My Goal: Just to Have the Time of My Life

TGIF! Happy Friday all!

We’re finally getting some spring-like weather up here in New England (complete with what may be some early April showers monsoon type weather). And by early, I mean essentially the entire last few days of March. At least it will be in the 40s… except for Sunday. Which will be in the 30s. Have no fear, spring appears to be on it’s way!

All I can say is…we better have a LONG HOT SUMMER. I won’t even complain this year if we get multiple heat waves. I will bask in it. Seriously.

So with spring and summer finally on it’s way, it got me thinking about my goals for this year – the things I want to accomplish so I can look back and remind myself how the spring/summer/fall of 2014 will be one of the best years yet!

1. Learn to Paddleboard – I live by the ocean. I should at least learn to do something water related (besides swim of course. I’ve been able to do that since I was a kid!). Paddleboarding just looks like so much fun, while being a great workout, while enjoying the summer weather. Thankfully, Sierra works at a Paddleboarding place in the summer and said she will teach me. Hooray!

2. Run a 5K – I’ve been saying this for probably 5 years now. Maybe even longer. But for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I can stick to training and learning how to run. I am totally getting a runner’s high when I run now. Even when I’m sucking wind after just a couple of minutes. After I’m done, I feel like a new person. And I can’t wait to do it again. This time, I’m sticking with it. Hopefully tonight, I’ll be hitting the road for the first time since it will be close to 50. Got to build up the stamina there since I can’t run a race on a treadmill!

A few spring/summer/fall options for 5K’s in the area are:

  • Flag Day 5K – Saturday, June 14th (It benefits the 1st Lt. Derek Hines Soldier Assistance Fund; I grew up with his family. It also falls 2 days before my birthday. Which would be an amazing experience to finally reach a goal before my birthday!)
  • The Nate Bibaud 5K – Saturday June 29th
  • Yankee Homecoming 10 Mile and 5K – Tuesday, July 29th (it’s during Yankee Homecoming, a Newburyport tradition)
  • 25th Annual Apple Harvest Race – Sunday, October 5th

Who knows! Maybe I’ll be so ready by June I can run all of them. However, I’m just going to go with the flow and know that I have at least 4 ahead of me that I could do! Just need to keep up the training!

3. Travel – Last summer, we took a week off and basically just hung around and took in the sites close to home. This year, I want to travel. I hate flying, but I love visiting new places. We’ve already planned at July trip to Rota, Spain for 10 days to visit my best friend and her husband. A fall trip is also in the works so we can celebrate the other half’s birthday and start planning our wedding (HOORAY!!!). I’m also hoping we’ll get to do some fun weekend trips, as long as money allows!

4. Enjoy Every Minute  – I feel like every summer goes by in the blink of an eye. Suddenly it’s September and I’m looking back wondering where the hell the summer. Come September this year, I don’t want to look back and wonder where it went.

  • I want to look back and say ‘That was the best summer ever.’ I want to spend time at the beach, or by the pool, and attempt to get a tan (I burn usually… I’m Irish).
  • I want to take long walks in the summer evenings, or the early mornings, before the humidity sets it.
  • I want to have campfires and gatherings, and endless nights that we will talk about for years to come.
  • I want to be outside as much as humanly possible.
  • I want to travel around with my camera and create a personal portfolio I will be oh so in love with.
  • I want to have the time of my life.

 

 

 

 

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I Need More Sun, At Least That’s What the Doctor Told Me

I need more sunlight. I guess in reality we all do at this point. Especially those of us who live in New England. It might even go for everyone in the United States this year since this winter was just brutal all over the country. But I was told specifically by my doctor that I need more sunlight.

Yep – my blood tests show I have a pretty major Vitamin D deficiency. I was a 26. Based on the vitamin D scale, the deficiency range is 0-30. It’s not like… insanely low, but she said it’s low enough that we need to get it boosted ASAP and it could help with a lot of the things I’ve been dealing with. She told me to start taking a supplement immediately, preferably 5,000 IU a day, and I should start to see some improvement. Plus with the weather slowly beginning to warm up, it means spending QT with the sun when I get out of work.

Of course, once I found out about this deficiency, I wanted to learn more. I wanted to see if some of the things I’ve been feeling correlate with this. So I started searching. And below is what I found from various health websites across the internet.***

What is Vitamin D and what does it do for the body?

Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium and keep it balanced within our bodies. It essentially helps to keep our bones from becoming fragile and brittle. Studies have shown that it can help in the prevention of osteoporosis, lower blood pressure, decrease inflammation in the body, reduce the risk of allergies, decrease dental cavities, and help with the prevention and treatment of depression. (1)

Needless to say, it does a lot for our bodies.

What causes a deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiencies are really common, and my doctor told me she sees it all the time up here due to our long winters. Essentially, it’s not healthy for humans to be stuck inside without the sun. I say we all move south!

Anyways, the number one cause of a deficiency is lack of sunlight. Natural sun is a huge source of vitamin d and when we don’t have much exposure to it, we don’t get our vitamin d. Darker skin could also cause a deficiency because it has more melanin, which absorbs UVB radiation and doesn’t allow the skin to produce the amount of Vitamin D3 it needs. A person with paler skin will absorb more sun, thus producing more Vitamin D3. (2)

A recent study also has shown that obesity could be a cause. Essentially there is a relationship between your BMI and Vitamin D deficiency; the higher your BMI, the lower your Vitamin D levels may be.(3)

Additional reasons:

  1. Malabsorption
  2. Age
  3. Medications and Medical conditions (3)

What kind of symptoms does it cause?

Vitamin D Deficiency can cause such symptoms as tiredness, general aches and pains, or sometimes no symptosm at all. More severe deficiencies could have pain in bones and weakness, and frequent infections. (4)  See below of a list of common symptoms found on Dr. Frank Lipton’s website.

  • Fatigue
  • General muscle pain and weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Restless sleep
  • Poor concentration
  • Headaches
  • Bladder problems
  • Constipation or diarrhea (5)

Are there any risks?

Essentially, if your levels become to low and it’s not caught, your bones could become thin or brittle. And we don’t want that to happen!

Bottom line: It could explain a lot of the problems I’ve been dealing with for a while now. Fatigue, muscle cramps, weight gain (I’m still pretty sure that’s just from being lazy and eating bad for so long, but whatever, it’s a symptom, I’ll add it to my list), restless sleep, poor concentration and headaches. I took my first dose of the supplement today, so we will see how I feel in a week!

***Disclaimer: All information found was just based on various health sites I researched for Vitamin D deficiencies and should not be taken as medical advice. The information above was found by doing searches on the internet so that I could learn more about Vitamin D deficiencies.  If you feel that you have may have a deficiency, or any other medical problem/deficiency/illness, please consult with your physician.

Sources:

  1. http://www.medicinenet.com/vitamin_d_deficiency/page4.htm
  2. http://www.medicinenet.com/vitamin_d_deficiency/page6.htm
  3. http://www.medicinenet.com/vitamin_d_deficiency/page7.htm
  4. http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/am-i-deficient-in-vitamin-d
  5. http://www.drfranklipman.com/symptoms-diseases-associated-with-vitamin-d-deficiency