Sunshine and Vitamin D can improve your day at the archery range
When most people think of sunshine, they think of it simply as good weather. Many archers see it as a great chance to spend some time shooting outdoors. However, there is evidence that simple good-weather sunshine may be a lot more helpful than anyone ever guessed.
Today, many health professionals recognize the importance of getting a safe amount of sunshine so that our bodies can naturally produce Vitamin D, which has been linked to improved wellness, immune system function, and athletic performance.
Archers are very lucky to be able to enjoy all-day events during the outdoor season. Depending on where they live, archers often have the opportunity to shoot and compete outdoors for half a year or more, which means archers have ready access to sunshine on a regular basis.
Science also shows that getting too much sun, especially getting sunburned often, can lead to long-term health problems. Sunburns are also downright unpleasant and can distract you from shooting your best or having fun at a competition.
The only two ways to avoid sunburn are to limit your time in the sun or to cover up with clothing and sunscreen with a high SPF rating. Sunscreen prevents skin damage by blocking UV rays. These rays are what allow our bodies to create Vitamin D, so everyone has to decide for themselves the best way to balance sunshine and safety precautions. When in doubt, it is always best to cover up.
Some steps you can take to stay safe in the sun:
- Cover up with light clothing and a wide-brimmed hat in the mornings.
- Take a moment to apply a non-greasy sunscreen with a high SPF on any exposed areas.
- Use a damp cloth or towel to clean your hands before you return to shooting.
- Cover up with a hat and stay in the shade whenever possible to keep cool.
Resources for more information on the benefits of Vitamin D:
- “Athletic Performance and Vitamin D“, in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, May 2009. Courtesy of the American College of Sports Medicine.
- “Running on D: The Sun Vitamin may boost performance, but you probably aren’t getting enough“, by Karen Asp in Runner’s World Magazine, December 2009.
- “Vitamin D and the Chicago Blackhawks“, by Dr. John Jacob Cannell in The Vitamin D Council, May 2010.
- “The Vitamin D Solution: A 3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problem“, by Michael F. Holick, Ph.D, M. D.