so, today, our rain has been delayed and the warm weather has decided to hang around a bit longer than expected. (yeah!) that being said, i decided to go and soak up some sun and let the animals play/eat grass/roll in the dirt. i remembered that sun exposure (limited, of course) is a great source of vitamin d. it is explained well, and simply, in this article (if you want to read the entire thing) or summed up here...
Simply put, exposure to the sun helps our bodies make vitamin D. Ultraviolet rays from sunlight trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin, creating vitamin D for our bodies to use. A deficiency in this important vitamin can cause serious health problems, and vitamin D deficiencies are becoming more common than most of us realize.
Eating foods that contain vitamin D is good, but exposure to the sun is much more efficient. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sun exposure is perhaps the most important source of vitamin D, because normal exposure to sunlight provides most humans with their total vitamin D requirement. However, season, geographic latitude, time of day, cloud cover, smog, and sunscreen use all affect UV ray exposure and vitamin D synthesis.
For example, sunlight exposure from November through February in Boston is insufficient to produce significant vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Complete cloud cover halves the energy of UV rays, and shade reduces it by 60%. Industrial pollution, which increases shade, also decreases sun exposure. Sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 8 or greater will block UV rays that produce vitamin D, but it is still important to routinely use sunscreen to help prevent skin cancer and other negative consequences of excessive sun exposure.
An initial exposure to sunlight (10 -15 minutes) allows adequate time for Vitamin D synthesis and should be followed by application of a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to protect the skin. Ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure at least two times per week to the face, arms, hands, or back without sunscreen is usually sufficient to provide adequate vitamin D.
now, how is that for a great excuse to catch a little sunshine?! the breeze outside today is even warm and while this was my current view as i sat on my patio
in my mind, this was my real view...
... much better, yeah? if only...
the dogs and cat don't mind the grass and backyard, though. in fact, it was all i could do to get them to come back inside. check them out:
and, for the bit of randomness, my sister-in-law has some new pictures of my sweet niece, courtney, on her facebook and her blog. i cannot resist posting a favorite, or two! (you can check out her blog by clicking here.