An article by health journalist, Laura Bandoim reports on the link between exercising during winter and vitamin D levels.
Research presented at the American Society for Clinical Pathology revealed that women who have health problems ranging from arthritis to high blood pressure tend to have much lower than normal vitamin D levels. As expected, these levels decreased significantly in the winter because of lower exposure to the sun. The study showed that 28 percent of the 244 women in the sample had a serious vitamin D deficiency.
Although it may be tempting to stay indoors and turn to the treadmill during the winter, the limited amount of sun exposure can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Exercise outdoors has been found to significantly increase vitamin D levels even in the colder months. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to heart disease.
“The fact that vitamin D plays a role in the relationship between exercise and risk of heart disease is a new finding,” says the study’s lead author Andrea Chomistek, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health. “This likely comes from being outside more. People who exercise tend to be out in the sun, which raises their vitamin D level. I don’t think you’d get the same increase in vitamin D by staying inside and running on the treadmill.”
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