Could spending more time in the sun protect you in the age of coronavirus?

A few weeks ago, President Trump was ridiculed in the press for talking about ultraviolet (UV) light as a potential treatment for the coronavirus. But I think we should all just cut him a break.

For one, the man isn’t a scientist. And we shouldn’t expect him to speak as if he were. But more importantly, he was absolutely correct about the ability of UV light to kill viruses and bacteria. And there’s some solid science to back it up.

So, in a moment, I’ll expand on what we know about UV light and coronavirus—and why it’s good news for you and your health.

But first, let’s back up to talk more generally about where we are with the virus…

Jury’s still out about pandemic’s path

Many members of the U.S. government have done an excellent job carrying out their duties, both on the front lines and from positions of leadership, to protect and reassure the American people throughout this crisis. They’ve tried to balance the health and public health aspects of the virus against the huge toll that continuing to shutter businesses incurs on the economy and lifestyle.

However, as I explained recently, the response by many other political science public health experts—particularly those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—has been underwhelming to say the least.

The CDC’s entire mission is to prepare for, prevent, and control infectious diseases. And it should have been the U.S. agency leading the charge against coronavirus.

But after several early missteps, President Trump decisively sidelined its director and the bloated bureaucracy. Instead, he brought in other experts to manage the nation’s response.

And I, for one, applauded his actions.

Overall though, I think the jury’s still out about the exact path the virus will ultimately take in the coming months. And the number of deaths will largely depend on a number of factors. So, getting stuck on any one figure doesn’t make much sense to me.

What does make sense is to focus on controlling what we can control without incurring an even heavier toll on people’s lives and livelihood.

Of course, the mainstream continues to place all its hopes into developing new vaccines and drug treatments. But according to the latest news reports, they now think the coronavirus mutated in early March. And the much-ballyhooed vaccine that they’re currently working on was tested against the original virus…not a new, mutated virus now in circulation in the U.S.

So, when they do finally finish testing it, will it even work? Or, once again, will the concoctions of Shakespeare’s witches be more effective? I think it’s all just speculation at this point.

On the other hand, we do have a readily available, effective, and science-backed tool in our arsenal. And it doesn’t cost one red cent. Yet, President Trump was chastised for even mentioning it…

UV light probably does kill the coronavirus…and other viruses, too!

As I mentioned earlier, the lamestream media and some liberal bureaucrats scoffed when President Trump suggested we investigate UV light as a potential treatment for the coronavirus.

But we should give him some credit. Latest research shows UV light is a viable, potential treatment.

In fact, we already know that UV light destroys the genetic material of many types of viruses. (Even previous versions of the coronavirus!) And, according to the National Academy of Sciences, it “probably” even kills the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)!

And New York City has already started using powerful UV lights to sanitize its subways and buses.

Now—do I think you should rush out and buy a UV light to use in your home?

Not necessarily.

Instead, as I’ve been recommending to you for years, simply try to spend at least 10-15 minutes out in the sun each day without sunscreen!

For one, you’ll increase your vitamin D levels—the critical nutrient that we know helps build your overall immunity. Plus, you’ll get some exposure to UV light—which, indeed, is a highly effective way to kill some viruses.

But wait, there’s more…

Sunlight activates T-cells in immune system

As I reported years ago, researchers with Georgetown University (in the same Department of Physiology and Pharmacology where I serve as adjunct professor) found that blue light, which comes from the visible part of the solar spectrum penetrates the top layer of your skin.

Then, once inside your body, it increases synthesis of hydrogen peroxide, which activates the all-important and protective T-cells in your immune system, telling them to move throughout the body. Of course, T-cells are critical for responding to and fighting infection. Including infection by the coronavirus.

But blue light has another thing going for it…

As I’ve told you before, UV rays only penetrate the atmosphere when the sun is high enough in the sky—which, in most parts of the country is only from April through October.

But blue light reaches the Earth whenever the sun is shining—all 12 months of the year. So, you can benefit from blue light rays year-round, wherever you are, simply by going out in the sun!

(Of course, we’re often warned about the dangers of artificial blue light. Which is why I recommend soaking in some natural blue light, out in Nature.)

I’ve always argued that the UV rays and blue rays in sunshine are two big reasons why viruses—like the flu virus—disappear each the summer. Indeed, viruses tend to dissipate when people stop spending as much time cooped up inside. Which brings me to my next point…

There’s never been a better time to take a hike

There’s really been no better time to give up your gym membership and start exercising outdoors than in the age of the coronavirus.

For one, you’ll get more exposure to the UV and blue light. Second, you’ll get the blood pumping—while still keeping a safe distance away from other people. Third, you’ll ultimately get a better workout. (Learn more in the June 2019 issue of my monthly newsletter, Insiders’ Cures [“Your warm-weather guide for safe and effective outdoor exercise”]. Not yet a subscriber? Now’s the perfect time to get started.)

In fact, as I’ve discussed before, trekking on natural, uneven, and unfamiliar terrain is much more challenging to your body—and your brain.

That being said, as you get older, you may want to consider using a trekking pole or walking stick on your hikes. These tools will help stabilize your footing, so you can avoid falls, strains, sprains, and twists. You can also use them to prod the ground in front of you to test its solidity and stability.

When going uphill, adjust the poles to a shorter length for extra leverage. And when going downhill, extend them to go ahead of you for extra safety and stability.

My daughter, who is a state park ranger, also suggests using the poles to push aside foliage blocking your path—without damaging the plants. They’re particularly useful for brushing aside unpleasant plants, including:

  • “death apple” trees (manchineel, in Florida)
  • “tread-softly” plants (also in Florida)
  • hogweed
  • poison ivy
  • poison oak
  • poison sumac
  • stinging nettles

So, this month, as things get back up and running around the country, I suggest visiting some state parks, which are typically less well-known and less crowded than national parks.

Here are three beautiful parks worthy of exploring in different parts of the country. And I’ve double-checked to make sure they’re all now open for visitors:

  1. Letchworth State Park, New York. Also known as the Grand Canyon of the East, Letchworth State Park plunges through a 600-foot gorge, with 66 miles of hiking trails.
  1. Custer State Park, South Dakota. This 71,000-acre wildlife park has 1,300 bison, plus antelope, elk, and prairie dogs along an 18-mile trail.
  1. Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas. Situated outside of Amarillo, Palo Duro Canyon is home to the second-longest canyon in the U.S. and features weathered rock pillars called “hoodoos.”

If you’re not within driving distance to any of these parks, you can find one near you by searching this website.

So, as uncertainty about the coronavirus continues, I suggest you get out in the sun as much as you can. Among other things, we know it will absolutely support your immunity. In addition, make sure you continue to supplement daily with 10,000 IU of vitamin D.

You can learn about all my other top immune health recommendations in my Pandemic Protection Playbook: How to become “immune ready” in every season. To gain access to this essential guide, click here now!

Sources:

“Does ultraviolet light kill the coronavirus?” The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, accessed 5/6/20. (sites.nationalacademies.org/BasedOnScience/covid-19-does-ultraviolet-light-kill-the-coronavirus/index.htm)

“Take a hike, safely.” AARP Magazine, April/May 2020: 14

“Need nature time? Try a state park: they’re as fun as a national park but less crowded.” AARP Magazine, April/May 2020: 14


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