We all want it, but not all of us get it (at least not a sufficient dose of).
From Fung Sui masters to doctors, yogis to fitness gurus will tell you that access to sunlight is essential in aiding your body to regulate the body-temperature rhythm that ensures robust energy, quality of sleep and emotional well-being that charges and serves to invigorate the mind (to exercise! of course).
To some degree, we all knew those sunlight benefits and quite frankly we don't need a certified sunlight advocate to give us a lecture on the importance of sunlight.
But what's interesting is the benefit of sunlight beyond the conventional wisdom.
It's the benefit of exercise under the sunlight, and we don't just mean how it feels good to be exercising under the bright daylight kind of a benefit. It's what ancient Greeks knew that so few of us know today.
According to Ener-Chi Wellness Center, ancient Greek men exercised naked under the sun on a warm sandy beach to develop a healthy muscular body and improve secretion of the hormone. In short, sun exposure is linked to the production of the male hormone, testosterone.
In a study conducted at Boston State Hospital, the sunlight-induced testosterone levels were in fact, evident and even showed a whooping 200% increase in the hormone when the genital skin was exposed to sunlight.
This only means one thing. Get your man to go under the sun for both muscular physique development and a baby making opportunity.
But men are not the only beneficiaries of sunlight. Women who suffer from menstrual problems can experience normalization of the menstrual cycle when exposed to the sun on a regular basis.
All in all, the benefits of sunlight extends from energy boost, mental and emotional wellness to hormonal improvements (which also treats infertility).
Problem is, not all of us can access sunlight especially in the dose some studies suggest. One in particular, health.usnews.com recommends 15-90 minutes of daily UV rays depending on your skin compression.
Maybe they haven't got the memo.
Most of us are either in a sun-drenched office all day, leave long after the sunset, and exercise early in the morning even before the sun wakes, just so we can be get to the no-exposure-to-sun office space just in a nickel of time before the sun begins to shed rays.
In other words, we play never-ending peek-a-boo with the precious sun and its UV rays.
Thankfully, we came across a product called the HappyLight. It's basically a form of artificial sunlight or we should really say, light therapy.
It's therapeutic benefits mainly include the benefits you get from the actual sunlight such as improvement in mood, energy, focus and productivity. It is also said to aid exercise performance especially for morning exercisers.
Since Fitwirr is now based in Oregon, a state most known for the lack of sunlight (according to ABC News, 222 cloudy days per year to be exact), we were up for the trial of Happy Light to see if it can make a difference.
And, let us add that ABC News also reported Portland, Oregon ranked #1 for depression and #4 for divorce among the 50 cities. We can surely use some serious light therapy.
Before diving in, here is a summary of what HappyLight does exactly (official product descriptions from the HappyLight).
"Balanced Natural Spectrum Daylight taps the potency of light to gently cue your body to recalibrate and stabilize, naturally reducing fatigue and lethargy while improving focus."
What HappyLight Does
HappyLight, The Liberty 10K provides up to 10,000 LUX of full spectrum light (scotopic light measured at 10 inches), the highest recommended output for addressing seasonal change, the "Winter Blues" (a subclinical form of Seasonal Affective Disorder [SAD]) or the effects of shift work, jet lag, malaise or fatigue.
Balanced Natural Spectrum Daylight taps the potency of light to gently cue your body to recalibrate and stabilize, naturally reducing fatigue and lethargy while improving focus.
No two people view and react to light in the same way, so this energy lamp provides the flexibility to customize the light to meet your needs.
High-Low intensity controls, interchangeable lenses and a tilt feature give you the maximum flexibility to design the program that works best for you.
A broad field of up to 10,000 LUX* of light provides a more flexible program, allowing you to be farther from the lamp and to move around more freely during use.
The way we tested the product and conducted sunlight therapy using the HappyLight is simple. We placed the lamp on the desktop while working for approximately 30 minutes a day during the weekdays for several weeks.
We set it low since hight felt too bright and light from the low setting felt strong enough.
We also turned it on during our daily 6 minute morning workout.
It's really difficult to say if HappyLight made a difference in the workout performance or motivation to workout in the morning, since we are already pretty motivated and committed when it comes to fitness, but there were certainly those low energy days that HappyLight could have been more useful if it was used during the waking cycle to wake up better from sleep.
That could have led to a better start of the day and better attitude towards morning exercise.
It was also very hard to measure and quantify the level of focus and energy since we were slightly under-informed as to when to expect energy boost and increased focus.
Should we look out for an immediate boost or should the results be measured in a longer span of time? We weren't sure.
One thing we did notice is how quickly we got used to the bright light, and how much it actually brightens the room.
While our fixed room lights are darker, orange shades, HappyLight is very white. The room felt lighter than when only the fixed room lights are on.
Initially we assumed our Oregon citizenships would surely qualify us for a trial, we quickly learned it's benefits may be more significant in SAD patients who really suffer from depression due to lack of light.
We are also looking to continue our use to see if we can spot any long-term results in the areas of focus, energy, mood and workout performance over the course of months rather than weeks.
Have you tried the HappyLight or do you think you can benefit from light therapy?
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