Without a doubt, one of the most overlooked strategies to burn fat, balance hormones, and recharge energy, is to get natural sunlight.
Getting Fit n Healthy is NOT just a diet and exercise story.
Getting Fit n Healthy is also a story about light.
Sunlight is the most abundant energy source on the planet. Get natural sunlight.
We ARE the product of light.
Recognize that we are more than just a product of our food inputs and exercise outputs.
We are from nature, a product of light that converts to energy to give life.
And just as plants and animals need natural sunlight to exist, be alive, and thrive – so do we.
This is something I think we’ve forgotten in today’s day and age. with such an emphasis on what we eat and how we move.
So much of our modern days are spent indoors with the increased use of technology. And this comes with a price.
Are we smarter and healthier? Unfortunately not.
Never before, in the history of time, have humans experienced so much illness and disease.
With epidemic rates of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, is it as simple as improving our diet and exercise?
I don’t think so.
While eating nutrient-rich, whole foods and moving regularly IS important, there’s more to this health story.
This is why I’ve had a burning desire to write this article and bring to light the importance OF sunlight (pun intended).
Let’s take a closer look.
Did you know humans can extract energy from sunlight, much like plants can?
In some ways, we are like plants in that we can capture energy from the sun.
Gerald Pollack, Ph.D. wrote a great article on this topic titled: Can Humans Harvest The Sun’s Energy Directly Like Plants?. .
Both he and other scientists have demonstrated that humans absorb energy from the sun, and emit it also.
When you’re outside and the sun is shining on your skin, a powerful chain reaction occurs. Similar to a battery, a clean electric current flows right through your body.
While not visible to us, these particles of light (energy) are used by our body to facilitate cell to cell communication faster than chemical diffusion.
Better cell to cell communication means better health for us.
So for anyone looking to burn fat, balance hormones, and recharge their energy, this is a big deal!
Especially if you’re still scratching your head wondering WHY you’re not as Fit n Healthy as you think you should be.
You may be someone already embarking on a natural whole foods diet and exercise plan, but wonder what’s missing?
Your missing piece may just be to get natural sunlight.
In fact, there are many experts speaking out about this very topic – ‘getting your light right’.
Dr Jack Kruse, a respected neurosurgeon and CEO of Optimized Life, is one of the leading authorities on light.
Dr Joseph Mercola, founder of mercola.com, one of the most visited health websites in the world is another.
Kevin Cotrell, founder of Paleo FX, creator of the popular podcast Health Casts Now is also someone speaking out about the importance of natural sunlight and it’s role in Circadian Optimization.
Health benefits of the sun
Let’s start with power.
Sunshine is composed of a full spectrum of wavelengths that contain an enormous amount of power. This power is in the form of photons, in a balanced form, and in the ideal proportion.
It’s what your ancient ancestors were regularly exposed to, and as a result, your biology is optimized to receive this power from sunlight too.
Fast track to today. Where are we spending most of our time? Inside on our computers, cell phones, ipads, ipods. You get the picture.
The problem we’re now realizing is that when you spend most of your time indoors, you deprive yourself of the much needed vital wavelengths (commonly referred to as ‘native electromagnetic frequencies or nEMF).
And these wavelengths in the form of UV and IR light are like laser beams and ‘turn on’ certain hormones in your body, all at the right time, to carefully orchestrate proper function like metabolism (fat loss), endocrine (hormone balance), and mitochondria (energy).
Would you believe, it was only about 100 years ago when our ancestors spent 90% of the time outdoors and only 10% indoors, while the opposite is true now.
Fundamentally, hear in lies the core problem to many health conditions we see today.
Not to worry, I’m all about providing simple solutions to getting Fit n Healthy.
Lets take a look at how natural sunlight can help you drop body fat, balance hormones, and recharge your energy.
And this goes far beyond its role in the production of vitamin D……..
The sun, your skin, and its link to fat loss
Case Adams, a researcher, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner that I’ve followed over the years reported this large scale study from Spain’s University of Carlos Malaga clearly linking vitamin D deficiency with increased risk of obesity.
