Spinal health and the sun. The cold weather and snow are here. It’s officially winter, and with it can come some changes. Winter can be taxing on both our mental and physical strength. We have to cope with dark days, dropping temperatures, and biting winds. But don’t worry, we have good news. There are ways to assist in boosting your immune system as well as fighting your seasonal affective disorder during the months of flu, darkness, and general down-trodden spirits. And that is to make sure your Vitamin D levels are up to par.
Vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is essential to maintaining our health and immune systems. The main way many of us get an ample amount of Vitamin D is from the sun. Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiencies can lead to a slew of health problems and contribute to chronic disorders. These chronic disorders include osteoporosis, depression, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. You want to try to maintain your Vitamin D levels, especially if you’re living in the greater Pittsburgh area during the winter months. Read about the various ways your spinal health and the sun can help your health below!
Spinal Health and the Sun: Get Sun While You Can
During winter, many of us trade our active, outdoor lifestyles for a date with heavy blankets and Netflix. And for many of us, the sun is only out during the middle of the day during work hours. So how is it possible to snatch some of those important rays in the winter, especially when the sun isn’t as strong and it’s freezing outside?
The fact is, you won’t be able to get as much Vitamin D from the sun between the months of November and March. But spending even small snippets of time outside when the sky does clear up and the sun shines through is better than nothing. In addition, planning vacations or short trips to Southern states or warmer areas can provide you with much-needed Vitamin D boosts, at least temporarily. You may feel benefits such as improved immune system, better mood, better sleep, and even lower blood pressure.
Vitamin D-Fortified Diet
Unfortunately, Vitamin D doesn’t naturally occur in many foods. It is found in foods such as eggs and oily fish (think salmon, tuna, and mackerel). Vitamin D is also found in soy milk, beef liver, cheese, and certain mushrooms. Luckily, there are a number of foods that are fortified with Vitamin D. These include milk, cereal, yogurt, and organic juices. Do your best to consume these foods to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D. Of course, it’s not essential to eat these same foods every day; but if you can find ways to incorporate them into your diet more often during the winter months, you’ll be naturally boosting your Vitamin D levels without having to buy expensive (and sometimes useless) supplements.
Basking Under Vitamin D Lamps
Many often turn to tanning beds during the winter months to get some extra Vitamin D. But as they are often associated with a higher risk for skin cancer, we suggest avoiding them. Good news is that there is an artificial light without the melanoma risk. The FDA-approved Vitamin D lamp, known as the Sperti, reportedly boosts your vitamin D levels within 1-5 minute sessions several times per week. Bad news, is that the Sperti is quite expensive ($425). If you’re able to afford the purchase or see it as an investment in your health, it’s definitely a great option.
If all else fails, you can complement your Vitamin D routine with some supplements. Supplementing can be a great option, especially if you’re older, living in the Northern hemisphere, or have had a history of being Vitamin D-deficient. At Zock Family Chiropractic, we often suggest patients supplement with Nutritional Frontiers products. For a Vitamin D boost, try Vitamin D3. This is a dietary supplement to promote the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorous. Research suggests that it may support immune system modulation and function by supporting healthy cell growth.
Please note that the efficacy of many types of Vitamin D supplements is still debated. The best ways to get Vitamin D is from trusted sources like the sun and food. Soon enough, summer will arrive and you can go back to your 15 minutes of daily sun-tanning to get your needed Vitamin D fix.
Chiropractic Care and Your Health
Most people are aware of the benefits of chiropractic care for back and neck care. However, there are many other advantages of adding it to your wellness routine. Our immune system is the body’s line of defense to fight viral and bacterial infections. The immune system relies on many factors in order to maintain optimal health including nutrition, exercise, posture, being well rested, and having a healthy spine.
Our nervous system runs through the spine. And it works with the immune system in order for the body to adapt to various conditions and heal appropriately when required. Spinal misalignments can cause neural dysfunctions. These are stressful to the body and can lead to a weak immune response. Chiropractic adjustments have shown to boost the immune system.
Let Zock Chiropractic Help!
A single adjustment could help your body thrive this winter. And could help you cope better with stress. Not to mention you’ll feel better too! Chiropractic care may be a great addition to your wellness routine. Just like proper nutrition and regular exercise can keep your muscles strong and mind sharp, regular adjustments can keep your immune system heightened. Contact us to schedule an introductory session and get your immune system in tip-top shape!