Balance benefits and risks of being outdoors

In times where prolonged exposure to the sun, especially in areas close to the equator, such as Florida, has become a significant concern in the eyes of dermatologists, benefits of outdoor activities appear to outweigh the potential costs, leading to something that could be termed “sun phobia”.

As discussed in one of my former articles, Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to not only physical health issues, for example bonehealth, Diabetes II, cancer, thyroid and cardiovascular disease. But Vitamin D deficiency appears to be correlated with mood disorders, such as depression. Unfortunately our bodies have difficulty providing for enough Vitamin D if not exposed to the sun on a regular basis. Have you ever wondered why the Finns have one of the highest suicide rates despite being an otherwise prosperous and progressive nation? People suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) appear to benefit from supplementation combined with a particular light therapy applied in the early morning.

Several studies, especially with women, have suggested though that the majority of the world’s population may be deficient in Vitamin D blood levels. How can we ensure that we reach and maintain adequate levels when unprotected exposure to the sun is not advisable and sunscreen significantly filters those rays necessary for Vitamin D production? To obtain sufficient levels through fortified milk and other products, we would have to ingest amounts of these products that may not be practical. Research suggests supplementation. To determine if you may benefit ask your physician to order a blood test for you.

The conclusion when it comes to protection yourself outdoors seems equally as clear. Play it rather safe than sorry in the southern hemisphere or in the summer months up North. And that means applying ample sunscreen and wearing a light hat that keeps your head cool. Not only to protect your skin from damage but your body from a potential heat stroke as well.

For more information you may read this article from the University of California Riverside ction=page&id=2376 or from PennLive ttp:// , citing several researchers and more studies pertaining to this matter. As always I recommend In the ‘Vitamins and Supplements’ section you find an article about Vitamin D and diseases related to deficiencies.




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About Udo Fischer

My name is Udo Fischer and I have been practicing psychotherapy in Naples for five years. Trained in clinical psychology and neuropsychology in Europe I further deepened my skills at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Philadelphia. In Germany I conducted research with Prof. Dr. Rainer Sachse, a thought leader in the treatment of somatoform and personality disorders. A second mentor was Prof. Dr. Dietmar Schulte, president of the German Behavior Therapy Association and leading researcher for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.
Besides resolving clinical issues I apply a communication, conflict management, mediation approach that has been successfully applied in corporate and diplomatic contexts as well. My success rate with couples in crises is 100% assumed that both parties are motivated to resolve their issues amicably.