After my recent travels to the Gold Coast Australia, I have become more aware of the harmful effects of the sun. Through research I have come to find that UV rays can provide benefits for health but too much will damage your health. The Cancer Council, 2018, states that UV rays are the:
Invisible energy produced my the sun
These rays, if taken in the right amounts, are able to provide many benefits. Some of these benefits, sourced by Science Learning Hub (2018), are shown below:
- Trigger Vitamin D – UV rays produce vitamin D which is able to strengthen bones, muscles and the bodies immune system. In some cases it can also lower the risk of cancer, e.g. colon cancer
- Helps moods – Research shows that UV rays (sunlight) stimulates the pineal gland in the brain to produce certain chemicals called ‘Tryptamine’, which improves mood.
In contrast to these benefits, if exposed to too much UV rays many damages arise which can negatively effect your health. Also sourced by Science Learning Hub (2018), some dangers of overexposure is listed below:
- Skin cancer – UV rays are one of the most prominent and universal cancer-causing agents in the environment. Research shows that 90% of skin cancers are due to UV radiation
- Ages skin – By destroying the collagen and connective tissue beneath the top layer of skin, UV rays are able to speed up the skin’s ageing appearance. Wrinkles and creases are a common result of skin ageing.
With these benefits and dangers in mind, how long should you be in the sun to avoid the dangers and reap the benefits? According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD you should have at least 20 minutes in the sun, and any extra time must be supported with the application of suncream (at least SPF 30) to avoid any skin damage. I think morning and later afternoon is the best time for sun exposure when the UV index is lower.
Whenever you go outside, make sure to wear sun cream and a hat to prevent overexposure and reap the healthy benefits of sunlight. Like sun protective gear, put on your shield of faith which will withstand the fiery arrows the Devil aims at you. This is said in Ephesians 6: 6-18
16 Above all, carry the shield of faith so that you can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.