It’s a warm day at the local high school where I come to train in almost-full-body sun. Today is the day after Thanksgiving in Boulder, Colorado, and it is bone-dry and no snow on the ground. So, why not take advantage of another global warming day and test these bad boy “rings of vitality” before I head south to the equator to do further research on the health benefits of the sun (photobiology). Most people take the sun rising everyday for granted and do not appreciate the full extent of the complex, information-packed data it provides to your body and the entire ecosystem. When it comes to vitality, being disease-free and recovering faster from exercise, there is no pill, food or any new product trend that matches the quantum healing properties of the sun! How can one compete with the four-and-half billion year-old star that gives rise to all life on this planet through photosynthesis? It makes sense why all advanced ancient cultures, like the Egyptians who built the pyramids of Giza, worshiped the Sun as a god they called Ra.
First lets define your light environment. Where you live, work and exercise determines how much and what kind of spectrum of light you are receiving on a daily basis, and not all light frequencies are created equal! Your light environment has a profound effect on your circadian biology — the intricate interplay of hormones that regulate sleep, mood, blood sugar, sex drive, fertility and metabolism.
Your light-and-dark cycles are what determines how well your circadian clock is functioning, setting the rhythm for these hormonal fluctuations throughout the day. If this sounds like some kind of New Age concept around health, it’s not! Medicine is just now catching up to what the animal kingdom has known all along: how the light environment affects mating season (longer days in the spring activate sex hormones), how fast your metabolism is (based on seasonal food availability), how much sleep you need (hint: you need more in the winter) are all tied to your light environment. In October 2017, the Nobel Prize for Medicine went to three researchers for discovering how circadian rhythms regulate our biology and play a crucial role in health. To give a few examples, your light environment has a profound affect on your exercise recovery speed, energy level and overall feeling of well-being, but most people are not aware of how these factors affect your vitality, strength and being disease-free. I am sure everyone is familiar with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or with importance of vitamin D. SAD is not just a vitamin D deficiency, but an indicator of what kind of light environment you are spending most of your time in. Some people are affected by SAD much more than others, which goes to show that everyone’s environmental light requirements are different, since each of us has a unique geographical ancestry DNA code. Other critical factors are age, health status, work and living environment, which all play a role in determining the ideal amount and spectrum of light that is required to have optimal health.
Vitamin D activates the innate immune system, inhibiting over 165 diseases like cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS). Where there are sub-optimal vitamin D levels, you will find some kind of modern-day disease – there is a direct correlation! While Colorado gets 300 days of sunshine, the intensity of the UV light during the winter months is not high enough to maintain your body’s own mechanism of vital vitamin D production in the skin. As a matter of fact, approximately 50%-70% of the US population are deficient in vitamin D, depending on the demographic. Among the elderly in Denver, where the sun shines year around, the deficiency levels are even higher! Winter sports enthusiasts are under the false impression that one can manufacture vitamin D while skiing or running covered up. On top of that, there are widespread misconceptions that run deep in our society about how sun causes skin cancer, which makes people lather on toxic sunscreen. Boulder is no different in that respect: where I work – a trendy integrated Pharmacy (Pharmaca) that offers prescriptions and vitamins – customers believe that a synthetic vitamin D manufactured from lamb skin is equivalent what is made in our skin under the full-spectrum rays from a 4.5 billion year-old star.
The pill form is void of the approximately trillions of electromagnetic frequencies from the sun, which is responsible for supporting all of life on this planet! Think of the sun as an infinite power generator that recharges your human battery (endocrine system), via the eyes and the skin. We all have special photoreceptors in the retina of the eye that are intelligently wired to interpret and decode the electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) that the sun provides. The body’s conversion of the sun spectrum data (including visible, infrared and high-frequency, short-wavelength UV range) activates over 2,000 genes. Unfortunately, most people are under the false impression that the pill form of vitamin D is equivalent in health benefits to the full effects of full-spectrum sunshine that we have co-evolved with over millions of years. Now there are studies showing that vitamin D deficiencies among pregnant mothers happen even when supplemented with oral form of vitamin D. Is it just me, or does anyone else notice how ridiculous and arrogant modern science has become in its attempt to outsmart nature’s intelligence and try to package it into a pill? Or perhaps man has given too much blind trust to government, medicine, science, chemical, drug and food industries?
This winter I head South where the UV index is high throughout the year, versus in the Northern Hemisphere where the angle of the sun (and therefore UV index) is low in the winter season below 30 degrees. Here is a picture of the UV index in Boulder back in October, before winter solstice. Boulder, CO, boasts 300 days of sunshine, but during November through February the maximum UV index is only 3, versus 12 or 13 during the summer months.
In order to manufacture vitamin D the UV index has to be a minimum of 3, and that only gives you very minimal D production, not enough to sustain the optimal level. In reality it is even harder to maintain healthy vitamin D levels, since there are many environmental factors that can be inhibiting your vitamin D production. I see this all the time among clients who despite their efforts to get outside cannot get their levels above 30 ng/mL, which is the lowest threshold of sufficient D levels. And I can assure you that there is a direct correlation between every disease, such as obesity, diabetes, MS, etc., and low vitamin D levels.
I recommend you get your levels checked after every summer to ensure your vitamin D inventory is stocked up for the upcoming low-light winter months.
While exercise brings us great joy and euphoric pleasure through moving our body and temporary getting out of our left-brain monkey minds, it also matters where you do it. Have your ever considered how much natural light exposure you get? Modern living, work demands, technology and convenience is conditioning people to exercise indoors, while most of us already spend too much time living and working in artificial blue light environments, which has a profound effect on our circadian biology.
I find that exercising outside is the perfect ritual to recharge and detox the complex human vehicle from everyday stresses of modern living.
For example, this winter I am training at the equator where the UV index is 12-14 all year round. In this type of light environment you can easily build your vitamin D potential by being outside. The magnificent, light-sensitive control center (our brain and endocrine system) also relies on the sun’s input of specific UV frequencies that are received by eye and skin cell receptors and tell the body to manufacture critical hormones like melatonin and testosterone.
Full-spectrum light also drives the production neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine, to inspire us to do what we love. As Bob Marley said, “Live The Life You Love!” So, if you can exercise outside on a sunny day, then that is what I call a double UberVitality recharge! Sunlight is the fuel that is required for the quantum human vehicle to thrive. That is why I am headed South with my “rings of vitality” this winter to recharge by the equator and continue to study the quantum health benefits of raw power of nature. So, if you find yourself a bit down this winter, roll up your sleeves and go for a walk in nature, do a polar plunge, or book a trip down South and recharge your quantum being by bathing in nature’s radiance!
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