When the Going Gets Tough, Get Vitamin D
By Jordan Gunderson | HealthCorps Coordinator 2018 – 2019
This time of year, everything seems extra tough. The days are getting shorter, and so is our patience. No one is alone in this feeling. You may not know that part of the reason that we start feeling yucky as the cold weather approaches, is that we’re getting less vitamin D. This is because we’re spending less time outside getting sunlight. While it’s something that we don’t usually think about in the warmer months, it can really make the difference in these colder months. A vitamin D deficiency can manifest itself as fatigue, low mood, and being more susceptible to illness. No wonder so many people hate winter!
So what can we do? The best way to get vitamin D is through sunlight, so try your hardest to get outside, even if it’s just for a little while every day. However, there are some other ways to get it. Some foods naturally contain vitamin D like fatty fish, and then some foods are fortified with it, like cereals, milk products, and some orange juices. There are also vitamin D supplements that you can take throughout the winter.
Aside from getting enough vitamin D, a great way to boost your winter mood and battle fatigue is to get moving! This time of year is also troublesome, because people are generally less active when they can’t be outside doing activities like hiking, gardening, bike riding, and walking. Just like we need to be more conscious about our vitamin D intake, we’ve got to be more conscious about making time to be active! I know it’s tough to get yourself to exert more energy when you’re already so tired, and the sun sets so early, but trust me, your body and your mind will thank you. When the going gets tough, we’ve got to get going!