Every year, I ask myself….
- Why do we have to move our clocks forward?
- Why can’t I live in Arizona or Hawaii – where they don’t deal with the nonsense of losing one hour of sleep?
- Does the extra hour of Daylight really matter?
- What am I going to do with that extra hour of Daylight?
According to history, the purpose of Daylight Saving Time was to make better use of daylight which in turn was supposed to save energy. In 1916 during World War I, Germany and Austria began moving their clocks forward in effort to help conserve fuel. Many countries followed and the United States officially adopted Daylight Saving Time on March 19, 1918. Since it was initially adopted, the Act has come and gone, been repealed, been upheld and been revised. But 100 years later it seems that Daylight Saving Time is here to stay.
I’ll be honest, I used to care less about the additional daylight and frankly I’d get rather annoyed, but after a recent doctor’s visit – I’m now rejoicing in the rays! During my visit, I learned I was deficient in Vitamin D. This wasn’t a total shock, after all I do work in an office all day and my little corner spot has no windows so obviously my exposure is limited. I knew Vitamin D was important, but I didn’t realize HOW IMPORTANT it was. Come to find out, I needed more than my daily Vitamin D supplement – I needed more sunlight and there are a few reasons why…
Strong Bones! Now, you shouldn’t be outside basking in the sun and working on your tan – but studies have shown with as little as 30 minutes of daily exposure to sunlight you could increase your Vitamin D levels which is essential to strong bone health. Strong bones are essential in the fight against osteoporosis.
Lower Blood Pressure! There is a compound called nitric oxide that our blood vessels crave. When this compound is released in our bodies the result is lower blood pressure. How do you get more nitric oxide? Enjoy some rays! When sunlight touches your skin, nitric oxide is released and it will make you feel more relaxed which in turn, reduces your blood pressure.
Better Skin! Acne, eczema and psoriasis are some of the skin disorders that can be combated with a bit more sunlight. This hasn’t been completely proven but studies have shown that just a few more rays can have a positive effect on your skin.
Happy Mood! Studies have shown that sunlight has a positive effect on your mood. That’s because sunlight causes serotonin and endorphins to be released which is associated with a happy mood. And we all know a happy mood = happy life! J
I’m sure it’s safe to say that 100 years ago, the idea of Daylight Saving Time had nothing to do with our health. But it does matter and if a little more sunshine a day means a happier, healthier life then I’m ready to embrace that extra hour of daylight!
Even though I don’t live in Arizona or Hawaii, I am fortunate to live in San Diego where the weather is near-perfect and the sun always shines (well, almost always) and the outdoor activities are endless! So if you were like me and haven’t found the positive in turning your clock forward an hour, think about your health and find something you enjoy doing in the daylight – go for a walk, take a bike ride, do yoga (I prefer Pilates), work in the garden, enjoy a good book. Whatever you decide to do, do it for you and your health.
So, get your Vitamin D on and let the sun shine over you – but remember to still wear sunscreen!
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