The weather is warmer and the sun is setting later. This means that spring has finally sprung! The gloomy winter days are a thing of the past (for now!) and it is time to take in all the health benefits the spring season has to offer.
With the temperatures rising, you can spend less time cooped up inside the house and more time being active outside. Being outside means improved mental and physical health, so why not clean up the garden or go for a run tonight? Spending time outside can reduce stress and lower blood pressure.
Speaking of warmer weather, here’s a fun little fact: when the sun is shining, your skin is exposed to solar UVB radiation, which is then converted to pre-vitamin D in your skin, and then finally converted to a useable form of vitamin D called cholecalciferol or vitamin D3. By contrast, in winter months, when sunlight is limited, your body reduces its Vitamin D production, which may lead to a deficiency.
Research shows that vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to various health conditions such as autoimmune diseases, diabetes and some types of cancer. Furthermore, several studies show that properly maintained vitamin D levels may help to increase bone mineral density and can play a preventative role in the development of osteoporosis. As you can see, it’s important to get enough vitamin D in your life! In the spring, you can enjoy more sunlight and longer days. You can be sure that the extra sunlight will also put you in a great mood. The main sources of vitamin D are sunlight, supplements and diet. However, a word of caution is in order: The sun’s rays can be harmful, so be careful not to overdo it by spending too much time in the sun. Sun exposure for just 10-15 minutes at least three times a week will provide you with a good amount of vitamin D. However, since that’s not always possible, you may want to consider taking a good quality vitamin D3 supplement to help keep your bones strong.
Spring is also the time to stock up on local, seasonal produce! There is a vast amount of fresh fruits and veggies available this time of year. Although you can get a variety of produce all year round, spring puts some of our favorites back into our diet. Pick up a few artichokes, green or white asparagus, rhubarb or even some spring lettuce and strawberries and make a light and delicious meal tonight!
The spring season is known to push people back in to a healthier daily routine. With the onset of warmer weather, people are more inclined to exercise. The moderate weather is perfect for a long walk or run. In addition, the higher temperature is a great reminder that swimsuit season is just right around the corner.
(1) Haimi, M., Kremer, R. 2017. Vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency from childhood to adulthoold: Insights from a sunny country. World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics, Feb 8; 6(1): 1-9.
(2) Wacker, M., Holick, M. F. 2013. Vitamin D – Effects on skeletal and extraskeletal health and the need for supplementation. Nutrients, Jan; 5(1): 111-148.
(3) Wartian Smith, Pamela. (2008). What you must know about vitamins, minerals, herbs & more. Garden City, NY: Square One Publishers.