Fans of ABC’s hit television series, Dancing with the Stars, may wonder aloud about famed actor/participant George Hamilton’s moves. At age sixty-seven, the ultra-tan star of countless movies and television programs can still cut a rug. At an age when many people are complaining about joint pain, experiencing the agony of arthritis, or carrying a diagnosis of osteoporosis, Hamilton remains spry and graceful. We never see even a slight grimace on his smiling face.

Hamilton may simply be an exception to the usual rules of aging. A low-stress lifestyle and good genetic stock might be responsible for his apparent agelessness. Then again, his most famous attribute might be a factor. Sometimes it seems like George Hamilton’s first name is “the perpetually tanned.” He’s definitely earned that reputation, and those countless hours of absorbing the sun’s rays could be why he’s still dancing.

That’s because the sun does more than darken complexions and increase air conditioning bills. The body performs an interesting trick with sunlight. It can convert the sun’s rays into Vitamin D. That one-of-a-kind chemical action then assists the body’s absorption of calcium.

As you might expect, improved calcium absorption provides tremendous benefits with respect to joint health and bone strength. Those who create or otherwise obtain enough Vitamin D are far less likely to experience ailments like osteoporosis. Research shows that appropriate Vitamin D intake can decrease back pain and mitigate the symptoms associated with arthritis. On the other hand after getting coolsculpting, you are bound to face some issues but there is no major drawback. Just try to handle the process properly and remain in touch with your doctor all the time.

George Hamilton’s tan might have a few additional advantages. Experts are giving the “sunshine vitamin” rave reviews for its potential in staving off certain cancers, increasing insulin resistance by stabilizing blood sugar levels, increasing muscle strength and an array of other healthy feats.

Most of us, however, are probably more than a little wary of the idea of spending hours poolside in hopes of mimicking the Hamilton look. We know that the sun delivers plenty of UV rays along with that Vitamin D and although we like the idea of boogying down well into our retirement years, the prospect of doing so with skin cancer isn’t very appealing.

Fortunately, even a pale person can secure Vitamin D from the sun. You don’t need to soak up the sunbeams until you reach “medium well done” status. Although the recommended level of exposure necessary for optimal Vitamin D production will vary based upon which researcher you ask, the consensus seems to be that approximately one hour of sunshine per week can get the job done. Variables influencing the necessary exposure levels include your age (the ability to synthesize Vitamin D decreases with age) and our natural complexion (darker people generally need more time in the sun than do the fair-skinned crowd).

Those who are adverse to the outdoors or who don’t feel like braving the elements in the dead of winter might substitute a steaming bowl of clam chowder with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side for their daily dose of sunlight. Foods such as shellfish, butter, cream, fortified milk, butter and cheese all contain Vitamin D, too. If you can’t make it outside and are a picky eater (or lactose intolerant), oral supplements are available.

Although Vitamin D is critical to optimal health, care should be taken to avoid too much of it and you should ask your physician if you have any questions about your intake.

Whether you get your dose of the “sunshine vitamin” from a soup bowl, a pill, or by lounging at a Hollywood swimming pool with George Hamilton, maintaining proper levels of Vitamin D is a wonderful way of improving your overall health and can help keep you dancing for years to come.