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How to Prevent this Year’s Winter Illness with Vitamin D

How to Prevent this Year’s Winter Illness with Vitamin D

Every year people believe it’s normal to contract an illness of some sort. This illness usually turns out to be a cold or flu. But is it really a normal thing to be getting ill so often and on a schedule each year? Surely there’s a reason.

After all, we’re all old enough now to realize that getting cold doesn’t give you a cold. So what’s the true reason behind so many illnesses? The real answer is a lack of vitamin D. Since we get high amounts of vitamin D from the sun, this explains why so many people get ill in the winter time.

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According to science our bodies actually store vitamin D. Throughout the spring and summer when the sun is constantly out, we’re able to stock up on sun/vitamin D. Once the body uses what it has to, then it stores the rest for times when the sun isn’t so abundant.

However, we can’t completely rely on the sun, especially when so many people live in areas of the world that don’t see the sun much for as long as 6 to 9 months. It’s not uncommon in the UK to go without a good summer day, where temperatures reach 20 degrees Celsius/68 degrees Fahrenheit or above from September until May. People in countries like Spain, Cuba and Jamaica are enjoying the sun for most of the year, plus they’re eating a much better diet than most of us. This means that they’re maximizing their vitamin D storage on two fronts.

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So how do you combat this lack of vitamin D especially when you live in a place like Norway, the UK or even the colder parts of North America such as Canada or some of the US states?

Vitamin D Foods

Firstly let us take a look at some of the top foods containing vitamin D, just to see how well you’re doing with your diet.

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  • Eggs
  • Oily Fish
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Mushrooms
  • Tofu
  • Pork
  • Cheese
  • Oranges

These foods aren’t everyone’s daily go to, with eggs perhaps being the exception. This is why it’s easy to see how vitamin D levels can get low during the winter months. These foods should be used to compensate for the lack of vitamin D once the sun becomes rare. You can still eat them all year round, but you should increase their consumption as the winter draws near. You’ll know if you’re getting enough since you’ll maintain a year-round tan. Once we run out of vitamin D our skin gets lighter and lighter because pale skin requires less vitamin D.

Vitamin D Benefits

Vitamin D is a highly beneficial nutrient. It is necessary for many functions in the human body. such as:

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  • Faster Fat Loss
  • Testosterone Boost
  • Increased Bone Size & Strength
  • Improved Heart Health
  • Reduces Risk Of Cancer
  • Improves Immune System & Prevents Illness

Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Signs and symptoms of vitamin D are not very specific or always obvious. They are often confused with the symptoms of other diseases and the vitamin deficiency often gets overlooked. Some of the general signs of vitamin D deficiency are:

  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Your Bones Ache
  • Head Sweating
  • Gut Trouble & Inability to Absorb Fat
  • Tiredness & Fatigue
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Pale Skin (If Skin Was Darker Before)
  • Constant Colds/Flu

What To Do Next?

If this article sounds too much like your life, then it’s time to assess what’s going on. If you live in a warm country but still have these issues, then you may need to get outside more often and eat the foods that are mentioned above.

If you live in a colder region of the world, then get more sun when it’s out. This means more walks in the summer and less time stuck behind your desk or TV – make the most of the sun while it’s around. Secondly, the foods mentioned above should be consumed more often especially in winter. Make sure you’re consuming at least one of the above foods each day and you should have a better chance of staying illness free this winter.

Featured photo credit: blog.coverall.com via blog.coverall.com

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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