Poolside health benefits...Does sunlight really improve health?...One year ago today...Versailles...


Tom was reading while soaking up the sun.
One of the major attracting points of a certain number of the properties we chose to rent throughout the world is the availability of a swimming pool.  We don't select a pool as a filter when searching for properties to rent although, we certainly pay attention when a pool is available. 

When we booked this lovely property in Trinity Beach, we were thrilled there was a pool.  We imagined lounging by the pool for a requisite one hour maximum almost every sunny day after we uploaded the day's post. 

This is the second of the uneven stone steps leading down to the pool.
Should you decide to undertake acquiring your Vitamin D3 from the sun, please read this article and begin very slowly to avoid burning if you have no base tan.  For some fair skinned individuals as little as a few minutes on each side is all that is possible in the beginning to avoid burning.  Also, please check with your doctor if you currently have skin cancer or any other medical condition that may be impacted by time in direct sunlight.

Here's the link to an excellent article with accompanying research on the benefits of getting Vitamin D from the sun.  When we can acquire nutrients from natural resources we're inspired and we'll undertake considerable research in order to formulate an opinion as to the validity of the research.

Here's a link about the benefits of Vitamin D3 from the world renowned Mayo Clinic.  In reading this and other reports we easily realized we may not receive any Vitamin D from foods, especially when neither us eats any processed foods fortified with Vitamin D.

the steep wood steps from the yard down to the pool.
Also, there's a calculator at the this site, developed by scientists (as is all of this article), to help you determine what is best for you based on your location, skin type and times of days.

Once we become convinced that a natural resource may have a benefit for us, we may adopt its use.  So is the case of Vitamin D3.  When we had to reduce our luggage weight load, that included disposing of a several bottles of Vitamin D3 supplements. Without this supplement, we were convinced we needed to acquire the vital nutrient directly from the sun.

Also, we carried several tubes of sunscreens with us which neither of us liked using.  We ditched those as well with a plan to stay out of the sun beyond an maximum of one hour per day.  With enough of a tan base to protect us from sunburn and covered with clothing when we visit various outdoor sites on sunny days, we have little concern. 

There's an outdoor kitchen under the gazebo.  However, after 4 pm, the no-see-ums arrive on the biting frenzy making "cooking on the Barbie" not as appealing as one might think.
After extensive research we became convinced that short regular stints in the sun with 60% of our skin exposed for 20 minutes on each side without the use of sunscreen would benefit us both greatly in many ways. 

Over these past three years living in warm climates, we've worked our way up to 30 minutes without our skin turning pink.  However, the proximity to the equator has a bearing on how long we stay in the sun in each new location. 

When we first arrived in Australia, we tried 10 minutes on each side and now we've worked our way up to a maximum of 20 minutes on each side, most often staying out only for a total of 40 minutes due to the heat of the sun.  We've never been sunburned over these past three years even with Tom's light Irish skin. 

The pool has a waterfall which isn't in use at this time.
Anyway, once we arrived in Trinity Beach and moved into this desirable vacation property we discovered that getting down to the pool required a trek down a steep staircase with a splinter inducing single sided wood handrail.  Plus, at that time, there were no chaise lounges by the pool.

With as kind and helpful as our hosts have been, we didn't want to ask for chaise lounges by the pool.  Apparently, they read our mention of this in a prior post ending up purchasing two fabulous cushioned chaise lounges several weeks ago for which we're very grateful.


Fruit growing on this tree situated in the pool area.
In the interim, before the chaises, we managed to use the chairs on our veranda, using the cushions on the ground to lay on our stomachs and sitting in the chairs facing the sun at noon. This worked but was relatively uncomfortable.

The next challenge, once the chaise lounges were situated by the pool, was getting used to safely maneuvering the steps down to the pool area and then two smaller sets of uneven stone steps.

This interesting tree by the pool  has a look comparable to a bottle cleaner.
Tom, of course, can walk on a bed of nails without tripping.  Me, on the other hand, can easily stumble on uneven surfaces from the instability of my spinal condition.  Tom is a dependable and sturdy support when I'm walking in such conditions, never faltering in adding a strong arm and hand to guide the way.

After all, we did make it down the treacherous Queen's Bath in Kauai (read our Part 1 here and Part 2 here) without falling when we'd read that many younger hikers were injured in the process. By far, it was the most dangerous trek we've made in our travels.

View to the house above.
Once down by the pool and situated in the chaise lounges laying atop the comfortable cushions, we set the timer on my phone to ensure we don't overstay in the sun. 

To entertain ourselves we both read the books on our phones as the time quickly passes.  Before we know it, we're flipping over and then, we're done.  To say that these short stints is therapeutic in other ways is minimizing the powerful effect of the sun in health, mood and energy levels. 

Jittery camera (no doubt) when attempting to get close enough to take this photo.  Later, when we were ready to leave the pool area, hoping it would be gone, we realized it was dead.  Hahaha.  We laughed.
We all know how beneficial a little sunshine and getting outdoors is for all of us, let alone gleaning the Vitamin D3 benefits we grasp as often as we can.  We find ourselves feeling grateful to Mother Nature for this beneficial effect which she has perfectly provided for us.

Have a sunny weekend!
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Photo from one year ago today, August 7, 2014:
Without umbrellas and only lightly hooded jackets we stood outside in the pouring rain for the tour of the 90 minutes tour of the Gardens of Versailles.  We had to keep the camera inside my jacket to avoid it getting wetter than it did.  We were soaked all the way to our underwear but somehow didn't care, neither of us ever complaining.  For more details and amazing photos of Versailles, please click here.

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