inner engine fitness

building a better body

Plant-like Humans?

on February 24, 2016

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You wake up, feeling the warmth of the sun on your face. You’re ready to start the day, refreshed and invigorated. Throwing the covers aside, you practically leap out of bed and scurry to the shower, plans for your day quickly coming together.

The following morning, you awaken slowly, feeling heavy and drugged, hardly able to peel your eyes open. Reaching for your snooze button, you notice that it is raining heavily outside. When the buzzer sounds a second time, you slowly lift yourself from your bed with the promise of much-needed coffee.

What is the difference between the two days? No, it is not the presence or lack of a hangover, although that’s a good guess! It is your body’s ability to detect sunlight and how that affects your mood.

Now, obviously we are not plants, but sometimes you have to wonder if people need the sun almost as much as plants do. As illustrated by the two vastly different mornings, our energy level is heavily influenced by the sun. In addition, we get vitamin D from the big, bright star, which enables us to build strong bones and healthy immune systems. We detect light through our eyes to generate serotonin, which keeps our mood upbeat, keeping us active mentally and physically. The sun even helps us establish proper circadian rhythms so that we have optimal sleep patterns.

In fact, the sun’s rays are so important that we have come up with ways to supplement during the short winter days or virtually sunless periods of time. We have light therapy, tanning booths, and vitamin D supplements to aid us during times of diminished sunlight. People living in areas of higher latitudes are more prone to depression and SAD (seasonal affective disorder) because the amount of sun during the winter days is less than adequate for healthy humans. There are even connections between autoimmune diseases, like MS, and lack of vitamin D.

So, tomorrow when you awaken, take note of how you feel and whether strong light is streaming through your window or not. The amount of sunlight you get may just determine how energetic and productive you feel. Perhaps you’ll need extra vitamin D or a little time in your light box’s company. Help yourself out by getting the mood lift you need. And remember that even though we don’t use the sun’s energy to make our own food, we nevertheless have a strong sunlight connection with plants.

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