Hey there amigo!
Sorry I’ve been out of touch for a week or so. It’s been one of those
periods of life where things have been comin’ at me fast and furious. Travel,
presentations at conferences, working on my businesses…..coupled with
a nasty stomach bug that made the rounds through the entire family. Including
one of the dogs! Yuck!
Anyhoo, we got through it. I’m finally coming up for air. I’m back writing
to you, which is one of the highlights of my day.
I can tell my schedule is out of balance by one key indicator: whether I
have been able to get out and walk or run. I walk or run – or some
combination of the two – just about every week day. I love it! And I love
being out in the fresh air and sunshine.
Nothing like a good brisk walk or run – especially along the rolling
(and sometimes quite steep) terrain that I journey along – to clear the
mind and rekindle the energy and enthusiasm.
Being out in the sunshine is important this time of year, because the
days are getting shorter. Despite what the conventional wisdom says –
you know, the admonishments to stay out of the sun, always cover up and
wear sunscreen, and so forth – it is actually healthy for you to get some
In addition to the mood and energy-enhancing benefits, sunshine also
provides us with our most important source of Vitamin D. If you are into
better breathing and better health, you want to make sure you are getting
sufficient Vitamin D.
Over the past several years, there has been renewed interest in, and
appreciation for, good ol’ Vitamin D. There has also been some good news
about the benefits of Vitamin D for lung health and better breathing.
I don’t always report on the first study or finding that comes out on something.
Frequently, a second or third study comes out that refutes or minimizes what
the first one promoted. So I tend not to get too excited until I learn more.
In this case, there have been a number of scientific studies on the effects of
Vitamin D on lung health. And the findings are very encouraging.
A few years back, researchers from Kings College found that Vitamin D can
substantially improve the responsiveness of asthma patients to steroid therapy.
Some people with asthma, a chronic lung condition, become steroid resistant.
This can severely limit their medical treatment options.
After some promising lab findings, the researchers did a small pilot in which
people with steroid-resistant asthma took Vitamin D3 supplements on a daily
basis. After 7 days, lab tests indicated that previously steroid-resistant cells
in their immune systems were now responsive to steroids.
The researchers also think that Vitamin D3 can help improve responsiveness
to steroids, even in people who are not resistant. This could mean a decrease
in the dosages required to control asthma.
In a separate study done at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, researchers
looking into the effects of Vitamin D on lung function found that patients with
higher concentrations of Vitamin D had significantly better lung function, compared
with patients who had lower concentrations of Vitamin D.
(By the way, I am giving a very high level synopsis here. Reading detailed
research findings is about as exciting as watching paint dry.)
More recent studies in the US and abroad have confirmed these findings, and
also supported getting more Vitamin D in our diets for better bone health
as well.Everyone typically focuses on Calcium, but we need Calcium and Vitamin D
acting in concert to strengthen our bones and help prevent or slow the onset
How can you use this information?
Well, as always, I have to say “check with your physician”. However, it’s easy
to get more Vitamin D into your diet.
Vitamin D can be found in the following foods: eggs, butter, cream, halibut,
herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines and shrimp.
Dairy products in most countries are fortified with Vitamin D, making this a great
source if you don’t have allergies or sensitivities to dairy.
A wonderful source of Vitamin D is cod liver oil. This used to be administered in the
“old days” to help prevent rickets and tooth problems. Cod liver oil is also a great
source of Vitamin A, which is very beneficial to lung function.
Vitamin D supplements are pretty inexpensive. The recommended daily amount is
400 to 1,000 IU. Amounts over 2,000 IU are considered to be potentially dangerous.
Perhaps the best source is getting out in the sun for 15 minutes or so each day.
Your body synthesizes Vitamin D when exposed to sunshine. And, like I said, getting
out in the light on a frequent basis is good for you for other reasons too,
including elevated mood and energy levels, and better stress management.
So take a look at your diet. If you don’t think you’re getting enough Vitamin D,
you may want to supplement. And be sure to get out in the sun a little each day,
even if it’s just a quick walk at lunch.
It’s one more thing you can do to help your lungs and promote healthy breathing.
You Can Do It!
P.S. Another important thing to help promote healthy breathing and all the
benefits it provides, is to learn how to breathe correctly. In the Secret Power
of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course, Volume 1: Invigorate and Rejuvenate, you learn
how to breathe with the Complete Breath, as well as seven other breathing exercises
that will have you feeling relaxed and energized at the same time. You can read
more about it at the Best Breathing Exercises website.
Copyright, Karen Van Ness