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Longevity begins with a little fun in the sun
We all want to live FOREVER !
Okay, maybe not forever, but you don’t want to die, before your time.
Now when it comes to health, we all “worry” about different things.
What will I die of ?
Me, I am really worried about cardiovascular disease – it’s in THE GENES and the METABOLISM. My “worrying” actually extends way beyond having a heart attack or stroke.
When you’ve got metabolic syndrome, like me, you’re a risk of EVERYTHING.
I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m probably not.
Now you know why I am so into creating BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY, I want to be here for the long haul.
So what are the “secrets” to longevity ?
It’s a long list of DON’TS…
- Don’t smoke
- Don’t eat too much
- Don’t exercise too little
- Don’t drink too much
- Don’t have unprotected sex
- Don’t go in the sun
Don’t do sun ?
Public health campaigns abound – admonishing US to AVOID THE SUN, like the plague, because…..
SUN EXPOSURE CAUSES SKIN CANCER
Since skin cancer is a rather common occurrence and a killer, sun avoiding MUST be beneficial.
Hang on a minute….
A group of Swedish researchers crunched the numbers and found,
SUN AVOIDING is a risk for dying early !
Granted you are less likely to die of skin cancer, if you avoid the sun, but you’re more likely to die of something else.
A lot more likely…….
Counting the cost
The story begins in Sweden in 1990….
39 973 ladies, living in Southern Sweden, between the ages of 25-64 were invited to participate in Lund University’s MISS study. A computer programme did the inviting, to ensure the process was randomized.
At the time of enrolment, the ladies all completed a questionnaire, designed to assess their health status, and some of their health “vices”. The purpose of the MISS study, was to look for risk factors for melanoma.
The questionnaire gathered the usual demographic data, as well exposure to potential risk factors
- Did they smoke ?
- Did they drink ?
- Did they soak in the sun ?
Soaking in the sun
Actually the sun soaking question was a little more nuisanced than “did they soak in the sun”, they were asked four rather specific questions
- How often did they sun bathe ?
- Do you sunbathe in the winter ?
- Do you use tanning beds ?
- Do you go abroad on vacation to swim and sunbathe ?
Answering options included NEVER, a little or a lot. It took 2 years to gather all the answers, in total 29 518 women answered the questionnaire.
Sun worshipper classification
Based on the answers, people were classified as
- SUN AVOIDERS – these guys answered NO to everything
- SUN DABBLERS – these guys played in the sun, but only a little
- SUN WORSHIPPERS – these guys answered YES, to all four questions
The moment in time was recorded and then………………. NOTHING.
The researchers sat on the data for 20 years and then they looked up these ladies.
Looking up old friends
Using the very sophisticated Swedish health data base – it keeps tabs on everything. They tracked down the ladies, not personally, electronically.
What they were most interested in, was who was alive and who was dead.
And if they were dead, what did they die of.
Since there are quite literally hundreds of ways to die, to keep things simple, when a lady was found to be deceased, the death was recorded as
- Cardiovacular disease i.e. stroke, heart attack
- Something else i.e. not cancer or cardiovascular disease
Twenty years later….
The SUN WORSHIPPERS were still going strong, even the ones that smoked, and for the record, this group smoked the most.
Take a look at the data.
Even if you’re not a graph person, it’s pretty clear, more people in the group of ladies, avoiding the sun, were dead. They succumbed to cardiovascular disease, cancer and other. Contrast this, with the sun worshipping ladies, more of them had survived the 20 year time lapse. And notably, they had suffered significantly less from cardiovascular disease and “other”.
Sun worshippers had not escaped dying of cancer.
But hey, neither had sun avoiders.
Sun avoiding is bad for your long term health
When the numbers were crunched, the team concluded…
Life expectancy of avoiders of sun exposure was reduced by 0.6 – 2.1 years
If you’re wondering, this is on a par with smoking.
Sun avoiding, is as risky as smoking.
Sweden isn’t exactly sunny
This is why I love living in South Africa, it’s sunny ALL YEAR ROUND.
But, you can live somewhere sunny and AVOID THE SUN. Granted, it’s harder, but not impossible, especially if you work indoors and deliberately avoid the sun, because you’re worried about SKIN CANCER.
If you want BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY, don’t be afraid of the sun.
Of course, don’t be an idiot, burning to a crispy in the sun, WILL cause trouble in the short term and long term. Episodic sunburn and excessive exposure to tanning beds, are both things that have been shown to increase your risk of melanoma (skin cancer that KILLS).
Low vitamin D levels don’t CAUSE allergies BUT allergic types avoid outdoors and so avoid the sun (vit D) and so increase chances of suffering from an allergy.
Your blood pressure is UP. Your instinct says, this CAN be fixed, with a little sun, sea and surf. You’re half right. All you need is the sun, to destress
If you’re feeling blue, stop by the vitamin D comedy club, Vitamin D’s hilarious antics, could help chase away those blues.
Want to create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY ?
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