Just like plants, you need sun 🌞

Damn the fog!

Since last October, the Northwest winter has been long, dark, rainy—and did I say dark? I’ve managed the darkness by remembering that every region has its disadvantages. And winter is an important part of the plant cycle.

Still, on some 3 pm walks, I thought a headlamp wouldn’t be out of place!

Last week I was thrilled when the perky forecasters and weather apps promised us a week of sunshine. Hurray, hurray.

But no… we’ve been mostly socked in with can’t-see-down-the-street-fog.

I took it personally. I felt stood up by the sun.

But daylight is more than personal.

It’s not just my personality that misses out on sunshine. Our bodies, emotions, and more benefit from seeing our closest star.

You’ve probably heard that sunlight is important to make Vitamin D. Vitamin D builds healthy bones; regulates many cellular functions; and provides anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective support for immune health, muscle function and brain cell activity. All worth a few sun-filled moments!

Sunlight also has a host of benefits, such as:

  • Increasing your serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences mood, digestion, sleep, and cardiovascular function.

  • Setting your daily circadian rhythm by reducing the hormone melatonin, which increases it at night, when it helps with rest and sleep.

  • Creating an environment of heat and humidity to reduce viral load reproduction.

  • Providing antibacterial UV exposure, and increasing resistance to infection.

  • Helping wound healing and pain management with the infrared wavelength.

  • Reducing risk of breast, ovarian, colon, pancreatic, prostate cancers (they’re more prevalent in places with less sun).

  • Supporting brain functions from wavelengths found in natural sunlight.

  • And much more.

You don’t need to risk a sunburn to connect to the sun.

Just 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure is a good place to start. Of course, it depends on sun intensity and more. (To track all that, you can use apps like DMinder.)

If you simply get out of the house, move and connect with the natural sunlit world itself, you’ll already reap benefits.

I bundled up in the foggy weather and walked, while muttering my dismay. Even the cloud-obscured light made a difference, I felt much better on my return home.

But I have to say, today when the sun broke through, it was more fun.

Happy trails!

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