This month the “land of smiles” will see throngs of foreign visitors flow into its lush green borders.  A land surrounded by incredible mountainous plateaus in the North. Sprawling rice fields along the countryside welcome you in the North East region. A hurried metropolis in the Central Region, namely Bangkok and spectacular limestone karsts bursting skyward from the Andaman Sea in the South. People with pasty skin can be found trying to escape, for as long as possible, the chilling temperatures of their homelands of Europe, Scandinavia, North America and beyond. During this time of the year, temperatures are receding and there is no better treat than to be able to experience warm weather as you play or simply lay on the beach. The beaches in the Southern portions of Thailand will be sprinkled with more than frolicking sand crabs constructing their makeshift kingdoms below the sandy shores. Soon we will see bodies of all shapes and sizes clinching a beach mat and seizing a cozy little piece of paradise to cordon off as their own.  However, travelers beware, as amazing as Thailand is, you must be aware of the sun shining down over these amazing shores. It may appear to look like the same old sun that you are familiar with in your nation. Yet, Southern Thailand is only about 500 miles away from the equator. The equator receives a higher intensity of sunlight and the rays of the sun remain more focused on this area. We can be safe to conclude that as you remain exposed to these very same rays, then you too will experience more sunlight intensity. Being aware of this is your first line of defense to prevent you from over exposure to “Mother Sun”.  It also postures you on the offense, which will enable you to both warm your body and your heart in land of the free, Thailand.

We don’t need to shun the sun but we need to understand it. We also need to understand how the sun and our skin work together. The sun in itself is the source of most everything that lives, breathes or has its being through the process of photosynthesis. Throughout history, the sun is being referenced as far back in the times when ancient Greeks and Romans worshipped this blazing sphere. Too, so highly exalted was the sun that it has been given the day we know as the first day of the week; Sunday. The sun offers great health and nutrition benefits to our body. As the sun beats down on our skin, incredible things begin to happen. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the sun, I feel rejuvenated. There are clinical studies that show that sun exposure helps in dealing with depression. The sun raises our core body temperature which increases healthy cell function and higher energy. This in turn helps our natural detoxification functions.

The skin itself is the largest organ of our body. Most know that the skin produces Vitamin D when exposed to proper amounts of direct sunlight. There are added blessings given to us by the sun. Sun exposure is now known to increase energy and lift our mood, through creating endorphins. Also, it helps in curing many skin diseases, reducing the pain of fibromyalgia as well as providing a glowing tan.

The concerns looming over the sun and its over exposure are the risk of getting skin cancers.  This is something that we cannot avoid hearing about as it is propagated throughout our world today. Let me share with you a few ways that we can learn to avoid getting skin cancers without having to avoid the sun.

How to shun the sun and still reap its benefits:

  • When the sun is shining (preferably in the earlier morning hours to start), expose your body between ten and fifteen minutes of direct sunlight. Expose as much of your skin as possible, as this will allow your body to naturally produce more Vitamin D.
  • Avoid over extended periods of time in the sun, especially on large portions of your body. If you know that you will be in the sun for long periods of time, prepare clothing to stay covered.
  • Avoid direct sunlight between the hours of 10:00am – 3:00pm until you have a tan (which is part of nature’s sun screen). Sun’s rays are the strongest between these hours.  Exposure for short periods of time are okay, but not for over extended periods without protection.
  • Avoid getting a sun burn, it does more than just age the skin.
  • Avoid chemical based sunscreens and remember, many of these chemicals are considered toxins and not part of our healthy equation.
  • Drink fresh carrot juice, coupled with sunlight to aid the body in producing healthy Vitamin D.
  • Use ‘sun sense’, if you feel you’ve had too much sun, you probably have. Drink lots of water when in the sun, stay hydrated (remember the second most important need of the human body; water).

by Zina Docto

Zina is the founder of “i AM WOMAN”: Educating woman to discover their health and beauty from the inside out: overcome weight issues, sickness and disease.

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