No Need for Fear Of The Sun

by R Long
February 16, 2019

There is no need for fear of the sun but I have never been a sun worshipper. I just hated sitting in the sun and getting hot and sticky. Remember when everyone would sit out in the sun with the baby oil and foil shields held up to their face to get the full effects? Our skin burned but back then we thought it was worth it. Boy, were we wrong! Today we are told our age spots are an effect of too much sun on our faces. If only they had told us then. but we probably would not have listened.

The beach was another issue. The sun in your face with the taste of salt in your mouth was invigorating. We wore sunscreen because it was the thing to do. Of course, every time you took a dip in the water, more sunscreen was required. We always walked down to the pier dragging our feet through the sand. The car sure was a mess when we got home. But definitely worth it!

Sunlight is Positive

Today is another story. I wonder if in another 50 years, the scientists will reverse all their postulates again. As a matter of fact, they even admit it (partially) now. The new theory is that some sun is good for you. If you never get any sun you will miss out on the sun’s healthy qualities. Just 20 minutes of sun each day on your skin (no sunscreen) and in your eyes (no sunglasses) can make a positive difference in your health.

The sun will:

  • Boost testosterone
  • Create Vitamin D
  • Improve your mood
  • Lower stress
  • Increase blood flow
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce inflammation

This is not to say that you should stay in the sun unprotected all day. That is definitely a no-no. Be responsible. Sunburns are bad for you but a little bit of sunshine is good for you. There is no need for fear of the sun.

Types of UV Light

There are three types of UV (ultraviolet) light. They are defined by their wavelengths. UVC light has the shortest wavelength and is the most dangerous to us. The shorter the wavelength, the higher the amount of energy that light contains. We have no need to be concerned with UVC as it is completely blocked by the atmosphere of our earth.

UVB light has a medium wavelength. Most of that light is also filtered out by our atmosphere. However, what does get in is responsible for delayed tanning and also for our sunburns. This will not help with anti-aging and unfortunately promotes the development of skin cancers. Even on a cloudy day some of the UVB will reach the earth. Ouch!

That leaves the UVA light which does reach the surface of our planet. The strength of the rays hitting the earth are different depending on the time of the year and the time of the day. These are the long-wavelength rays.

They are not the most dangerous to our skin but the rays do penetrate our atmosphere and are not good for us. This is the type of UV light that we have been told to avoid. Too much UVA light will destroy our anti-aging efforts and is the cause of our wrinkles.

This does not mean you should completely avoid the sun’s rays. Some are good for you. Don’t be a sun worshipper but to have a fear of the sun and completely avoid it is also not good.  Moderation in everything we do is the key. The sun is shining so I am going to go for a walk and make some vitamin D. I will meet you on the way back.

Read more on Guide for Seniors about items of interest to the senior community.

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