Costa Rica may be one of the healthiest places on earth to retire. Not only does its climate encourage a healthy outdoor lifestyle but you get healthy benefits from the fresh air and especially the sunlight.
It’s well documented that many people suffer from SAD–seasonal affective disorder–caused by insufficient sunlight.
One of the reasons SAD affects so many people is the lack of vitamin D in the body. Depression is just one result of not having enough vitamin D, an important vitamin needed by the body to keep it healthy.
While the sun doesn’t directly infuse vitamins into our bodies, its rays help the body make or absorb certain vitamins from our environment and the food we eat.
The body absorbs the sunlight and it activates a process called hydroxylation that produces vitamin D.
You would have to drink about a gallon of milk each day to come close to the amount of vitamin D that the sun helps our body produce!
It’s nearly impossible to get enough vitamin D in our diet without some exposure to the sun.
Walking, swimming, hiking, golfing, riding a bicycle, and other outdoor activities helps the body absorb sunlight and generate the vitamin D you need to absorb calcium for bone health.
Vitamin D also maintains calcium and phosphate levels in your body that help rebuild teeth and bones. D is an antioxidant that protects your cells from the damage caused by free radicals and aids in maintaining bone density and muscle strength.
Without enough of this vitamin your body can suffer from bone disease like osteoporosis and rickets. The lack of vitamin D has been linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis and other diseases and conditions.
Bones won’t heal properly and you may suffer clinical depression or hypertension.
A healthy outdoor lifestyle doesn’t mean that you have to spend all day outside but it’s very tempting to do so in Costa Rica.
Its temperate climate and warm tropical breezes make it a perfect place to indulge in all your favorite sports or just enjoy reading a book in the shade of your back porch.
Even during the rainy season from May through November, the sun is generally out most of the day. In fact, Costa Rica has an average of 11-12 hours of sunlight each day.
The main problem in getting enough vitamin D is sunscreen. While it is important to protect our skin from sunlight that can cause melanoma, sunscreen prevents the absorption of the light that allows our body to produce vitamin D.
Just ten minutes of midday sun is necessary for fair-skinned people to get the sunlight they need while darker-skinned people need about 20 minutes.
Wearing sunscreen the rest of the day can protect your skin from skin cancer and premature aging.
By getting enough sunlight you will be able to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle and stave off depression caused by lack of natural light.
Costa Rica is the perfect place for an active lifestyle that helps you stay in good health throughout your retirement years.
Written by Scott Oliver, author of 1: How To Buy Costa Rica Real Estate Without Losing Your Camisa, 2: Costa Rica’s Guide To Making Money Offshore and 3. ¿Cómo Comprar Bienes Raices en Costa Rica, Sin Perder Su Camisa?
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