Get your butt outside!

 
 
 

by Laura Schneider

 

Looking for an easy way to promote wellness in your office? Take your meetings outside!

Vitamin D deficiency can show up in several ways: fatigue, muscle weakness, aches and pains, and depression.

Over the past few weeks since the weather has (finally!) turned, we’ve been doing this and it’s a great way to boost people’s spirits while providing real health benefits – helping us get sufficient Vitamin D, more exercise, and the positive effect that being outdoors has on our mental well-being.

Vitamin D is incredibly important to our health. Most everyone knows that it’s vital for strong bones, but Vitamin D is critical to other functions too, and some of them are only beginning to be studied. It plays a big role in supporting our immune systems, can boost weight loss, helps us regulate our moods and reduce depression, and can even help with sleep quality. Some research indicates that Vitamin D may also play a role in cancer and diabetes prevention, fertility, and preventing and treating high blood pressure.

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While there is some controversy over the appropriate amount of Vitamin D – I had a professor who was an osteologist, and his opinion was that the FDA-recommended amounts were too low – the good news is that if you’re getting Vitamin D from sunlight, you don’t need to worry about overdosing because your body will stop producing it when you’ve gotten enough (although you can still get sunburnt, so watch out for that!).

It’s hard to get enough Vitamin D through your diet alone, so in the winter months supplementation may be a good idea. But, in the summer, get out there! It doesn’t take much exposure to sunlight each day to get enough, and the benefits are clear. Plus, there are other health perks to spending time outdoors: de-stressing, improved short-term memory, and increased creativity and focus are just a few, and it’s easy to see how these could benefit you at work.

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So, take your meetings outside! It’s more fun and it’s better for you and your coworkers. And it’s free and doesn’t take any additional time commitment – just one person willing to speak up!