So, now that we know that it is OK to soak up a few rays, what is the best method to do it safely?  Well, here is Dr. Holick’s formula from, The Vitamin D Solution:

  1. Calculate how long it would take your body to get a mild pinkness from sunning.
  2. Without applying sunscreen, expose your arms and legs for 25-50% of that length of time.
  3. After getting this amount of sun exposure, apply a sunscreen or cover up with clothing.
  4. Repeat this method two to three times a week to have adequate Vitamin D stores.

There are a few things to note with this method.  First, it is perfectly fine to NOT EXPOSE your face if you are fearful of getting wrinkles. Your face only has 9% of the skin on your body.  So, feel free to safeguard your youthful looks.

Second, contrary to current viewpoints, IT IS SAFE TO GET A TAN.  A tan protects you from sunburn.  Sunburns are connected to melanoma.  It is much more dangerous to avoid the sun than it is to get sensible exposure.  In actuality, you are LESS likely to get a malignant melanoma if you get regular sun exposure than if you don’t.

Finally, we aren’t actually in a skin cancer epidemic. What is happening is that people don’t build up their resistance to sunburns in the form of tanned skin in our current society.  So, when they spend their two weeks of vacation each year laying out all day at the beach, they get burned.  That burn is what will probably give them skin cancer. Ironically, the less time we spend in the sun as a work force, the more we hear about skin cancer.

So, if you are like me and you seem to crave the sun, feel free to indulge.  Use some wisdom but enjoy a little “baking.”  It may do you a world of good. 🙂

(photo credit: http://www.healthcare4me.net)
(This post is part of Monday Mania at http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com)
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