Its easy to feel sorry for myself in these dark and cold winter months in Manchester, as an outdoor personal trainer. I cant lie, the thought of a nice cosy desk job does occasionally enter my head when I stand in dog poop for the 3rd time in a week, and I feel unable to clean it off due to the frost bite at the ends of my fingers!
But with Libra as my star sign and all, it is imperative to look at the other side of the scale however, and balance the benefits with the losses ! One HUGE PLUS from being in the great outdoors, (aside from the love of my job), is the FREE VITAMIN D with every session for me and my clients-
Its a Win -Win.
Did you know that recent studies have suggested that up to 50% of adults and children worldwide are vitamin D deficient!
One of the biggest causes of our growing Vitamin D crisis seems to be the amount of time that us folks spend sitting indoors, avoiding day light. Add onto this the reduced amount of light during winter months its easy to see why we could all do with that little bit extra in the forthcoming months.
So what is this thing they call vitamin D and why is it so important?
Many people know Vitamin D, as the sunshine vitamin. In spite of the label however, vitamin D is in fact considered by experts to be a ‘pro hormone’*. This means the body is able to produce its own vitamin D with sufficient exposure to sunlight on the skin.
(*Vitamins, are nutrients which cannot be synthesised by the body and must be acquired by diet or supplements).
So why is it so important?
Benefits of Vitamin D
-Healthy Bone function. Vitamin D plays a super huge role in the regulation of calcium and maintenance of phosphorus levels in the blood, two factors which are extremely important for maintaining healthy bones. Poor bone health is more common as we age and in females are known to be at a much greater risk of Osteoporosis.
-It supports immune, brain and nervous system function. During the winter months cold and flu is rife. Vitamin D can aid resistance not only by assisting immune function against bugs, but science shows it also plays a role in protecting against much more serious illness such as multiple sclerosis, cancer and diabetes.
Low Mood? Vitamin D has been proven to have an effect on those suffering with depressive symptoms. It is also recorded to link with improved sleep and restlessness.
How Can I improve my vitamin D intake?
Vitamin D can be found in the food you eat, however research suggests that the amounts we receive from food is limited. (As a fat soluble vitamin you also need make sure you also eat fat to enable the body to absorb it)
Good sources are:-
• Oily Fish-Smoked Salmon (97%), Swordfish (94%), Canned Trout (86%), Salmon (75%), Smoked White Fish (73%), Mackerel (65%), Canned Mackerel (43%), Tuna Canned in Oil (38%), Halibut (33%), Herring (30%), Sardine (27%), Rockfish (26%), Tilapia (21%), Sole & Flounder (20%), and Tuna Steak (12%).