OK … welcome back “working stiffs” … to recap we’re talking about how to reduce inflammation caused by work-related travel, in particular the intensely stressful “Seminar Season” …
Last time, we discussed how movement creates energy that helps your body heal on a cellular level.
Simple exercises like walking or stretching can help bring down inflammation – things you can do in a hotel room, courtyard, or airport terminal, if need be.
Right now, I want to share a second, commonly overlooked DIY tip to reduce inflammation …
… my “Anti-inflammatory Thing” #2 … I’m talking about the Sun!
According to the EPA, the average American spends 93% of his/her life indoors … which is not only sad, it’s just not healthy.
If this includes you, then you’re missing a crucial inflammation-fighting resource.
Specifically, exposing yourself to raw sunlight as often as you can.
Like I’ve said before, the best “biohacks” are often free, and this is no exception.
And, like moving your body to help heal your body, this is nothing new …
In ancient Greece, the healing power of the sun was called “Heliotherapy”.
Nowadays it’s called “Photobiomodulation,” which is a handy search term if you want to delve more deeply into this (hint … hint).
You may already know that sunlight exposure on the upper chest and back upregulates beneficial hormone and neurotransmitter production and Vitamin D.
Did you know that sunlight also acts as an anti-inflammatory in your body?
Sunlight contains certain wavelengths in the red and near infrared (NIR) spectrums.
When photons from the sun penetrate your body, they donate energy to your cell’s electrons.
This produces antioxidant activity and helps to bring down inflammation.
All you really need is 20 minutes of direct sunlight a day!
And if you’re worried about sunburn, check this out:
The sun isn’t the primary cause of sunburn.
Yes, if you’re in direct sunlight for too long, it’s going to be an issue.
However, most sunburns are caused by consuming a Standard American Diet (SAD) that is full of unstable fats known as partially hydrogenated or “trans fats.”
These unhealthy fats become incorporated in the cell membranes in your skin.
They’re unstable at a molecular level and release free radicals once sunlight strikes them, which harm surrounding healthy cells and cause the inflammation known as sunburn.
To fix this, you can change your diet and/or try Astaxanthin – a wonderful marine-derived antioxidant especially for the skin – your fats will incorporate it, and you will be less prone to sunburn, over time.
If you choose to supplement with Astaxanthin, make SURE it’s not synthetic and give it about a month to build up in your tissues for the protective effect.
If you live up North and sunny days are not so easy to come by, then you may want to consider using a Red Light or NIR panel for the anti-inflammation effects.
The prices have really come down over the past few years; intensity or irradiance matters so make sure you factor that into your decision.
And during cold winter months, make sure you supplement with Vitamin D and its important co-factors, A & K.
Whether your suffering from increased stress and inflammation due to “Seminar Season” or just want to feel better at home on the daily … get outside at least 20 minutes on sunny days.
Better yet … get outside AND exercise while you soak in that healing sunshine – it’ll do your body good!
See you back here soon for “Anti-inflammatory Thing #3” … it’s just as easy and free …
‘Til then … To Better Health, Theo