SAD or Seasonal Affective disorder is seen as a lethargic, depressive state experienced by those in countries which get very dark and gloomy in Winter and it does not occur to us that we could be in danger of feeling the effects of less light. Funny, how people who spend time outdoors are a great deal more active, vibrant, energetic than those who elect to spend most of their time indoors. It’s the chicken and the egg story, am I lazy because I don’t spend enough time outside or do I not spend enough time outside because I’m lazy?
This Winter my husband has implemented an ‘Anti-SAD Routine’. And he fervently plans to stick to it…sounds cold!
Here's why we’re kicking the couch and getting out there, even though we’d rather stay indoors with a hot chocolate and a good book:
~Vitamin D. Research indicates that Vitamin D may be the one Vitamin which truly has disease fighting properties and combats everything from osteoporosis, through calcium balancing, to cancer to depression to heart attacks and stroke. Vit D can help combat Type 2 diabetes! It assists the digestive system absorb nutrients like calcium and phosphorus, strengthening bones and immune system, it prevents osteomalacia and rickets, regulates blood pressure, reduces stress and tension, relieves body aches by reducing muscle spasms, helps heal respiratory infections, fight depression, prevents preaclamsia by improving kidney function, reduces hyperparathyroidism by reducing parathyroid numbers, hypophosphatemia by controlling the phosphates in the body, hypocalcaemia by preventing abnormal deposition of calcium, and reduces renal osteodystrophy by regulating calcium content and fibromyalgia.
~Chances are you’ll get more exercise which makes you happy! Researchers at the University of Essex in England are advancing the notion that exercising in the presence of nature improves self-esteem and mental health.
~Improved concentration. Children with ADHD have been observed to focus better after being outdoors. Ever notice how, when you’re trying to think about something, you turn to face the window!
~You’ll heal faster! Hospital studies have shown spinal surgery patients experiencing less pain and stress and requesting less pain medication during recovery when exposed to natural light.
The good news is that you get all of this for free, by spending time in the sun. Here is an interesting thought though, there’s a theory that the eyes are the Vitamin D portal for the body and you mess with that when you wear sun glasses! I only wear mine while driving. Remember you weren't born with sunglasses strapped to your head!
If you’re in the sun for your daily dose of Vitamin D, hold on the sunblock too! It takes only 15 min to get what you need and you don’t need to cover up for that, especially during Winter. Go lie in the sun this weekend, hot chocolate in one hand and a hot water bottle in the other! It’ll be good for you!