It’s that time of year–the kids are out of school and are (hopefully) spending lots of time outside playing, swimming, or just being. I’ve enjoyed sitting out in our yard on a blanket with a book while the kids practice lacrosse, and we’ve also been leash-training our bearded dragons, Fifi and Sprite. Yes you read that right.
I bring it up for a valid reason–not just because I’ve become a bit obsessed with them. That reason is that bearded dragons are desert reptiles which require large amounts of heat and direct UV-B light to be healthy in captivity. Of course their tanks are fully equipped with a high temperature basking spot and a separate light that emits UV-B radiation, but our holistic reptile vet (yes they exist) suggested having them outdoors in real sunlight on leashes as often as possible.
While humans aren’t cold-blooded desert animals like Fifi and Sprite, many of us do live lives in captivity with artificial light, temperature regulation, and restricted movement. One of the reasons reptiles and humans need sunlight is the same–it helps us naturally produce Vitamin D. And though we must enjoy the sun responsibly to avoid skin cancer and wrinkle-causing free radical damage, there’s a lot we can do internally–in addition to proper use of topical sunscreens and protective clothing–to strengthen our skin’s ability to resist UV damage.
Written by Rachel of Holistically Haute