2005-08-05 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

By Dr. Nancy Gahles

DR. Nancy gahlesDR. Nancy gahles Sunshine has been much maligned, in my opinion. Sunscreen, sunblock, sun damage.

We don’t seem to hear about the goodness of the sun. The beautiful, bright warming rays of the sun. That same sunshine that brings a smile to people’s faces as they bask in it. Sunshine seems to relax one in it’s warmth. Sunshine gives us more hours in the day to be outdoors. It gives us an opportunity to go outdoors for a walk, a bike ride or a stroll on the boardwalk. Sunshine gives us food from above that allows our garden to grow. Fresh vegetables for the table, or to grill outside with friends. Fresh flowers blooming in our yards and gracing our porches make one smile as we step outdoors.

The truth is that the sun is healthy for us. Sunlight on our skin produces Vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient for us.

Many people become deficient in this vitamin due to lack of exposure to the sun. This is a particular problem in Canada where there are long winter months and not enough sunlight hours.

The month of August is upon us. I would suggest that you take advantage of this time by basking in the sun at the times and in the way that is most beneficial and least harmful to you. Rising early and doing your gardening or taking your walk in the early morning hours is a good idea. Expose your skin to the sun before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m.

Always wear a hat with a brim to keep the sun off your face and limit your exposure to no more than 20 minutes at a time.

After those precautions, wear light, protective clothing that will keep the sun off your body and try to stay out of the direct rays of sunlight.

Of course, use your common sense.

If you have a history of cancer, stay out of the sun and dress protectively. Follow your doctor’s advice. Moderation is always the key.

Let the radiance of each day be a reflection of your own inner light and be happy!! May The Blessings Be!

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