Get out there!

A story I can relate to over at NPR this morning:

Report: Most Americans Don’t Get Enough Vitamin D

  • Morning Edition, March 24, 2009 · Three out of every four Americans are deficient in vitamin D. That’s a big increase, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

How do you get Vitamin D? Well, there’s milk (fortified, that is), and salmon and other oily fish. But it seems that we get most of our Vit D from the sun. From getting outside.

I have my own personal story with Mr. Sun. Any time we’ve lived somewhere known for it’s overcast days, I can feel the effects almost immediately. Living in a neighborhood surrounded by 70 foot Georgia pines, where the sun didn’t break the tree line until around ten each morning… that really got to me. Moving from Hawaii to Missouri nearly killed me. And now, most recently, just one year in sunny (maybe too sunny) Colorado has been a rebirth for me.

This past winter, I became a dad for the first time, and the whole experience has been wonderful. And yet, because of the new obligations, I’m not getting outside enough. Not walking the dogs, not skiing, not riding my bike. And I had been feeling the effects. So this weekend we made a conscious effort to spend as much time outside as we could. We took the Z Man for a hike, pushing the BOB stroller around one of the easier mountain bike trails. We spent time outside at the local park. Ate lunch outside, and tried to replenish the Vitamin D stores. And come Monday, we all felt so much better.

When the weather turns to crap, especially in the winter, you may have the convenience of a treadmill, a gym in the basement, or maybe a living room floor big enough to do yoga. Those are all good things. But we all still need to get outside, get some fresh air, and gets some sun on our face.

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