In their discussion the researchers stated clearly:
“The results of the present study suggest that lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D values in obese subjects may not have been secondary to obesity, but may in fact precede obesity.”
Other studies have also found that obesity is related to low vitamin D levels.
A 2010 study from Norway’s University of Tromso studied 10,229 people and then followed 2,656 people for fourteen years. Their results concluded that increased body mass index was directly associated with lower vitamin D levels.
The Norway researchers also found that:
“The very obese need higher vitamin D doses than lean subjects to achieve the same serum 25(OH)D levels.”
While vitamin D can be supplemented, one of the easiest and cheapest ways to produce high levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D is by safe sun exposure.
I am in full agreement.
Did you know vitamin D although touted as a ‘vitamin’ is actually a hormone?
Vitamin D does multiple actions in the body, including the following:
- Helps ward off osteoporosis and osteopenia by increasing the intestinal absorption of phosphorus and calcium. CAUTION: It does NOT, however, dictate where calcium will deposit in your body. This is where K2 comes in. Those taking vitamin D3 supplementation must be aware to take K2 along with it ideally in a 10 to 1 ratio.
- Vitamin D from sunlight is a natural blood cleanser. It acts as a natural antibiotic that assists White Blood Cells in clearing infections. It does this by stimulating immune cells to make a protein called cathelicidin in your skin. Ever wonder why your skin clears up after being in the sun? This is why. By the way, vitamin D from supplements doesn’t have the same effect. This reaction doesn’t happen very well in your gut but works beautifully in your skin and with interactions with the sun.
- Vitamin D levels above 50 ng/ml are associated with increased adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is one of your hormones that keep you lean. Having adequate levels, means you are less likely to be obese. It’s also is a sign that your hunger/satiety hormone (leptin) is signaling properly and that you are Leptin Sensitive. For those still struggling to lose more than 15 lbs, getting Leptin Sensitive is KEY. To know if you are resistant to Leptin’s signaling, go to ‘Does this sound like you’ and take the Leptin Resistance Quiz
While natural sunlight’s role in our own production of vitamin D is essential for optimal health the healing properties of the sun go far beyond its role in the production of vitamin D……..
The sun, your eyes and it’s link to hormonal balance
Not only does the body capture the sun’s photons to produce energy through the mitochondria, but the sun’s healing benefits are also captured by your eyes too.
Research shows that the light received from the sun through the retina is delivered directly to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus. This in effect stimulates the release of your compound hormone pharmacy, namely cortisol and dopamine to give you the sense of energy and motivation to literally, crush it and make stuff happen!
In a nutshell, morning sunlight helps your body produce melatonin (to later release it at night and help you sleep), balance cortisol (to wake you up and be productive during the day), and turn on the mechanisms to have healthy leptin signaling (to control appetite and have a feeling of satiation).
The sun, your skin and its links to increased energy
The simple reason the sun can produce electricity via solar panels is that its photons interact with atoms in the solar panel, knock off a few electrons from the atoms, and create electricity.
Think of your skin as solar panels. When you are outside and the sun is shining directly on your bare skin, a powerful chain reaction occurs that powers up the energy centers in your cells (the mitochondria).
In future posts, you’re going to hear a lot more about what the mitochondria are and how they dictate how much energy and heat you produce.
But for now, just know that your mitochondria are ancient bacteria within your cells that act like semiconductors, which means they conduct electricity at varying rates. Mitochondria have another important role as environmental sensors.
What this means from a practical standpoint is if you expose your skin and eyes to the natural environment, your mitochondria know exactly what time of day it is, the environment you’re in and as a result, send the right signals to the rest of your organs to do what’s needed to be done – all at the perfect time.
This is what I call ‘working WITH your body, instead of against it’. It’s effortless.
Think of what happens to a plant when it’s taken out of sunlight. It wilts – well so do we.
This topic, also known as photobiology, is the study of how sunlight’s different wavelengths of light affect our biology. When we’re outside at different time of the day( ie morning, afternoon, and evening), these rays penetrate our body (namely through our eyes and skin), in the perfect proportions to optimize our body.
