Keeping versed and on my feet

Although it’s called a vitamin it’s actually a hormone. It helps the body absorb calcium, helps prevent illness, mood disorders, muscles need it to move, and can help prevent heart disease and obesity.

Vitamin D.

outdoor
The outdoors!

Our bodies make vitamin D when we are exposed to the sun as long as we have skin exposed that isn’t covered in sunscreen. Sitting inside and being exposed to the sun’s rays through your window will not have the same effect. Cloudy skies, dark skin, being further away from the sun during the winter months will drastically reduce your body’s absorption of the sun rays for your body to make Vitamin D. Therefore most of us need to supplement to get the amount of Vitamin D we need.

As you can see your basic health needs require you to have adequate levels of Vitamin D. But there are also other benefits that come with proper levels

Fitness

 

fitness
Maximize your fitness

Some studies are showing that supplementing with Vitamin D even if your Vitamin D levels are sufficient aide in recovery following intense physical exercise, even if you are an active athlete. Vitamin D also regulates neuromuscular functioning and impacts protein synthesis which can impact your performance and recovery.

Another benefit of having sufficient levels of Vitamin D is it has been shown to reduce inflammation, another side effect of working out.

So how does Vitamin D help us with fitness?

          • Reduces muscle soreness and aids in faster recovery
          • Reduces inflammation also aiding in a faster recovery
          • Helps in building a strong immune system allowing us to work out more frequently
          • Helps in mood disorders such as depression

Supplementing

Get your blood work done and see where your Vitamin D level is. I really recommend it. With studies showing that more than 25% of people are deficient you need to know if you are one of them. North Americans are recommended to have 600 IU’s a day as the recommended daily allowance.

There are foods that naturally have Vitamin D and foods that have been fortified but according to certified clinical and integrative nutritionist Sunny Brigham, whose job is to help people transition to a plant-based lifestyle, it’s not possible to get enough vitamin D on a plant-based diet. Mushrooms grown in the sun, fortified Tofu and non-dairy milks will help but if you are a very physically active person you may need to supplement. If you are vegan I recommend getting your Vitamin D that is sourced from lichen instead of sheep’s wool.

I’m not a fan of supplementation but if you are not getting enough Vitamin D due to:

          • living in colder climates
          • the foods you consume
          • lacking sun exposure because of covering up with clothing and sunscreen
          • genetic issues such as a mutation that blunts your vitamin D receptor
          • living a very active life and requiring a higher level than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA’s are the recommended amount for the average person)

you should be supplementing. When asked about supplementing I recommend Vitamin D and Vitamin B12, 2 Vitamins most people are deficient in. See the following image for a quick reference:

 

Are you athletic and do you need more Vitamin D? Source https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5790847/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another reason to have your blood work done is Vitamin D is a hormone, not a vitamin. Just like a lot of things, too much of a good thing can be bad. Also, you should have a good understanding of not just your Vitamin D level but also other important health indicators such as B12, calcium, magnesium, cholesterol, etc. If you are lucky in that you live in a country with great healthcare getting your blood work done will not cost a lot of money. You may have to push your doctor for it but don’t be afraid to do that. Don’t feel bad about advocating for yourself. Most doctors won’t push for these tests until you start to show symptoms and by then who knows what damage has been done. And most doctors wont link things such as excessive muscle soreness, mood disorders to possibly being caused by a lack of Vitamin D. Doctors are trained to prescribe medication, drugs. Complain about inflamation and they will prescribe ibuprofen or naproxen, complain about depression and they will prescribe SSRI’s or SNRIs.

But what if, what if these things were due to lack of Vitamin D, or B12? You wouldn’t know, would you? And now you are dealing with terrible side effects due to being on these drugs.

You are in charge of your health, not your doctor. Don’t be afraid to take charge!

Finally

Keep exercising, keep eating well and healthy but have your blood work done and more than likely you will find out that you need to supplement your Vitamin D. And if you are eating well you probably only need to take Vitamin D and B12.

One more thing, check out the infographic below from FoundMyFitness’ Dr. Rhonda Patrick.

Yours in health,

Darryl

Vitamin D infographic with permission from FoundMyFitness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking forward ignoring the past

We are almost one week into the new year, the new decade. And I’m checking in on how you are doing. I’m thinking things are going in either of the following directions: 1. you are embracing your new goals and the year is off onto a positive start; 2. It’s not going as you hoped it would as you are not feeling the motivation, the desire to better yourself and the drive just isn’t there.

It can be tough. It’s easy to look to the next day to kick it into gear but that day comes and it’s just not happening so the next day becomes the next day and …

Good intentions. We know what we want. We know what we need to do but the gears aren’t engaging. It’s a common thing, probably more common than most of us realize. Only the person feeling this really knows the severity of it, the toll it takes. We don’t let this side of us show to others in the fear of being judged or the fear of people looking at us as failures. And who wants to be judged like that.

This new year falls in the middle of the week and some might take that opportunity to push off their goal to the following week reasoning that the new year really starts after this weekend. If you aren’t feeling ready to embrace the change you want to than that embrace may not come. Pushing the changes you are trying to take on out each day is probably going to end up in that the changes will never come.

