Whether we love it or hate it, Winter is here and that means less time outdoors and less exposure to the sun. It may not seem like it should really affect us, but it does. When vitamin D exposure is hindered, it results in less serotonin release (the ‘happy’ hormone), less energy, poorer mood, more fatigue, and increased incidence of health problems.

Vitamin D is involved in hundreds of chemical reactions in the body and we need it to function at a higher capacity if we want to run optimally. Another thing to note is that in order to get the vitamin D from the sunlight, you have to physically be outdoors and make contact with the UV, not just have an office window. A reference point of how much we could/should be taking,  consider this: just 15 minutes outside on a hot summers’s day will produce 100,000 IU of vitamin D. So, when the recommended daily intake is just 400 IU-1000 IU, you wonder why the recommendations are far below of what you may expect it to be. 

Here is a list of just some of the reported connections between sufficient Vitamin D intake and health: lessens cognitive impairment, is related to lowering blood pressure, lowers incidence of colorectal cancers, plays a role in bone health (vitamin D is required to absorb calcium; a key mineral in bone health), reduces the risk of Multiple Sclerosis, lowers the incidence of macular degenerative disease, lowers inflammation (the root of all disease) and heart related problems.

So how can we learn to enjoy the cold Winter days a bit more? Here are some tips to help get you by before Spring rolls around:

  1. Bundle up and take a daily walk for 10-15 minutes. Meet up with a friend or co-worker and make it part of your daily routine.
  2. Start supplementing with 4000-6000 IU of vitamin D every morning (with breakfast).
  3. Have a UV lamp in your kitchen or the room you spend the most time in. Though there is still radiation exposure from it,  be mindful if you really need it or just need to take more Vitamin D.
  4. Start a new hobby or find something to do to keep you busy and active. Time will pass faster than just staying at home for the season.
  5. Eat more vegetables; whether its hearty soups or in general more produce. The nutrients in vegetables will naturally give you more energy and boost your mood.
  6. Plan a winter holiday thats warm. Even a few days away can impact your mindset when the Winter is long.

And remember, the season is temporary. If you try to think of it that way, Winter isn’t so bad. 


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