Do you ever have a hard time getting motivated on rainy days or in the winter when there is less daylight? It took me years to figure this out, but I find that most days when I’m feeling useless, I just need to step outside. Spending some time outside with my girls, or even on my own, usually makes me feel much more energized and happier, especially when the sun is shining! This isn’t just by chance, and of course, I’ll share the data behind the importance of Vitamin D so you can better understand the importance of consistently getting outdoors for health and happiness.
You probably already know the sunshine provides your body with Vitamin D. But did you know Vitamin D plays many essential roles in promoting energy and happiness so we can function optimally and feel our best? Free and effective vitamins, amazing! You may be surprised to know that 90% of vitamin D comes from the sun and the time we spend outside, and only 10% of our needs are actually acquired from the food we eat. This is why many people need to take a Vitamin D supplement if they’re not able to spend a quality amount of time outside or live in a location further away from the equator. As a matter of fact, where I live in Massachusetts, I can only count on receiving adequate vitamin D from the sun from May-October, when the sun rays are strong enough!
Vitamin D is so important to our overall health. It even makes it possible to absorb calcium and promote healthy bone growth and oral health. As an added benefit, it’ll help you feel happier and healthier overall to improve your quality of life. Vitamin D places a huge role in your daily mood and many areas of your health. Today I’m going to share just how important Vitamin D is to your health and happiness, and what you can do to make sure you have enough!
Vitamin D Fights Off Seasonal Depression
As you may remember, I LOVE to laugh, and happiness for my family is my number one goal in life. I have always been a naturally positive and happy person since birth, but as an adult, I can definitely notice that I tend to be in an overall happier mood in the summertime. This is partly due to the fact that I try to spend time daily enjoying the sun, and summer makes that so much more attainable since there are far more hours of sunlight in the day. There is nothing quite like spending time outdoors in the sun, and if you pay close attention, when it’s dark and gloomy outside, you may notice that your mood and energy slightly tend to shift too. This just goes to show the importance and positive impact that Vitamin D has on our health and happiness.
Vitamin D plays a major role in helping to regulate your mood and can even help to offset depression.  During the winter, this can be especially tough if, like me, you live somewhere that gets dark really early, and it’s bitter cold for months on end.
If you experience seasonal depression, you’re likely experiencing a Vitamin D deficiency, which can decrease the activity of serotonin, making you feel sad and gloomy all the time. So before you breakdown and ask for a prescription medication to get past your gloominess, know that there may be a much easier solution!
When you’re looking for an added boost of Vitamin D in the winter months, it can be a game-changer to take a supplement. But, because it is a fat-soluble vitamin, levels too high can be toxic, so I always recommend asking your Dr. at your next physical to order a blood test to see where your Vitamin D levels fall. Based on the results, they’ll be able to provide a recommendation of a safe dose of a Vitamin D supplement that will help you feel your best in no time. This may sound like a lot of work, but believe me, you will thank me daily for suggesting the blood test if you are, in fact, deficient…because getting back to adequate levels will change your life. Once you’re able to regulate your Vitamin D, you’ll have more energy, lose weight easier, and be a happier person overall!
Pro tip: fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamin D, need to be taken with a meal with fat in it to absorb properly!
Help With Weight Loss
If increased mood and energy didn’t already sell you on attaining proper vitamin D levels, then this will! If you’ve had a difficult time losing weight, a Vitamin D deficiency might be partly to blame.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re sitting in the hot sun, you don’t feel as hungry as you typically do? Research has shown that Vitamin D can help as an appetite suppressant, which in some cases can help you lose weight.
It also helps regulate many hormones in your body, allowing your body to work more efficiently, which includes detoxifying the body, and in turn, lowering fat storage levels.
Vitamin D also plays a big part in controlling the level of serotonin in your body.  Which affects everything from your daily mood to sleep regulation. By getting healthy levels of Vitamin D, you’ll be able to sleep better so you’ll be able to be in better control of your mood, making it easy to feel more motivated to eat well and live your very best life.
Get Motivated and Stay Active
The correlation between Vitamin D and staying active is similar to the age-old question, which came first, the chicken or egg.
When you get outside to exercise, explore, and stay on the move, it has a direct effect on your Vitamin D levels. When you have enough Vitamin D, you’ll find yourself with more energy and be ready to spend some time outside and stay active. Needless to say, Vitamin D and staying active go hand and hand and depend on each other for the best results.
Getting in a good outside workout in the sun will all help increase your mental health drastically, allow you to better control your feelings, and help with feelings of depression and anxiety that can increase your mood.  But when you add sun and vitamin D to this mix, you will even find yourself able to recover quicker from your workout.
Some of my personal favorite ways to soak in some natural Vitamin D while moving and getting some exercise include meditation, yoga, going for a nice long walk with my girls, or getting in some much-needed interval training. The short bursts of energy can help you lose fat, improve endurance, and build muscle, so it goes hand in hand with the benefits of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D Can Relieve Bone and Back Pain
Back pain may be one of the biggest complaints I hear as people age. You may be surprised to learn that you need to have regulated levels of Vitamin D to help the intestines absorb calcium and keep your kidneys from excreting it. If you don’t get enough, it will have a negative impact on softening the bones and cause Osteomalacia or osteoporosis.  Both have negative effects on your bone density and muscular weakness.
The Importance of Vitamin D In Your Daily Life
It’s amazing all the benefits that Vitamin D has to offer if we just take advantage of it. With summertime here, I encourage you to get outside as much as you can while the sun is shining! You’ll find that increasing your levels of Vitamin D, you’ll be in a better mood and increase your overall happiness!
 Scaccia, A. (2019, March 26). Serotonin: Functions, Normal Range, Side Effects, and More. Retrieved June 15, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/serotonin
 Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). (2017, October 25). Retrieved June 15, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651
 Gingell, S. (2018, March 22). How Your Mental Health Reaps the Benefits of Exercise. Retrieved June 15, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-works-and-why/201803/how-your-mental-health-reaps-the-benefits-exercise
 Osteomalacia. (2020, March 06). Retrieved June 15, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteomalacia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355514