Three quarters of US adults and teens are too low in Vitamin D, research published in Scientific American says. I got myself tested prior to this experiment, and I’m also below the minimal amounts that one needs.
We get this vitamin partly from our diet but mainly from sunlight. Assuming hunter-gatherers were outdoors more than most modern day people are, I don’t think Wilma would be low in vitamin D. So I need to do something.
What’s so bad about a vitamin D deficiency?
I think my deficiency was caused by wearing SPF 30 all year (I tend to overdo things, as you might have noticed). But isn’t that supposed to protect you against skin cancer?
Well yes. But the irony is that while I was trying to protect myself from getting skin cancer, I was increasing my chance of getting several kinds of other cancer, such as breast cancer. Other risks of being low in vitamin D include:
-Mental health conditions (including schizophrenia)
and some other conditions.
So how long does one need to be outside to prevent this?
I found something really cool. This webpage enables you to calculate the sun exposure that you need on a certain day, based on where you live, what the weather is like today (cloudy?), your skin type etc. I did it for myself today and it turned out to be 20 minutes (without sunscreen). So you definately don’t need to be outside for 5 hours a day.
Hey Wilma, are you just making up rules to have fun?
To some of you being outside for more hours might sound pretty good. But there’s a tricky side. I’m not having a camping holiday at the moment. I actually need to do my job, and writing articles for magazines means at least some use of a laptop. I don’t own a garden. Also, I can’t use sunscreen so I need to protect myself in another way.
So let´s see what happens this week.
Question to you: are there other healthy sides to being outside apart from getting Vitamin D?