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The Health Benefits of Spending Time in the Florida Sunshine

Posted by Frank Herold on July 12, 2021

One of the best things about Florida is having an abundance of sunny days. While we know that too much sun is not a good thing, there are some health benefits that we can soak in from the Florida sunshine.

1. Sunshine is a Natural Way to Get the Vitamin D We Need for Healthy Bodies 

We all need vitamin D to help our bodies stay healthy, and we must avoid a "Vitamin D Deficiency." The required amounts of vitamin D depend upon our age or if we may be at high risk for vitamin D deficiency. 

a. The Role of Vitamin D

We need calcium to keep our bones strong. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium, along with playing a "role in your nervous, muscle, and immune systems."

b. Ways to Get Vitamin D

There are a few ways that we get vitamin D. 

  • Supplemental Vitamin Intake (Best to seek physician advice.)
  • Eating Foods With Vitamin  D
  • Through Skin From Sun Exposure 

c. Age Dictates How Much Vitamin D is Needed

Depending upon our age, the required amount of vitamin D varies. As we age, it's harder for our bodies to produce the amount of vitamin D we need from sunlight exposure. It's good to follow up with our doctors to make sure we're getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D through sunlight and foods. It's possible that we may also need a supplement. 

d. Understanding How the Sun Helps Produce Vitamin D 

There is a bit of science behind the safest way to get our vitamin D from the sun. First of all, "this vitamin is made from cholesterol in your skin when it's exposed to the sun," specifically "sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) rays."

  • Midday is the best time. It's when the UVB rays are the strongest, and it doesn't take long to get the benefits of vitamin D production.
  • "Some scientists recommend exposing around a third of the area of your skin to the sun."
  • Lighter-skinned people can get sufficient exposure "10-30 minutes three times per week during the summer."
  • People with darker skin have more melanin pigments that naturally protect them from the sun's UV rays, and it takes "30 minutes to three hours longer to get sufficient vitamin D."

To get the best exposure for vitamin D, "apply sunscreen after 10-30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure," depending on skin sensitivity to the sun's rays." The most important thing is to avoid a sunburn with sufficient skin care for the Florida sun.

2. Sunshine Boosts our Moods by Increasing our Serotonin Level

Again, there is science behind the positive effect that sunshine has on our mood. Whether we experience sunlight or darkness, hormones release in our brains. While darkness triggers the release of melatonin that helps us sleep, the sunlight triggers the brain to release serotonin that helps "with boosting mood" and helps us "feel calm and focused."

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3. Morning Sunshine Helps Us to Sleep Better 

There is even science behind morning sunlight helping us sleep better. The first hour of your day is the time to enjoy the sunshine by taking in "between 30 and 45 minutes getting direct sunlight exposure into your eyes." It's the perfect time to walk or sit outside without the worry of intense sun exposure. Along with helping trigger our serotonin levels, we're also releasing the stress hormone cortisol.

4. A Little Florida Sunshine Goes a Long Way

It's great to think that we can take advantage of the Florida sunshine to benefit our health and well-being. The best part of it, it's free for the taking, and we don't have to do much to enjoy the benefits.

Get a taste of Florida sunshine at Jacaranda Trace in beautiful Venice, Florida. Contact us to speak with a member of our team who can answer any questions you may have about our community or schedule your own private tour today.

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Tags: Retirement Venice, Senior Living Florida, Retirement Community Venice, Independent Living Venice FL, senior living venice

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