We measure strength as a physical attribute but I think strength is a mental attribute. Without a strong mental disposition, physical strength and prowess can almost be unattainable. It’s almost the inverse of a house. Let me explain: to have a strong house requires a solid foundation, or a solid footing (what’s under the foundation). I believe for us to have a strong body requires a strong mind. One is at the bottom underneath the structure and the other is at the top, above the structure.

Keep in tune with how you feel. Take the time to reflect and analyze where you are at. If you are having a hard time accomplishing what you have set out to do for yourself DON’T beat yourself up, but do take the time to better understand if this is just a ‘one-off’ or if it’s something that is too frequently happening. Then take care of yourself. Fix what you think might need fixing.

You are not alone. And you have friends. You have people that care about you and you will get that cut in your jib back.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

everything old is new again

It’s that time of the year. Historically, as best as I can recall, this post happens pre new year. This time it’s happening the first day of the new year. You know what’s coming, don’t you.

New

New years day

You have set yourself some goals, haven’t you. And this time the goals are gonna get done, right? I hope so since I’m sure the goals are important to you and they are something you would like to accomplish.

But how will this year be different than the previous years? I don’t know, only you know that. It’s why I’m not a huge fan of new year’s resolutions as it has become the norm that we fail at them. It’s almost habitual and it has become accepted. It’s the time of the year where fitness club owners draw in a huge amount of new members only to resign to the fact that most of them probably won’t be around 6 weeks from now.

But that’s about to change.

Why?

whatever helps

Why will it change? Because I’m going to help you change it, hopefully, let’s see. Let’s start with some pointers to help you achieve your goal(s):

      • Realistic: If the goal is not realistic it really isn’t going to happen because you have created an unattainable goal. I’m not saying it’s impossible but most people fail if their goal is not realistic. An unrealistic goal can easily get upset due to a negative influence. Let’s say your goal is to run a marathon but you haven’t been a regular runner and the marathon is 12 weeks away. To achieve this goal just on a physical training level requires running almost every day of the week. Ok, no problem, you can fit this in you tell yourself. But something happens; work, injury, unplanned travel, a life event such as losing a loved one, or you get sick, and so on. Things like these events can take you out of training for a week or longer. If a goal requires training over a 12 week period you really can’t afford to lose a week or more. You just can’t. Let’s look at this goal of running a marathon and change it to a 26 week goal. Still a lot of training but more manageable if life gets in the way.
      • Maintainable: Let’s look at a common goal people have this time of year; lose weight. What do they do? Usually, try the latest fad diet; paleo, keto, etc. ‘Diets’ are not maintainable. This is why most, the vast majority fail at them. You may be bored of me saying this but it’s as easy as changing to a whole foods plant based diet. I’m reading evidence of this all the time. And it’s maintainable for the most part. You can take pretty much any recipe and google it with adding vegan onto the end. Take out unnecessary fats, sugars, keep it whole foods as much as possible and that’s about it. Doctors have started switching their diabetic patients to this and the results are outstanding! Here’s an excerpt from the article:

…the plan is nutritionally balanced, doesn’t require patients to restrict calories and is reported to lead to normalization of blood glucose as well as an average 3kg weekly weight loss.

Did you catch that, the part that says doesn’t require patients to restrict calories? Isn’t that awesome? Eat until you are content and you lose weight. Isn’t that kind of what everyone wants? And definitely more maintainable for the vast majority of people. No calorie counting, no measuring protein/fats/carbs. Just whole foods plant based, back to basics.

      • Sub Goals: Is your goal a long term goal? Long term goals, goals that may take a few months to achieve are easy to lose sight of and can be hard to remain motivated for. If your goal is a long term goal try breaking it into more manageable sub-goals. If your goal is to increase your shoulder press by 30% in weight over 10 weeks than break this down into 3 week segments. Keep your vision on achieving your first goal at the end of 3 weeks, a 9% increase in weight. So if you are shoulder pressing using 20lb dumbbells, the end goal of increasing by 30% would mean an increase of 6lbs. then a 9% increase would be an increase of 1.8lbs approximately.  Do you get the idea? What is manageable to you might not be manageable to someone else, or they may want to break it down to smaller sub-goals. It’s up to you how you break it out into manageable pieces but the idea is to help to keep yourself motivated while you strive to reach the main goal.
      • Measurable: The goal must be measurable. Try not to set goals such as I want to be stronger, I want to lose weight, I want to be faster. All of those goals are arbitrary. Try instead goals such as I want to squat n lbs, I want to lose n lbs, I want to cut n minutes off of my marathon time. Specific goals will help you to plan what you need to plan to achieve them. Specific goals and the plan to go along with it will help you to keep at it, keep working away to achieve that goal.

That’s it

I hope this helps you to achieve any resolutions you might have to become the person you want to become. I’ll give you one more thing, reward yourself. We spend too much time beating ourselves up over the negative things we do. Don’t forget to celebrate those things that make you awesome, the things that you have done to be a better version of you.

Now go out there and kill it, just like you can.

Yours in health,

Darryl