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Vitamin D In Winter: How Long Should One Sit In The Sun

To function effectively, your body needs adequate amounts of vitamin D in winter. Vitamin D in winter is best obtained through sunlight. It can help in-

  • Calcium can help improve your bone health.
  • Strengthen and build up your muscles.
  • Increase the size and quantity of muscle fibers used for quick bursts of power and speed.
  • Strengthen your lower body.
  • Legs must be strengthened (along with calcium)
  • Preventing falls.
  • Protect against certain diseases by regulating the immune system.

However, because the weather is gloomy most of the time throughout the winter, there is less exposure to sunshine. Many people also avoid going because of the winter. Many people also fail to include enough vitamin D-rich foods in their diets.

Requirement Of Vitamin D In Winter Season

According to a dietician, “The COVID-19 epidemic has highlighted the importance of improving immunity. Vitamin D in winters is necessary for the development of immunity as well as the strengthening of bones, muscles, as well as teeth. Vitamin D deficiency can result in a decrease of bone density, putting people at risk for bone illnesses such osteoporosis, rickets, as well as fractures.”

Do You Require Additional Vitamin D In Winter?

“Humans are more in contact with diseases and spend less time outside in the winter. As a result, there is insufficient exposure to sunshine. Vitamin D deficiency could be a result of this. As a result, you’ll need to supplement your diet with vitamin D foods “Doctors explain.

Food Sources And Daily Requirements

“For adults and children above the age of one, the Indian Council of Medical Research recommendation (2020) for vitamin D is 400 IU/day,” explains Doctors.

Vitamin D is present in milk and milk products, fish, and fortified cereals. A supplement may be considered, but only after consulting with a doctor, as too much, Vitamin D in winter can harm the kidneys.

Though COVID-19 has limited mobility, sitting in the sun for a few min on the balcony or patio, ideally between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., will assist you to get enough Vitamin D in winter. The quantity of exposure should be at a minimum of 18% of the total body weight (bare arms and bare face).

According to Doctor, “Based on the complexion, the length of exposure differs from person to person. Fair-complexioned persons should sit in the sun for at least 20 mins 3-4 times each week, whereas dark-skinned people should sit in the sun for 30-40 mins.”

Sunlight In The Winter for vitamin D in winter

If your skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces vitamin D naturally. Vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol) is a cholesterol-derived type of vitamin D that you can acquire from the sun. The quantity of vitamin D in winter you obtain from exposing your skin to the sun is influenced by a number of factors. It’s as follows:

1) Your Current Address

If someone lives nearer to the equator, the simpler it is for your body to produce vitamin D all year long from the sunrays. For example, if you reside in Anchorage, Alaska, your body will make less vitamin D in winter than somebody who lives in Miami, because Florida has more UVB rays, that are essential for vitamin D production.

How Long Should One Sit In The Sun For Vitamin D In Winter? Learn From Doctor

2) The Extent To Which You Expose Your Skin

You may be at risk for vitamin D insufficiency if you wear apparel that covers the majority of your skin. This also means that persons who exercise indoors during the winter months may have to deplete their vitamin D stores if they don’t get enough, increasing their risk of deficiency. Because fewer UVB rays reach your skin on cloudy days, cloudy weather might be an issue.

3) The Pigmentation Of Your Skin

People with darker skin may have a harder time generating vitamin D from sunlight. Melanin, which is more common in persons with darker skin, inhibits your body’s capacity to produce vitamin D in reaction to sunshine. This essentially means that persons with pale skin create vitamin D at a faster rate than those with a darker complexion. The following categories are used to categorize skin color typology:

  1. White with red or blond hair, blue eyes, and freckles.
  2. Fair skin, red or blond hair, and blue, hazel, or green eyes.
  3. Fair; cream white; any eye or hair color; quite frequent.
  4. Brown; typical Mediterranean Caucasian skin type.
  5. Dark Brown; skin types from the Middle East
  6. Black 

When it comes to vitamin D production, people with skin types I to III create it faster than people with skin types 4 to 6. To receive your required level of vitamin D, obtain half the amount of sunlight exposure it requires for your skin to turn pink. Cover up with clothing and return to the shade once you’ve exposed your skin for a sufficient amount of time.

To produce the same quantity of vitamin D, a dark-skinned individual may require ten times the amount of sun exposure as a lighter-skinned person.

4) The Season And Time Of Day

UVB rays are inhibited when the sun’s rays penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere at a steep angle. During the early and late periods of the day, as well as the majority of the day during the winter, this occurs. So, if you want to boost your vitamin D levels, make sure you expose your skin to the sun nearer to midday. During the winter, though, relying on sunshine may not be sufficient to satisfy your needs.

5) Season

Vitamin D levels in the United States fluctuate throughout the year, rising in August and then declining in February. Vitamin D levels are at their lowest during the winter months, according to research. Because more UVB reaches regions far away from the equator during the summer, whenever the Earth rotates, the angle of the sun hitting the atmosphere is optimal for vitamin D formation.

6) Duration

Daily sunlight exposure is thought to provide us with more than 90% of our vitamin D. As per Experts, 5 to 30 mins of unprotected sunlight exposure to your face, arms, legs, or back 2 to 3 times per week between the hrs of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. is sufficient for your body to make all of the D3 it requires.

7) Apply Sunscreen

Vitamin D production can be inhibited by sunscreen. You can’t wear sunscreen if you want your skin to absorb UVB rays, which are required for vitamin D3 synthesis. In fact, sunscreens with an SPF of 8 or higher have been shown to limit our skin’s capacity to synthesize vitamin D from sunshine by as much as 95%, according to research.

8) Cancer Of The Skin

However, because of the risk of skin cancer, it’s crucial not to overdo your sun exposure. Because of the risks of too much sun, you should consult a doctor to see if taking a supplement is the best option for you. Vitamin D is available in two types in supplement form: D2 and D3. Because the majority of stages in the metabolism of vitamin D2 and D3 are substantially identical, the two forms have long been considered interchangeable.

Whereas nutritional amounts of vitamin D2 and D3 are comparable, large amounts of vitamin D2 are less effective. As a result, the Vitamin D Council advises taking vitamin D3 instead of vitamin D2. Most over-the-counter vitamin D supplements in the U.s are D3 but double-check.

How Long Should One Sit In The Sun For Vitamin D In Winter? Learn From Doctor


Your vitamin D levels should be acceptable if you go outside every day and get enough sun exposure. However, the only way to know for certain is to have your blood tested.

Inside Tracker will evaluate your vitamin D levels & convey to you your ideal condition depends on age, gender, ethnicity, as well as athletic action (via the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test, the most accurate method to determine how much vitamin D is in your body), as well as how to enhance them when they’re out of range. Because so many of us have low vitamin D levels, it’s better to be cautious than sorry.

Read Also: Vitamin D Deficiency : Symptoms & Treatment

People May Ask

Q- Is It Possible To Receive Enough Vitamin D From Sunlight Even If I Live In An Area Where Sunlight Is Scarce During The Winter?

A- The majority of people can get enough vitamin D from sunlight throughout the summer, while many people’s synthesis is inadequate during the winter.

Q- In The Winter, How Long Do You Have To Be In The Sun To Receive Vitamin D?

A- To absorb adequate vitamin D, your body just requires 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight, and that is all your body can absorb at one time. As a result, after 15 minutes in the sun, your body begins to eliminate the excess vitamin D.

Q- Is It Possible To Get Vitamin D After 5 P.M.?

A- “You can’t make vitamin D if your shadow is longer than your body height,” Holick says. According to him, the best time for significant sunlight exposure is between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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