Spring is here and it is great to start spending more time outside. There are many reasons why being outside is good for us, be it relaxation, exercise, time to recharge or time to unwind. We all know that being outside in nature is healthy, whether that involves taking a walk, flying a kite or working in the garden (my choice for the way to spend ‘quality time’). What ever the reason why we we enjoy being outside, the sunshine offers us a way to absorb Vitamin D naturally.
In fact, Dr. Andrew Weil’s web site (www.drweil.com) describes Vitamin D as the “sunshine vitamin” because our bodies synthesize this vitamin by exposure to sunlight. Dr. Weil lists five
reasons how this important hormone is used throughout the body:
- Helps to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.
- Assists in the absorption of calcium and promotes bone mineralization, which may prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis.
- Strengthens the immune system and protects against a number of serious diseases, including rickets and osteomalacia.
- May provide protection from hypertension, psoriasis and several autoimmune diseases (including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis).
- Plays a role in defending against cancer (studies link a deficiency of vitamin D to as many as 18 different cancers).
It is recommended to get 20 to 30 minutes of exposure to the sun’s light each day (depending upon your skin pigmentation). Take care to wear the proper clothing to avoid over exposure. Additional information on Vitamin D and to see if you are getting your share, check out Dr. Weil’s web site at:
So, the next time someone asks you why you are spending so much time in your garden, remind them that you are getting your daily dose of Vitamin D. Enjoy!