The National Center for Health Data statistics indicates that as of 2012 almost 1 in 3 Americans were low in Vitamin D, which is needed for healthy bones. Due to the low volume of foods that naturally produce vitamin D salmon, and other cold water oily fish, we see Vitamin D added to foods where it is less bioavailable than that produced ourselves. It is produced by the body in a complex process that starts when rays in the invisible UVB part of the light spectrum are absorbed by the skin.The liver, and kidneys, are involved in the steps that eventually result in a bioavailable form of the vitamin that the body can use.
According to the Harvard Medical Healthbeat "the temperature of our skin is a deciding factor in how effectively we make and utilize vitamin D. Warm skin produces vitamin D more effectively than cool skin." So, on hot sunny days you are putting more vitamin D in your body's bank.
Extensive and numerous research studies suggest that vitamin D can help prevent everything from osteoporosis to autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and much more. So geting out in the sun for as little as 5-30 minutes a day can help our bodies produce what it needs to move towards optimal health.
In my desire to wring every drop of summer fun from August, I have to remember that opportunities for outdoor play and vitamin D production are around every corner. Thinking outside the box and planning for fun can run the gamut from a mountain top lavender fest with a walking labrynth to a day kayak trip up the Wakusa River or a gentle stroll through our neighborhood art festival.
Late summer urges me to stretch my muscles, brave the heat and strengthen my bones.