It sure is hot outside, isn’t it? After having had a pretty modest (by our standards) May and early June, the thermostat has certainly been turned up for the last month+. This has caused many Floridians to respond the only way we know how- to stay inside as much as possible.
Now, although this is a good strategy for feeling more comfortable on our skin, it can spell disaster for other parts of our body. That is because staying inside comes with a price- inactivity and a lack of sunlight.
The inactivity will increase our sitting time, which will increase our body’s stiffness and keep us from having the very potent hypoalgesic (pain relief) effects from exercise and movement. A great article was recently published on these potent effects, stating that if done right and done often, basic exercise can relieve pain by 20% or more.
See article here- Exercise Can Enhance Tolerance to Pain
In addition to the loss of pain-relieving benefits from more activity and movement, those who stay inside too much will also lose the tremendous anti-inflammatory benefits of Vitamin D.
Many don’t realize this, but Vitamin D is a like a wonder drug for our immune system- which is where inflammatory chemicals are produced. Because of a lack of direct sunlight, our bodies can become deficient in Vitamin D, which increases our levels of inflammatory chemicals.
You can read about this link here- Low Vitamin D May Be a Cause of Chronic Inflammation
So, what is the answer?
Well, Vitamin D supplements can be useful but will often not raise blood levels high enough on their own. Your levels need to be above 50 ng/ml, so getting at least 10 minutes of direct sunlight (with lots of skin exposed) per day is usually needed to keep your levels optimized.
To combat the inactivity, you can choose to walk at the mall or go to the gym more often. I would also invest in a pedometer, and set goals for your steps per day. Shoot for 6-8k to start and work your way to 10-12k per day.
If you need any help getting on track or staying on track, let me know. I’ve been seeing an average of 8 people a day over the summer, but I could increase that to 10 if need be. You’d just have to be flexible with your schedule.
Hope that helps! Please pass this along to someone you care about!