Creating Healthy Habits Part Two - Get Some D!!!

Following on from our previous blog about creating healthy habits, we are keen to see and hear how you have been going with implementing small steps towards positive change!

Making any sort of change is difficult – in fact, even the mere process of reviewing our current habits and lifestyle choices is stressful!  We appreciate this factor, which is why we work at a nice, even pace to achieve realistic results.  We don’t expect that this week you’re drinking enough water after 10 years of having one glass a day!  Or that you’ve suddenly figured out how to get enough vegetables into yourself and your family.  Small steps create big change.  Drink one glass more of water per day, and one cup more of vegetables.  You’re on your way to better health just by choosing to try.

Now, let’s look at our next healthy habit – coming straight from our free manual (available to download at the end of the page!).

The big, bad, burning vitamin D!  Vitamin D comes mainly from sun exposure, and helps to regulate calcium absorption in the body.  Major risk factors of vitamin D deficiency are lowered immunity, osteoporosis, muscle weakness and even diabetes type 2.  Vitamin D requirements can’t be adequately met through dietary sources, though a small amount can be found in animal products (fish liver oils, tuna, butter, egg yolk, milk) and sprouted seeds. 

Vitamin D receptors are present in all tissues and cells!  In other words, IT'S A PRETTY BIG DEAL, and something we need to ensure we are getting enough of.  Vitamin D is measured in IU (internation units) or micrograms.  Infants need 300IU daily, ages 1-24 need 400IU and people over 60 need 1000IU as the daily minimum.  To put this into achievable terms, to absorb 1000IU of vitamin D in Brisbane we need to expose 15% of our body (hands, face, arms) to the sun for 6-8 minutes during summer and 15-20 minutes during winter.  Is this something you are managing to achieve every dayMany people aren’t, and this is where supplementation can make a big difference to avoid the effects of deficiency.

The sunshine state should have nothing to fear when it comes to getting adequate vitamin D, right?  Unfortunately, nothing is further from the truth!  A pretty even half of the population in Queensland are deficient in vitamin D, and those results spread across all age groups. It’s easy to see how there has been some confusion created around the role of vitamin D in a healthy body, and the symptoms and risks that come with deficiency.  Australia has long engaged in the slip-slop-slap message; to encourage avoiding exposure to the sun.  It is widely theorised that the strength of this message in staying away from the sun at all costs is partly responsible for the increase in vitamin D deficiency.

So, make a positive change today and commit to getting some sunlight into your life.  Where in your day can you spare 15 minutes?  It can double up as some meditation or breathing time as well, for a double whammy of self-care!  Balance the skin cancer risk and vitamin D deficiency risk by opting for your sun exposure outside the hours of 10AM-2PM.

Loving the guidance in creating healthy habits?  Download our free manual and create healthy habits for life!

Emily Banks