Sunshine Superstar

Submitted by ub on Tue, 05/18/2021 - 10:13

Get out, now that mask mandates are removed for most individuals who have been vaccinated, and who are enjoying the outdoors.

The Sun is the undisputed star of the Solar System. It is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma, heated to incandescence by nuclear fusion reactions in its core, radiating the energy mainly as visible light and infrared radiation. It is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth.

Therefore, the timing could not be better, considering the weather, so get out and breathe some fresh air and absorb the rays of sunshine.

Sunlight and darkness trigger the release of hormones in our brains. Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. At night, darker lighting triggers the brain to make another hormone called melatonin. This hormone is responsible for helping you sleep.

Finally, we should make an effort to get children, as well as adults of all ages to put down their smartphones, tablets or laptops and instead participate in a multitude of outdoor activities. 

Exposure to the ultraviolet-B radiation in the sun’s rays causes our body to create vitamin D. According to researchers, in a 30-minute period outdoors, people will make the following vitamin D levels:

  • 50,000 international units IUs in most light skinned people
  • 20,000 to 30,000 IUs in tanned folks
  • 8,000 to 10,000 IUs in dark skinned individuals

The vitamin D made thanks to the sun also plays a big role in our bone health. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to rickets in children and bone-wasting diseases like osteoporosis and osteomalacia. Other sunshine benefits will become apparent as we venture to step outside and get out for a while.