Healthy Aging For Baby Boomers
 

Sunlight Friend Or Foe


Sunlight Friend Or Foe. Perhaps one of the most unacknowledged healing tools is sunlight. When we are children, we often spend a great deal of time outdoors.

However, as we age, life and responsibilities take over, and we spend more time indoors taking care of them. However, sun exposure has been a natural treatment for all sorts of medical issues throughout history, and taking some time to get outside can help keep you feeling young.

Sunlight can be particularly helpful in improving your mood. Exposure to sunlight causes your body to produce more serotonin, which is the chemical that stimulates the pleasure center in your brain. This naturally improves your mood.

As we age, it is important to get enough sunlight exposure, especially during the winter months. Sunlight also is crucial in creating vitamin D in our bodies. Vitamin D can help prevent and treat breast cancer, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, and more.

The best source is gotten from the synthesis by ultraviolet light in the skin, and you can get most of your daily requirements just from a little time outdoors! Breast cancer is a health concern for all women. A study done at the Northern California Cancer center found that casual exposure to sunlight can reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 65%.

Even the lower number of 25% that the study found would mean that getting some time outdoors could save around 44,000 women from the disease. Osteoporosis happens when bone mass is lost because calcium is not absorbed properly. This causes an increased risk of bones breaking all around the body, and is mostly an issue for women who have reached menopause.

A lack of Vitamin D means that calcium will not be absorbed properly. Prostate cancer is one of the leading killers of senior men. However, fewer cases are found among men who live in warmer climates, and research suggests that this may be because they are outside more, and therefore producing more vitamin D.   

Center For Healthy Aging Behavioral Health

Some doctors that specialize in aging insist our hormones can be adjusted to offset the effects of aging. Doctors are beginning to link the human growth shortage with aging signs. As we age, we lose lean body mass, strength, and bone density. Patients who do not make enough human growth hormone have an increased risk of heart disease, vascular problems, and an increased risk of cancer.

Sunlight has also been shown to help with athletic achievement. It is not unusual to have more energy during the summer months when there is more sunlight to be had. Studies of athletes have shown that sunlight can help enhance the performance and limit the number of injuries, while shortening the recovery time for injuries that did happen.

When it works this well for athletes, it would only make sense that spending some time outdoors is good for all of us. Obviously, there is also such a thing as getting too much sun. When outdoors, especially in direct sunlight, take care not to get overheated. Take plenty of water with you, and make sure to take plenty of rest breaks to avoid overtiring yourself.

Pets are great for companionship as we get older. Having someone who depends on us, helps us stay young and alert. They can also be a great source of joy, and entertainment, as well as giving us the chance to get some exercise.

In summer months when the heat is high, consider making your outdoor time part of your early morning routine before it gets too warm. Also, when going outside for extended periods of time, take care to use sun protection to avoid burning and causing sun damage to your skin. Always consult your doctor before taking up a new routine.

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