My entire life I have been told that the sun is going to harm me. Don’t look straight at it. Don’t stay too long out in it. It will give you cancer. The only good thing is that it can grow crops and it’s great when you are out on the beach (but only for a couple of hours or else you will get cancer).
Over the last few years, I have been rethinking all of this. You will regularly see me sitting out in the sun on 90 degree plus days. Most people can’t last more than a few minutes out in that kind of weather. You are sweating constantly. It’s uncomfortable and some days miserable.
But what I’m really out there doing is trying to reshape the way my mind and body think about comforts in this life. I am actively trying to put myself into uncomfortable situations in case the current trajectory we are on changes for the worse. I don’t want my body to have to conform as quickly as other people. I will be used to bad so I will have an easier adjustment to the worse.
While this is one of the main drivers for my thinking there are many other benefits to the sun that are consistently overlooked. I wake up either right at sunrise or just before, make my coffee and head outside. I sit or walk around outside while the earth and I are waking up. It pumps me full of energy no matter what happened the night before.
In my mind, it resets my internal clocks to the world around me every morning. I’m getting started right as the earth does and I am harvesting its energy. That sun energy pushes me forward throughout the day as I knock out what I need to get done. During this hour outside, I’m setting my list of things to accomplish throughout the day. The early morning sun inspires my writing and thinking and allows for me to get the creative juices flowing.
Around noon I will do my workouts. It is just before the hottest part of the day, and always without my shirt on. During summers I’m done to just shorts. I want the sun to hit as many parts of my body as possible. It is shown that sun helps to shrink fat cells and is also a main driver in vitamin D production. I have read (I will have to find the source for it again) that sun on your chest and back also helps to increase testosterone. I love the sun beating down on me as I’m sweating through a workout. It gives me a good energy boost for the afternoon push but by 6-7 pm, I’m starting to wind down.
When it comes to night, I will sit outside on the back porch, and enjoy the night as the sun is fading. If you do this regularly, you will start to get sleepy as your circadian rhythm is being reset. Of course, that is only if you are not using your electronic devices. When you put it all together you really do realize that the sun is your friend, not your enemy. The goal is to live life between its rising and falling, and enjoying.
It can train your body to handle discomfort. It can refresh you when you are feeling down. Time in it can really cure depression. I feel that it strengthens my immune system the more that I’m out in it. Just something anecdotal, but it is my observation. The more I’m out in it, the more healthy I feel. We are not made to be sedentary, indoor beasts. It makes us dull and unhappy.
We are designed to be out in our nature. Moving, sweating, freezing and happy. Sometimes it sucks when you are out there, but mostly we are going to enjoy after the fact. Of course, if you are someone who hasn’t seen the sun in years, don’t just start spending hours on end in it. Work yourself up to. Start with 30 minutes after you wake up, with as little clothing on as possible.
Then after a week start going out in midday for 15 minutes to whatever you feel is comfortable. Allow your body to start adapting to the changing the sun produces in it.
The more time you spend outside, the happier you will be.
Train Hard, Conquer Nature.