Working every day in my office, I often look out my window and see the sunlight glimmering on the lake. I love being out in the sunshine, but busy workdays often keep me indoors. Recently, I’ve been striving to take breaks and go for walks or runs to stay active. There is also another benefit you should know about – vitamin D!
For many of us, winters are long, cold, and cloudy so there’s a high chance we might be vitamin D deficient. Now that spring is on its way (it starts 3/20!), we can look forward to warmer weather and more sunshine. Doctors estimate that it only takes 5-10 minutes of sun exposure 2-3 times a week for our bodies to produce sufficient vitamin D.(1) That can simply mean a walk outside during your lunch break!
Benefits of Vitamin D
Boosting Your Immune System – Many of my friends and family are fighting the dreaded common cold, flu, or even worse… the man flu! All joking aside, vitamin D can be the key to preventing a lot of sicknesses from developing by maintaining a healthy immune system. Researchers have found vitamin D deficiency can lead to increased autoimmunity and susceptibility to infection. (3) One study showed that children given vitamin D every day for 4 months during winter reduced their risk of influenza by over 40%. (1)
Healthy Bones and Teeth – Vitamin D regulates your body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Therefore, it’s important for the growth and development of your bones and teeth. Without enough of it, you risk developing osteoporosis or soft bones (a.k.a osteomalacia). (2)
Disease Prevention – Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and many other diseases. Sufficient vitamin D intake should be a priority!
I can definitely tell you from experience that taking a break from work to get active in the sunshine helps clear my mind and be more productive working. With all the other health benefits of vitamin D, I’ll be sure to make time to get out in the sunshine, and I hope you will too!