When the temperatures drop and there are fewer hours of daylight in the winter months, it can be hard to stay motivated to keep moving your body and get outside. Exercise and daily light exposure are crucial to your overall health, so it is important to find what works for you!
In addition to your increased risk of weight gain, staying inside and not moving your body puts you at an increased risk of a vitamin D deficiency or experiencing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
Our AFC Urgent Care Farragut team explains some great ways to embrace the winter season below, so check it out!
Why Are Sunlight and Vitamin D Important?
When we are exposed to natural sunlight, our bodies produce vitamin D, which is vital for your bones and overall health. In addition, it helps us stay connected to our circadian rhythms and keeps our hormone levels in check.
If you spend more time inside at this point in the year, you may not be getting the sunlight exposure that you need. This can cause your body to overproduce a hormone called “melatonin,” which is known to contribute to symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Getting sun exposure every day is actually not that hard to do!
Fun Ways to Enjoy the Winter Sun
- Take a nature walk.
- Do some outdoor chores.
- Bring your workout outside.
- Volunteer at a park or garden.
What Happens if I Don’t Get Enough Sun Exposure?
Over time, it can contribute to a vitamin D deficiency that can lead to brittle bones or a permanent loss of bone density. If you can’t get outside, try incorporating more vitamin D-rich foods into your diet, like salmon or eggs.
In addition, it can also cause symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, which is a mental health condition that affects people in the fall and winter months. If you are struggling with your mental health, visit with your care team right away to come up with some helpful treatment options while you wait for spring to arrive.
Signs of a Vitamin D Deficiency
- Constant fatigue
- Bone pain or achiness
- Hair loss
- More frequent illnesses
Our AFC Urgent Care Farragut team is always here for you. Come see us today.