This week I’m in sunny Naples, Florida for a little getaway from the cold and dreariness of winter in Washington, DC. I’m basking in the glow of the sunshine and high temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I love the warm weather and sunny skies, so it’s a real treat to come here and leave winter behind, even if it’s just for a short while.
I never really got the whole reason people go to spend winters in places like Florida until I started bringing my son to visit my mother-in-law here (she has wintered in Florida for several years).
Now I totally get why people want to escape winter’s wrath. Charlie was 3 months old the first time we made a winter visit to Florida (it was his first airplane ride!), and we were in middle of the coldest, snowiest winters we’d ever had in DC. By the time our trip rolled around in early March, we’d gotten more than 40 cumulative inches of snow and experienced some of our coldest days in 20 years. I couldn’t wait to get out of there to warmer temperatures and to see the sun.
Sunshine is therapeutic. It’s also the main way we can get Vitamin D into our bodies, and that’s something we need.
Yep, we’re not really able to get Vitamin D through our diet. While you can get it through eating fatty fishes like salmon or taking cod liver oil, Vitamin D isn’t found naturally in many foods. It’s produced in sunlight and the best way to get it is either from sitting in the sun, or by taking a supplement.
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather hang out in the sun than take a pill.
It’s natural. It’s real. And it feels good on my skin! And it makes me happy!
And it can help boost your fertility.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to infertility. Studies have shown this link, and have suggest that a Vitamin D deficiency negatively impacts reproductive tissues so that they’re unable to function at optimal levels. Vitamin D also plays a major roll in cell growth and function. As a result, many fertility specialists are now recommending that their patients get more Vitamin D.
Women who are undergoing In Vitro Fertilization have also been found to produce higher quality embryos and have greater overall success with IVF procedures if their Vitamin D levels are higher.
So take some time and get some sun. Take a quick walk during the workday. Not only will you get some sun, you’ll get a little fresh air and exercise. Sit outside and eat lunch instead of eating at your desk hunched over the computer. It’ll give you a mental break as well.
About 15 minutes a day is all most people need. Just 15 minutes in the sun can create about 10,000 International Units (IU) of Vitamin D – the recommended daily allowance is 600 IU for people under the age of 70, and for pregnant and breastfeeding women. And skip the sunscreen. Sure, the ozone layer is depleted and climate change is real and all that, but sunscreen can blocks the ultraviolet light that produces the vitamin D that we all need. And 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen is safe.
And it’s essential for our health and well-being, and our fertility.