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Picture this: a crisp morning, a clear sky and the first golden rays of the sun peeking over the horizon. Now, imagine stepping outside, feeling the cool air against your skin and basking in that early sunlight for a few minutes. This simple practice, combining the benefits of morning sunlight with brief cold exposure, can lead to weight loss, better sleep and more energy!
Why Morning Sunlight?
The early morning sun does more than just light up the sky. It plays a pivotal role in regulating three key hormones:
- Leptin: This hormone controls appetite. Morning light helps keep leptin levels balanced, aiding in appetite regulation.
- Melatonin: Known as the sleep hormone, melatonin is suppressed by morning light, helping you wake up and sets the stage for better sleep at night.
- Cortisol: This energy-regulating hormone gets a healthy boost from morning sunlight, giving you natural vitality and focus.
The Cold Factor
Adding a cold element by stepping outside in cooler temperatures, perhaps with fewer layers for just one to two minutes, amplifies these benefits:
- Enhanced Metabolic Rate: Brief exposure to cold can increase your metabolic rate, aiding in calorie burn.
- Improved Circulation: The cold stimulates blood flow, enhancing circulation and invigorating your body.
- Boosted Immune Response: Short bursts of cold exposure can strengthen the immune system.
Combining Sun and Cold: A Powerful Duo
When you merge the hormonal regulation of morning sunlight with the invigorating effects of cold exposure, you create a potent combination for health:
- Better Sleep and Alertness: The sunlight regulates melatonin and cortisol, while the cold sharpens alertness.
- Appetite Control: Balanced leptin levels from sunlight exposure help in managing hunger throughout the day.
- Increased Energy: The combination of sunlight and a brief chill can leave you feeling more energized.
How to Incorporate This Into Your Routine
- Early Morning Sun Gazing: Step outside at sunrise or before 10am. Aim for five to 10 minutes of sun exposure.
- Dress Lightly: Wear just enough to be safe but feel the cold. One to two minutes is all you need.
- Face the Sun: Let your eyes (without sunglasses) and skin soak in the morning light. Remember, never look directly at the sun.
- Consistency is Key: Make this a daily ritual for the best results.
- Evening Routine: Dim indoor lights in the evening to promote melatonin production for sleep. Use lamps and blue-blocking glasses to reduce blue light exposure.
One More Thing, Food Timing
It can take a few days of setting your alarm to wake up at sunrise, but your body will naturally get in the rhythm of waking up without an alarm. There is an app called “Circadian” that can tell you when the sun rises and when you should start reducing overhead lights at night. In addition to using light as a way to optimize health, consider eating the majority of your calories when it is light outside. Our bodies are more insulin sensitive during daylight hours.
This simple yet powerful morning routine of sun and cold exposure can set a positive tone for your entire day, impacting everything from your energy levels to your sleep quality. So tomorrow, embrace the chill, greet the sun and start your day with this natural boost to your well-being!
A Little About Me:
My name is Jane Burnette, and I’m passionate about health and wellness. As a holistic health coach with a degree from UNC Chapel Hill and numerous certifications, I specialize in lifestyle changes that empower people to achieve their health goals.
My mission is simple: guide clients to optimize their daily habits so their bodies’ natural healing processes can kick in. Rather than focus on diets or quick fixes, I teach sustainable strategies for nutrition, exercise, stress relief and more.
I draw on my own experiences as a mother of three boys, fitness enthusiast and lover of the outdoors to help clients become the best version of themselves.