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Making the Most of the Summer Sun

This summer we took a vacation and we made sure we stocked up on sunscreen. We vacationed in beautiful Orlando, Florida where the temperatures were always in the 90's. While it was hot we still had lots of fun. Summer means lot of sunshine but do you know how you can make the most of your summer sun and do it safely?

When you think of summertime, you might think of swimming, sprinklers, popsicles, shorts, and sandals, all enjoyed in the warm rays of the sun. However, as you have grown older you have spent more time indoors as jobs, errands, and other responsibilities have kept you busy. While there are limits to the amount of time you should be spending in the sunlight, there are many benefits derived from being outside.

Here are some reasons you should catch some rays this summer and how to do so safely:

Benefits of the Sun

One of the greatest benefits of sunlight is its role in helping to produce Vitamin D in our bodies. Vitamin D contributes to bone health, supports the immune system, protects against dementia and brain aging, strengthens teeth, and may help prevent cancer, along with other great physical advantages.

Sunlight is also great for killing bad bacteria. This was discovered in World War II and was used to disinfect wounds. In the body, it also helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and increases oxygen content in our blood. Sunlight also contributes to a healthy immune system.

Beyond the physical benefits, sunshine is good for your emotional and mental health. It can improve your mood, ease mild depression, decrease stress, and even improve sleep quality.

Best Ways to Use Sunlight to Maximize Benefits

Just ten to fifteen minutes per day is needed to reap all the above mentioned benefits. This can easily be done by going for a walk during your work break or taking your exercise outside. There are many great outdoor activities to take part in during the summer, giving you ample opportunities to utilize sunlight.

However, you may not always want to go outside. The good news is you can benefit from sunlight inside as well! Especially during the summer months when daylight hours are nice and long, open your windows and take advantage of natural sunlight. About ten percent of household electricity usage goes toward lighting, so you may be able to decrease your energy bill by using more natural sunlight. Plus you can still get some sunlight exposure by taking naps by the window.

How to Avoid Negative Effects of the Sun

Even with as wonderful as sunlight is, there are negative effects to be aware of as the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun can cause skin damage, bringing with it premature skin aging, and increase the risk of skin cancer. In fact, more than 90% of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure. So as you set out to spend time with family and friends in the sun, here are some tips for getting the most of the sunlight, while still protecting yourself and your loved ones:

  • Avoid the sun from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. when UV rays are strongest. This means most of your activities should be saved for the morning or evening.

  • Wear protective clothing. Dark colors absorb rays better than light colors, giving you more protection. Avoid wearing clothing that reduces coverage and therefore reduces protection.

  • Protect your eyes with UV filtering sunglasses whenever you are outside.

  • Wear sunscreen everyday. Select a sunscreen that has an SPF rating of 15 or 30. However, be careful not to be fooled into a false sense of security with the higher number. If you are in the sunlight for extended periods of time, remember to reapply the sunscreen every two hours, especially if you have been in water or you are sweating a lot.

  • Wear wide brimmed hats to shield your face and eyes.

  • Use an umbrella or sun shade when possible.

  • Use multiple types of sun protection together. Don’t rely just on sunscreen.

Summer is a great time to spend time outside, enjoying the warm weather and especially the sunlight. Take advantage of this time of year to stock up on vitamin D, increase your emotional health and get a great tan at the same time. As many activities require long term sun exposure, be sure to follow these guidelines for safe intake of UV rays. This will protect you and your family not only from uncomfortable burns this summer, but from damage and a possibly serious illness in years to come.

So let's discuss: How do make the most of your summer sun? 

Annmarie John
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  1. I only go in the sun between 10-4 so I can work on my tan :) Thanks for the tips.

  2. My kids know all about this - we don't see the sun much here in Chicago and this summer especially have been deprived of Vit D!!

  3. I try and get as much sun as I can! Summer is short and this way I don't have to pay for the vitamin D :)

  4. Great summer tips here. I am going to add one: If a dog is with you in the sun, they need protection and can get sunburn and skin cancer, too. Use a pet-safe protectant on them. Happy Weekend!

  5. All are great tips. I know that when I get some sun I feel so much better. But, not when I get too much. Sunburn feels awful. Ouch!

  6. Great tips! We've been avoiding the sun a lot lately. We wait until the shade hits our backyard then we go outside, or we make sure to lather up and stay as close to shade as possible! - Jeanine

  7. These are great tips! I am learning to balance how I get sun and how my kids do, too. Vitamin D is so important!

  8. As much as I love the sun I don't love the heat it puts off. These are great tips!

  9. I live in Jamaica so Summer is all year round. Believe it or not .. I only go into the sun for about 10 minutes in the morning a in the afternoon. If I stay in it too long .. it leave me drained

  10. I had a post on sun safety this week - I love it, but it can be harmful too! My boy has to be outside every day or he goes stir crazy. We try to get out first thing to run off some energy, and we are usually down for naps during the hottest part of the afternoon.

  11. We could all use a little Vitamin D! I try to stay in the sun for 20 minutes a day without my sunscreen but that doesn't always happen!

  12. I should probably invest in some UV filtering sunglasses. I've gone too long without them!

  13. We are trying to make the most out of summer fun this year. As usual, the summer is passing by way too fast.

  14. awesome tips thanks for sharing we can always learn new ways to protect our skin and babies skin

  15. summer fun will fade to cool here before long so yes we are doing all we can. Thanks for your safety tips as well

  16. I think the sun is so therapeutic. I love nothing more than to get out and soak up some Vitamin D.

  17. We use sunblock, hats and sunglasses depending on how much time we spend in the sun. We are a big outdoor family.

  18. These are great tips! I didn't know to wear darker colors! I always assumed the opposite. Great to know.

  19. I nearly don't spend enough time in the sun this year. Blaming it on the baby - he is making me stay inside!

  20. I love the summer. Darker colors do make a difference. I am looking to enjoy each moment before back to school.

  21. I love the summer time and all the things that come with sunshine... I'm just not a fan of sitting in it and getting burned. So I hope folks will take your tips and protect themselves against the negative effects of too much sun.

  22. These are amazing tips. I will be practicing the 10 min exposure to gain some vitamin D. Thanks for sharing

  23. I have severe vitamin D deficiency and am finally realizing that I really need to make the most of it.

  24. Nothing worse than a sunburn, but the sunshine sure puts a spring in my step!


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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