Let me preface this blog by saying that I don’t encourage you to lather up in baby oil and lay out in the hot summer sun all day long. We all know that excessive sun exposure may lead to skin cancer. As a matter of fact, even with all of the information we now know about spending too much time in the sun, skin cancer rates are actually increasing. This is according to oncologist David Fisher of Massachusetts General Hospital. So if you’re fair-skinned or are going to be outside for an extended period of time, be sure to apply sunscreen lotion, wear sunglasses and put on a hat. Okay, I’ve had my say.

So what’s the plus side? Why am I a sun-worshipper? First of all, the sun helps plants grow. One look at Heather’s vegetable garden clearly shows that. Second, the sun keeps us warm. . . even on a winter day. Wisconsin winters are bitterly cold, but sitting by a window on a sunny day can make all the difference. Third, the sun helps our bodies make vitamin D. Known as the sunshine vitamin, it is important for healthy bones, a good cardiovascular system and immune health. According to a recent study by Fisher, there’s another benefit to sunbathing, a “feel-good” molecule our bodies produce called beta-endorphin. This molecule “acts similarly to morphine and heroin.” In addition, as the levels of beta-endorphins rose (in a study conducted with mice), so did the mice’s ability to withstand pain. Amazing! To read the July 26, 2014 Science News article written by Laura Sanders “Sunbathing may boost endorphins in the body and brain”, Click Here. You will need to Join or Log-in to read the whole article.

Let me cut to the chase. Have you ever noticed how good you feel after being outside in the sun? Maybe it’s just moving around or it’s the fresh air. Or a combination of both. I literally crave the sun. Maybe it’s the 30+ years living in Southern California or maybe it’s because I have more pigment in my skin. Either way, like many people, I crave sunshine. How many of us want to vacation at the beach, boat around on the lake or lay out by the pool? There’s definitely something to it. So where’s your next sunny getaway destination?

sleeping Bear Dunes, MI
Sleeping Bear Dunes, MI

Grand Traverse Bay, MI
Grand Traverse Bay, MI

Kyle and me at Cape May, NJ
Cape May, NJ