The longer days and extra sunlight have got us thinking about adventures and all the places we’ve been dreaming about during the long, winter months. We all have that special place that we head to when the weather improves and now is the perfect time to ensure that we are at our peak health to get the most out of our days and adventures.
We’re all guilty of seeing the sunlight and suddenly changing our lifestyles from being mostly indoors to getting outside but it’s worth being mindful that the body also needs time to adjust which is why we should always eat with the seasons and support these good eating habits with high quality supplements.
Here are our top tips for good health and supplementation as you plan your adventures for the weeks and months ahead:
Eat the Seasons
We know we always say it but, starting with a good diet is vital. It is the cornerstone of good health and is the first and most basic step to a healthier life. Eat in season and source foods that haven’t clocked up more miles than you’ll travel in a lifetime. You don’t need to overcomplicate a good diet. While we see many online recipes using exotic ingredients, we don’t have to base our diets on dishes that look good on social media but are unattainable for most (when was the last time you saw a pitahaya in your local supermarket anyway!?). If you have the time or space then growing your own is even better – just keep it simple, colourful and in season and organic where possible.
Vitamin C has a surprisingly large number of functions in the body. As humans, we can’t make Vitamin C in our bodies, so we have to obtain it from the foods we eat or in supplement form. While guidelines say that the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C is 75 – 90mg, we should bear in mind that this is actually the bare minimum our body requires to prevent Vitamin C deficiency (scurvy).
For those heading off on adventures, Vitamin C is a powerful ally as it plays a key role in enhancing energy levels and reducing tiredness and fatigue. Vitamin C also promotes collagen production – collagen is the protein that helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints. Collagen is also important for healthy muscles and bones. Vitamin C provides vital support for your immune system too – a weakened immune system is something you definitely want to avoid when adventuring!
Vitamin B-Complex is made up of 8 B-vitamins and are often referred to as the “energy vitamins” because they help convert the food you eat into the energy your body needs daily, helping you to get the most out of those adventure filled days.
Folate (Vitamin B9) and Vitamin B12 are needed for producing red blood cells, protein synthesis and in tissue repair and maintenance and a deficiency of either of these vitamins can cause extreme tiredness, a lack of energy and muscle weakness. Taking a high-quality B-Complex or Vitamin B12 supplement is particularly beneficial for vegans as Vitamin B12 is found naturally only in foods of animal origin. It’s worth noting too that as we get older (over 50), our ability to absorb Vitamin B12 from food can decrease and again a high-quality supplement will help avoid deficiency.
Vitamin D is a nutrient that plays a vital role in supporting the immune system, as well as being critical for a number of key areas of health. Focusing on its importance for activity and adventure, Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and muscles. It is also a great ally for better rest which will be needed after lots of physical movement; research shows that Vitamin D deficiency is linked to sleep disorders, including poor sleep quality, short sleep duration and daytime sleepiness
Sunshine is the best source of Vitamin D, but in Ireland the sun is not strong enough from October to March to allow our skin to make any Vitamin D. The use of sunscreen also lowers the amount of Vitamin D the skin produces. As our diets are a poor source of Vitamin D, taking a high-quality supplement all year round is useful to keep your body adventure ready.
Omega-3s may be best known for supporting our brain and heart health, but they are also powerful anti-inflammatories and may help to improve bone health, reduce joint pain and reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
Spring is the perfect time to get fit, enjoy the outdoors and get moving. We hope you enjoy your adventures wherever they may take you!
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