My paddle-boarding sister-in-law, Jamie, shocked me when she confirmed she has a vitamin D-deficiency. Jamie, 42, got a quick blood test at her doctor’s office due to spiraling hormonal issues and PMS-like mood swings.
“I was so irritable, and I felt out of my own body. I was more tired every month, and my sleep was suddenly restless,” says Jamie, who lives in Bend, OR. Jamie is a gorgeous brunette, a daily cyclist who exercises outdoors daily and maintains a vegan diet. She’s never pale, so how can she, of all people, be missing “the D sunshine vitamin?”
Vitamin D is a nutrient needed for health and to maintain strong bones. It helps the body absorb calcium from supplements and food. Experts claim the safe upper limits for vitamin D are 2,500 to 3,000 international units (or IU/day) for children 1-8 years, and 4,000 IU/day for children 9 years or older, plus teens and adults.
In case you were wondering: Excessive sun exposure doesn’t cause vitamin D poisoning, because the body limits the amount it produces. Without risking skin cancer and applying frequent sunscreen, the best activities for people suffering this vitamin deficiency and low energy should carve out the time to play outside in nature every single day.
The American College of Sports Medicine urges all adults to add up 30 to 60 minutes per day of exercise, so now make yours outside. Try:
• Gardening and yard work;
• outdoors biking and hiking;
• playing tag and family games outside; and
• longer dog walks and lunchtime power walks.
Connect with Nicole @nicoledorsey1