2 Things To Monitor As It Gets Colder

2 things to monitor when its cold

Well, shoot y’all. We’re starting to see Peppermint Mocha beverages pop up at coffee shops and California has officially dipped into the 50s and 60s, so it seems like a good time to slide in with these cold weather health tips.

Cold Weather Health Tip #1: Vitamin D

It can be common to see Vitamin D levels take a major nose dive during fall and winter. This makes sense since we’re usually bundled up like a burrito, staying inside more to avoid the cold, and we’re not spending as much time outside catching sunshine on our skin (:

Vitamin D is important for good sleep, thyroid and hormone health, our menstrual cycle, strong bones, vitamin and mineral absorption, and also for our mood and overall wellbeing. Studies also show that higher serum levels of Vitamin D are often associated with reduced injury rates, improved athletic performance, and improved muscle strength.

Super important to “get that D” year round!

 

Common Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency:

  • Fatigue
  • Low energy
  • Depression
  • Hair loss
  • Poor sleep
  • Waking up in the middle of the night
  • Frequently getting sick

 

Food Sources of Vitamin D Include:

  • Salmon
  • Cod liver oil
  • Canned tuna
  • Sardines
  • Whole eggs
  • Red meat
  • Liver
  • Fortified foods

 

If Low on Labs & Choosing to Supplement:

  • Make sure it’s a vitamin D3/K2 formula to better support absorption
  • Make sure to take it with food and healthy fats, since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin
  • time of day doesn’t matter, but might be best at breakfast so you don’t forget!

 

I can’t recommend enough to draw labs every few months and check your vitamin D levels. Even if you live somewhere sunny and spend a lot of time outdoors doesn’t necessarily guarantee good vitamin D levels!

I notice a majooooor difference in both my mood and sleep quality if my levels are low. Like we are UNWELL! I usually check every 3-4 months or so to stay on top of it. I like the brand Designs for Health when it comes to supplementation.

Cold Weather Health Tip #2: Steps/NEAT

As it gets colder, it’s ALSO important to be monitoring your daily step count and overall activity levels inside and outside the gym. Working out for an hour a day is great. But it’s equally important how you choose to spend the other 23 hours, aka the other 95% of your day. Y’know?

Hopefully, it’s a no-brainer that chilly temps and snow typically mean less activity, movement, and fewer steps for most people. But if you’re eating the same amount of calories but begin hibernating and moving less, hopefully it’s a no brainer you may struggle with weight gain or unideal changes to your waistline (:

A 2022 study suggested that getting ~8000 steps each day may be the sweet spot for substantially lowering a person’s risk of depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and more. But according to the CDC, most Americans average something like 3000-4000 steps.

More steps may also support better digestion, mental health, productivity, and ability to concentrate.

Regular Movement Supports Better:

  • Digestion
  • Heart health
  • Mental health
  • Hormone health
  • Blood sugar levels
  • Weight management
  • Reduced risk of diabetes and obesity

 

A great minimum step goal would be 7000-8,000 steps/day.

You can easily monitor your steps with your smartphone or a wearable watch (Apple, Garmin, Fit Bit, etc).  Walking one mile or walking for 10 minutes is about 2,000 steps. So you’d be aiming to walk a few miles a day.

 

Tips on Getting More steps:

  • Go for a 10 min walk after each meal
  • Start and end your day with a 10-20 min walk
  • Walk when on the phone or scrolling social
  • Park farther away when “out and about”
  • Walk around between lift sets during your workouts – I usually average at least 3k!
  • If desk job, invest in a tiny treadmill for under your desk (they’re amazing!)

 

Where To Go From Here

You can always check out my e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Nutrition, Muscle Gain, & Fat Loss if you want to get more details about supporting your nutrition and fitness goals (:

And we’re always posting workout and nutrition tips on our Paragon Training Methods Instagram page. Follow along for free workouts and more tips to help you look and feel your best!

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