The Sun. It's not just for Vitamin D anymore.
Get out in the sun without sunscreen! Yep I said it. Exposing your skin to the sun’s rays for just 10 min a day can boost your mood and immune system, increase metabolism, decrease inflammation, reduce appetite and will even help you sleep better! But you need the sun’s full spectrum to get the full benefit. So no sunscreen. Just make sure not to burn. As long as you limit exposure to 10-15 min a day you likely won’t burn especially in the winter months when the sun is further away from the earth. I’m sure you’ve heard of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is a real thing. And even if you haven’t been diagnosed or feel severe symptoms, if you live north of Mexico or anywhere in Europe, you are likely experiencing some effects of the shorter days and weaker rays. You may notice effects like fatigue, being prone to colds, or weight gain. Even skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis can be attributed to increased inflammation and lack of sunlight.
I know because I live in Ohio, it’s tough to find the sun this time of year. So what can you do about it? Well first of all, take advantage of any bit of sun when you can. If you are in my neck of the woods, today was the day! Even on a cloudy day as it so often is in winter in the Midwest, just getting outside, especially in the morning for a 10-15 min walk or jog can help. Try building this into your daily routine. Think of it as self-care with a sprinkling of energy management. It’s a basic bio-hack that will get you real results at no cost. If you want to go a more expensive, tech route, consider getting a UVB lamp. Personally I’ve had my eye on a UVB lamp like this, not to get a tan, but to enjoy more of the natural benefits of light this time of year when sun is a precious commodity. Drop me a note if you have any experience with these lamps. I’d love to hear about it so I can share with my clients!
One other biohacking tip for you. I’ve been doing this for the past few months. I bought a 500 watt halogen shop light for $20 at the local hardware store. It’s so bright and warm, and perfect for cold, dark winter days. The bright light signals to my body and brain that it is in fact daytime, even when it may not look like it outside. It keeps me energized and productive during the day and takes a bit of the chill off my big, old, and cold house. Try it, and message me if you have other tips I should know about!
Happy January :)