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Most New Year’s resolutions have faded from priorities to memories. So, what can you do now to enhance your health? For starters, you can make sure that you’re getting the right amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D is different from most other vitamins because we make some of it ourselves. While we obtain other vitamins through food or from the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tracts, we get vitamin D from the sunlight that we absorb on the surface of our skin. It’s no surprise that wintertime is a difficult time for most of us to produce enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium, which is crucial for bone health and heart function. There are a number of additional functions of vitamin D that are currently being studied such as muscle structure, metabolism, immunity and the prevention of some autoimmune diseases.
During the winter, our vitamin production and levels of vitamin D in our bloodstreams decrease for a number of reasons. As long as we’re aware of this, there are a few things we can do to offset a detrimental lack of vitamin D.
There are multiple factors that prevent us from obtaining adequate vitamin D.
Vitamin D is one of the trickier nutrients to obtain. By being mindful of your environment and habits, you can make sure that you’re getting enough vitamin D even during the gloomiest of winter days!
Jenn Giles, R.D., C.S.S.D. is all about health and wellness. She has over 15 years’ experience, including a dual master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Columbia University. She is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). She supplements all of this with her spin instructor certification and USATriathlon Level I Coach Certification.
Jennifer is passionate about (actually, obsessed with) the sport of triathlon. She has been personally participating in triathlons since 2000 and running road races since 1992. She is a two-time Ironman finisher and has completed countless numerous marathons. She has been a member of Power Bar Team Elite since 2006 and competed as a member of the 2006 Aquaphor/Active.com Sponsored Athlete Team. She was ranked as USAT All American Honorable mention in 2006 and 2011. Jennifer does all of this along side of her husband, Patrick, who is an equally accomplished triathlete and runner. They try as hard as they can to do all of their training and racing together.
She will tell you, however, that her most important, most rewarding and most challenging job is as a mother of four. She knows first hand the challenges of maintaining optimal fitness, overall good health and achieving goals while raising a family - of which good nutrition is the cornerstone.
Most importantly, she knows how to motivate, inspire and challenge athletes based on their own abilities, strengths and everyday lifestyles. She believes there is an athlete in everyone - no matter what their abilities are – and if those abilities are manifold, then there is an even better athlete in there!