It’s what your ancestors were exposed to and as a result, your biology is made up so that you’re optimized to receive its nutrition FROM sunlight.
A body that has the ideal nutrition will have the ideal body weight, immune system, and energy as you will soon experience if you practice the power of adding in more natural sunlight.
Most of us have experienced these positive effects while vacationing in sunny areas, taking a walk outside, or just opening the door and feeling the sunshine on our face.
Many also report a decrease in pain, better mood, and an increase in energy.
Much of the sun’s healing benefits is in just that. Pretty simple.
So there you have it. Science at its best. Get natural sunlight. We are a product more than diet and exercise. We are from nature absorbing and emitting energy for top-level health.
5 Top Tips to Getting Your Sunlight Right
Sunlight Tip #1: Strive to have at least 1 hour of sunshine a day.
Sunlight into your retina is a very important nutrient. SUNGLASSES OFF! I wish I could hold up a sign, on a busy street with this very message. Wearing sunglasses is like planting a tree, watering it, and asking it to grow.
So, be sure to keep sunglasses (and eyeglasses) OFF to get the full benefits.
Sunlight Tip #2: Skin Cancer from the sun is largely a myth.
The concern linking the sun with skin cancer is misdirected. Of course, we need to practice sensible sun exposure. This just means gradually building up your tolerance to the sun. Daily sunshine on your bare skin and in your eyes (without looking directly into the sun) is ESSENTIAL to a Fit n Healthy life. Those who burn easily need to look more to optimizing their diet with healthy oils and proper nutrition. Healthy people can be in the sun. If this isn’t you, then it’s a sign to look to a better diet.
Sunlight Tip #3: Create a good daily routine around healthy sun exposure.
Morning: Get outside within 30 minutes of waking up and look just away from the sun. Glasses off. Bare feet on the earth (no shoes). If you have 15 + pounds to lose, do this for 5 min, otherwise, 2 minutes is sufficient.
I personally do this while I brush my teeth in the morning, bare feet on the earth looking in the direction of the sun rising.
Ideally, get your walk-in (sunglasses off) for 20 + minutes between 6 am and 10 am.
I strive for anywhere from 20 min to 1 hr and combine it with my other exercise routine (weight training or yoga).
Afternoon. If raising Vitamin D levels is also your goal, get outside for 20+ minutes around solar noon.
Nighttime. At night, red is your magic color. Minimize sources of blue and white light and use red or amber LED bulbs. Avoid all screens 1 hr before bedtime and either read, have a bath or if you do need to be exposed to artificial blue light, wear blue light blocking glasses.
The ones I use are called UVEX by Honeywell, S1933X Skyper.
Sunlight Tip #4: Consume green vegetables every day.
Green vegetables and their juices are carriers of essential mitochondrial cofactors to enhance your body’s ability to produce energy in the form of ATP. A groundbreaking article on this subject can be found here, ‘Amazing Discovery: Plant Blood Enables Your Cells To Capture Sunlight Energy’.
Sunlight Tip #5: Improve digestion by eating within daylight hours.
Eating within the sun’s cycles is critical to proper digestion. Our gastrin, enzymes, and bile salt release are in sync not just when we smell foods. It’s also in sync directly with the sun’s rhythm or cycle. Our microbiome (the collection of healthy bacteria that reside in our body) is also in sync with the physical changes that take place with the sun. Therefore, it is best to eat within daylight hours and at the latest, 2 hours after sundown.
If you’re struggling with hormone issues, low energy, and extra body fat, I urge you to take my Leptin Resistance Quiz It’s a simple way to identify if you’re Leptin Resistant and what to do to fix it (using safe sun exposure strategies plus a lot more).
I truly hope I’ve given you some information to inspire you to get outside and get natural sunlight. Experience how simple it can be to get Fit n Healthy!
I’ve personally made ‘going outside’ part of my daily routine and have really noticed deeper sleep, better mood, and just an overall sense of peace and wellness.
I welcome you to try it for 1 week and see how you feel I’d love to hear your feedback.
Please either share this post with someone you love or write me a comment.
Thanks and see you outside in the natural sunlight!