Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fighting Fatigue Naturally: The Sun

So winter is upon us and for me that often means an increase in fatigue. The lack of sun takes it's toll on my energy levels for sure! In years past I would get myself into the tanning beds to fake that vitamin D, but I don't know how great that is for me either. These days I just amp up the coffee intake and just push through. While neither of these are the healthiest solutions I am on a mission to incorporate some do-able good ones.

After some research (online of course) I have some things I am going to try and then get back to you on how well they work. Some are obvious and I have been doing them already, but clearly it's not enough to battle the great white (or grey) north. To keep these blogs short, I will touch base on each "solution" separately thus the Fighting Fatigue Series is born!

Obviously getting out for some serious sun whenever it's out is a given. Tough part is getting enough exposed skin to soak up the good rays. Living in The Pas, Manitoba, Canada makes this task much more difficult.
Your body makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays in sunlight. You probably need from 5 to 30 minutes of exposure to the skin on your face, arms, back or legs (without sunscreen) two times every week. Since exposure to sunlight is a risk for skin cancer, you should use sunscreen after a few minutes in the sun, even on hazy or cloudy days. (click here for source)
So I'm thinking that is NOT going to happen. Plan B...
 
Bundle up and go for a walk. Bring my camera and take a few snapshots to remind myself what beauty there is in winter. At least then my mind will be in a much better place. If it's nice enough maybe I'll be able to leave my scarf and toque at home.

Play in the snow! I don't know about you, but there is nothing more fun in the winter than building snow forts. I could do it all day if the weather isn't too frigid. A couple years ago I remember making a fort in our back yard late into the night. Myself and our neighbor girl stayed out long after the children and well after dark turning the entire yard into a sled path, ramp and house complete with bed and TV. If it wasn't for my toe getting terribly pinched by my toe ring in my boot we would have stayed out even longer. There are a few really great ideas we found in this book, Snow Play that we hope to have enough snow for this year. I also enjoy skating and skiing but since having children haven't done either of those much.

For now, I will continue my vitamin D supplements (I like prefer the liquid version) and get my face out there whenever I can. What fun ways do you get sun in the winter months?