Shedding some light on your well-being
There are many aspects in our life that affect our health and day to day well-being. Here at the C2, you have access to fitness equipment, classes, and recreation spaces that aid in the cultivation of a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle. However, alternative factors also exist that may mitigate some of the benefits of exercise and physical activity. One of the lesser known necessities to our health is sunlight. The UVB rays given off by the sun react with our skin cells in order to produce Vitamin D, which is essential to the absorption of calcium and therefore the strengthening of our bones. It is noted that approximately 2/3 of Canadians are Vitamin D deficient (Statistics Canada), which can manifest itself as osteoporosis into adulthood. Sunlight also affects our levels of Serotonin production, a hormone that plays a key role in our mood, energy levels, and over mental well-being.
Due to our chilly and prolonged winters, we often have to endure meagre levels of natural sunlight, and a decreased desire to spend time outside. This is compounded by the rapid shortening of the days in the winter months. Our skin has overall lower levels of direct sunlight, and our serotonin production falls since one of the major release triggers is retinal dilation (which happens when your eyes are exposed to sunlight). You may have noticed a drastic shift in mood or mental health in the winter months, and this is partially attributed to lower activity levels and lower levels of serotonin in our system. Medically, this change has been dubbed “Seasonal Affect Disorder” or SAD.
What can we do to fix this?
Try to find ways to get sunlight! Spending time outside, while it won’t affect your Vitamin D levels, still increases the production of serotonin. If you’d like to work out inside, find places with plenty of windows and natural light. The C2 has excellent, large windows in our wellness centre, cardio room and fitness studio! Direct sunlight exposure, through un-tinted windows, still will increase our production of Vitamin D. Lastly, common foods such as egg yolks, fortified milk, and certain fish have high levels of Vitamin D.
It’s extremely important to monitor your personal well-being, especially into the winter months! Come visit us at the C2 today to get that much needed physical activity and take care of yourselves during this seasonal change!