Why is safe and effective sun exposure so important? The sun is the BEST source of vitamin D! Although a lot of food contains vitamin D and other foods are now fortified with vitamin D, our bodies were made to get vitamin D from the main source, the sun! Most people find themselves deficient in vitamin D when only relying upon diet to be the main source. Vitamin D is made when cholesterol in our bodies is exposed to sunlight, specifically to the UVB rays. 

 Is it possible to get safe and effective sun exposure? Most of us typically run from the sun, while others tend to push the limits. Sun exposure in short periods is the safest and most effective way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. I am not throwing out the fact that sunscreen is important when being exposed to the sun. Hats and protective clothing are also helpful, especially when you might be exposed to the sun for longer periods of time. But the sun should NOT be feared! You can get safe and effective exposure by following these guidelines:

  1. Try to soak in the earliest morning sun! From sunrise to around 10 am is the best time to soak up the sun. The UVB rays are not as intense compared to noon to 3 pm.
  2. Aim for 10 - 30 minutes several times per week. Getting sun exposure often will help the body create vitamin D. 
  3. Let your skin turn pink. This might be a strange guideline, but a good way to know your body is absorbing vitamin D is to let it turn the slightest shade of pink.
  4. Expose most of your skin. Now if you are going to be out in the sun during peak hours, I do suggest wearing protective clothing and a hat, especially if you don't have access to shade. But if your sun exposure is going to be during the early morning hours, exposing as much of your skin as possible will help the body absorb as much vitamin D as possible.

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