As the days grow longer, the sunshine beckons us to spend more time outdoors. After weeks of staying in due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all ready to get out of our homes a bit more. Asstates start to re-open, keep in mind that the coronavirus still poses a threat, particularly for older Americans.
At Montereau, the safety of our residents and our team is our highest priority, so we recommend social-distancing and other common sense precautions throughout the warm summer season.
A healthy dose of sunshine
In recent years warnings about sun damage and skin cancer have caused many of us to eschew the sun’s ultraviolet rays. However, we all need some sunshine.
The National Institutes of Health advises that sunlight is needed to boost the body’s vitamin D supply and “most cases of vitamin D deficiency are due to lack of outdoor sun exposure.” Additionally, NIH reports that about 50 percent of all people worldwide — about 1 billion people — are affected by a vitamin D deficiency. They attribute this to reduced outdoor activity and environmental factors such as air pollution.
Sunshine is necessary for our bodies to metabolize vitamin D, which is critical for bone health and lowering risks for several chronic health conditions. Recommendations for time in the sun range from 10 to 30 minutes depending on skin type and health history. Ask your physician for personal guidance.
A healthy dose of sunshine can improve mood, improve sleep and lower blood pressure. According to Self magazine, “In a recent study, researchers noted that underexposure to sun carried significant risks, similar to smoking, obesity,and being sedentary. Other studies are noting sunshine's happy effect on mental health, better aging, and cardiovascular benefits.”
Of course, sun exposure can also cause skin cancer. So if you are outside for an extended time period you should wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 and don a hat, especially during the middle of the day.
5 ways to have fun in the sun
Going to the beach isn’t the only way to have fun in the sun. As you consider healthy ways to get a little more time outdoors, consider these options, which are all social-distancing friendly:
Not only will you enjoy the warmer weather, but you may incorporate more exercise and a new hobby into your routine. Remember to continue following state and local guidelines for COVID-19. Have fun and stay safe!
May 13, 2020