4 Ways Diabetics Can Safely Increase Sun Exposure

You need the sun…but only to a certain point.

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Numerous studies have shown the advantages of increasing your vitamin D intake to help improve symptoms of diabetes. Vitamin D is an incredible little vitamin, as it has a hand in most of your body’s major functions, ranging from blood sugar control to reducing inflammation and improving immunity.

Despite its use for most of your body’s day-to-day doings, vitamin D supplementation using a pill or capsule can be problematic. Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, rather than a water soluble one, levels can build up in your body and reach toxic levels. This is certainly uncommon but is far less likely if a significant portion of your vitamin D is derived directly from the sun.

Utilizing the Sun

The sun is a free, simple, and straightforward way to make sure you have plenty of vitamin D in your body. You can also get vitamin D from your food—and supplements—but many people find food insufficient. Exposing your bare skin to the sun is the most effective way to give your body the amount it needs.

#1. Plant a Garden

Planting a garden outside is helpful in several ways. If you plant food items you frequently use in your cooking, you can save money by growing your own. Some studies have found that gardening has actually been linked to better mental health and mobility, both of which can take a hit when diabetes is involved. Finally, gardening ensures that you are spending some time outside at least a few times per week to water and prune.

#2. Go For a Walk

Walking is a great way to increase your sun exposure; you get to enjoy the benefits of physical exercise while helping your body supplement vitamin D properly. Walking kills two birds with one stone, improving your health via exercise and sunlight.

#3. Read Outdoors

Instead of curling up on the couch or tucking into bed at the end of the day with a book, try heading out to your porch, stoop, or even beside an open window to peruse your latest novel while soaking up some rays. You can also complete homework, paperwork, or journaling in the sun.

 

#4. Snooze in a Hammock

Finally, take some time to nap and soak up the sun. This is a passive way to get sunlight in, but does require some planning ahead; you do not want to fall asleep without setting a timer or making a plan to wake up, as failing to do so could result in sunburn or heat stroke.

When sitting out in the sun, make sure you engage in some simple safety practices. Vitamin D can certainly help with diabetes, but incurring sun damage and increasing the likelihood of developing skin cancer down the road will not. Stay out for small periods at a time, such as 10-15 minutes, and always pay attention to how your body is feeling. If you feel hot or uncomfortable, cut your session short and try again in a few hours.

References

Web MD. Accessed 9/7/17.

US News. Accessed 9/7/17.

Diabetes Care. Accessed 9/7/17.

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