How to be Happier and Lower Your Risk of Disease in 10 Minutes a Day
By Bites of Health on July 04, 2014
Smart Sun Exposure
So what do you do if you live in a northern climate and aren’t lucky enough to have beautiful hot sun year round? As controversial as it might sound, tanning beds can be a good option. I go tanning twice a week for 10 minutes – partly for my skin health and partly to get vitamin D. This amount of time doesn’t give me much colour, and I never burn. There are a few important points to remember if you are considering tanning (especially if you’ve never done it before).
- Start slow. Most tanning places are pretty good about making sure you don’t start off with more time than is healthy for you. You might start with just 2 or 3 minutes at a time and gradually build up to slightly longer.
- Remember that the goal is not to get a tan, but to improve your health!
- If you ever find that your skin is pink or even slightly burned after a tanning session, go for less time the next time.
- Be sure to find a tanning salon that uses the right ratio of UVB to UVA rays. This is perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind! A lot of places actually take the UVB out entirely, so you still get a tan from the UVA rays, but you won’t be stimulating vitamin D production or getting any of the skin health benefits from the UVB rays. This is NOT what you want! A ratio of approximately 5% UVB is ideal.
And if you do have access to natural sunlight, keep in mind that the best time for vitamin D benefits is mid-day. Another interesting fact is that elderly and darker skinned people produce less vitamin D from sun exposure so they need more time in the sun.
The key is not to overdue it. There are of course risks with over-tanning, and especially burning. But if you tan wisely, the benefits far outweigh the risks, in my opinion.
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