin D may also reduce your chances of heart diseases and cancer, too. Despite this, 41% of Americans don’t get enough vitamin D (around 600 IUs a day).
Now, it is possible to supplement vitamin D and supplementation may be necessary if you live in a dark climate during the winter. However, getting your vitamin D straight from the sun is always the best approach as you’ll also get to enjoy the healing benefits of nature
at the same time.
You can double down on the health and energy benefits of the sun by completing light exercise while you enjoy the sunshine. Activities like Tai Chi and yoga provide a gentle, yet engaging exercise that tests the body while stimulating your mind. If this sounds overwhelming, you can keep it simple and go for a mindful walk in the sun — try to pay attention to the feeling of the sun as you walk and notice how your energy seems to rise as you spend time in its rays.
Getting Outdoors During the Workday
Most people want to spend more time outside, but can’t due to work commitments or other responsibilities. However, even if you are stuck in a 9 - 5, it’s still possible to get out and benefit from the energy healing power of the sun.
Start by making the sun part of your daily habits. You wouldn’t skip brushing your teeth or drinking water, so think of the sun in the same way. Even a few minutes spent bathing in the sun before or after work can give you the boost you need to make it through the day and live with increased energy.
If you have the luxury of working from home, you may want to build an outdoor office space. You’ll want to set up shop in a shaded area to ensure that you don’t become sunburnt or suffer from heatstroke, but it’s that much easier to get from your desk to the sun if you’re already outside. You needn’t break the budget, either. Most outdoor home offices require little more than a wifi-extender and a parasol to create your productive outdoor space.
Spending time in the sun is intoxicating. Sometimes you only mean to pop out for a quick sunbathe, but end up spending half an hour or more relaxing in the warm rays. This is a testament to the healing power of the sun and could be a sign that you need to unplug to recharge your mental battery
However, if you do want to spend more time outdoors, you’re going to need to look after your health. In particular, you need to make up for the fact you will sweat a little more when soaking up the sun.
You can maintain your health and avoid dehydration by drinking more plain water and eating fruits and vegetables like cucumber, watermelon, or citruses which have high amounts of water. While there is no universal recommendation for the amount of water you drink, it’s always a good idea to bump up your water consumption slightly when spending time outside.
Sunburn is more than just painful — it’s also terrible for your health. When you get sunburnt, there’s a good chance you’ll develop conditions like heat stroke. Repeatedly getting burnt may also increase your chances of developing serious health conditions like skin cancer.
Fortunately, the answer to sunburn is simple: sit in broken shade. Broken shade — like the patchy shade offered by trees — is perfect for sunbathing with sensitive skin as you’ll still get some of the sun’s healing rays without overexposing yourself and putting yourself at risk of illnesses and diseases.
Humans have worshiped the sun for thousands of years — and for good reason. The sun can raise your energy and improve your overall well-being. However, before you fall asleep outside on a warm summer's day, make sure you choose a patch of broken shade and pack plenty of water to keep yourself healthy and happy while taking in the rays.