I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t feel better when the sun comes out – myself included. Sunlight immediately makes me feel more active, energetic, balanced and strengthened, and less nervous. Sunny days feel longer and, over the course of the year, the sun shows glorious yellows, oranges, and reds – warm colours that help reflect our inner glow. The sun is a symbol of positivity and energy. Like the sun, shining your light in the world is a selfless and yet nourishing act – giving and never asking for anything back. Your light is the seed of all life and creativity.
Many people I talk to identify with the feelings of low mood, sadness and even depression that come with the times of year where the sun is low in the sky, the days are short, and the darkness lingers. There’s even a name for that condition – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Its symptoms are fatigue, lowered motivation, sleepiness, increased appetite, weight gain, irritability and decreased sociability. So why is sunlight so important for your health, and in particular for helping you to feel and look younger for longer?
A study conducted by Karolinska University Hospital and Lund University in Sweden, which followed the sunlight behaviour of 29,518 women from 20 years. Has demonstrated that women who stay out of the sun live 0.6 to 2.1 years less than women who sunbathe regularly. It appears that moderate sun exposure can actually decrease the risk of heart disease and other non-cancer-related diseases – although we don’t yet fully understand why. Dr. Pelle Lindgyist, who ran the study, has said that avoiding the sun could have the same effect on your life expectancy as smoking: ‘We found smokers in the highest sun exposure group were at a similar risk as non-smokers who avoided sun exposure, indicating avoidance of sun exposure to be a risk factor of the same magnitude as smoking.’ While this sounds quite controversial, we should remember that there is no life on our planet without the sun. It is our energy source and avoiding it can create problems whereas exposing ourselves to it (un safe measure) fuels us up with its goodness. The happy, healthy glow that many of us have after a holiday in the sun is testament to this.
This is an excerpt taken from Living Forever Young by Skip Archimedes, publishing this June by Watkins Publishing Ltd.