Categories
Health Quaries

How Much Sunshine is needed to Make Enough Vitamin D?

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Vitamin D deficiency is quite common, and a growing list of diseases and conditions are being linked with it. Regular sun exposure, without sunscreen, causes your skin to produce vitamin D naturally. But how much sun do you need?

CLICK & SEE
You’ve probably seen some vague guidelines, recommending “a few minutes every day.” But these recommendations are far too general to be useful. The amount of sun you need to meet your vitamin D requirements varies hugely, depending on your location, your skin type, the time of year, the time of day, and even the atmospheric conditions.

The Vitamin D/UV Calculator
Scientists at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research have devised a calculator that will take all those factors into consideration and estimate how many minutes of exposure you need for your skin to produce 25 mcg (the equivalent of 1,000 International Units) of vitamin D.

It’s not the most user-friendly interface and it is very easy to enter the wrong information. But once you get past the technicalities, it’s very interesting to see how much the answers change when you vary the input.

It is also not written for US cities so you can go to this page to find out latitude and longitude of many cites and enter the numbers manually. The easiest way may be to simply google “altitude of [your town]”. Remember to convert it to kilometers. One kilometer is about 3300 feet.

If your latitude is 39 S, enter -39. If your longitude is 76 W, enter -76.
You’ll also need to enter the time of day you are going out in the sun, expressed as UTC (Greenwich Mean Time). Here is a converter that will convert local time into UTC. The calculator uses a 24 hour clock, so hours from 1 PM to midnight are expressed as 13 to 24.

The calculator also wants to know the thickness of the ozone layer. I suggest just setting this one to medium.

Be sure to click the radio button next to the entries. They are often not automatically selected when you fill in the values.

Keep in mind that the exposure times given are considered enough to maintain healthy vitamin D status. If you are starting out with a vitamin D deficiency, you might need more.

Resources:

Nutrition Data August 10, 2009

CNN October 4, 2009

Times Online October 10, 2009

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Health & Fitness

Few Reasons Why Exercise is Good for Your Weight

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A recent Time magazine article, “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin,” is misleading at best. Exercise is critical to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight, especially when paired with healthy eating habits.

A public demonstration of aerobic exercises
A public demonstration of aerobic exercises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Countless studies, numerous experts who study exercise, and the millions of people who have lost weight all attest to the fact that working out works. “Exercise is absolutely essential for dropping weight and maintaining weight loss,” says FITNESS advisory board member Michele S. Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Auburn University Montgomery. Here’s what exercise does-and how it does it-to keep you healthy, happy and slim.

* Exercise zaps belly fat

Regular moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise has the greatest impact on reducing abdominal fat — the dangerous fat that increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

* Exercise controls calories

You need to burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight. Regular exercise uses up excess calories that would otherwise be stored as fat.

* Exercise keeps lost pounds MIA

Ninety percent of people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off for a year do about an hour of physical activity a day.

* Exercise boosts metabolism

You’ll lose fat when you diet without exercising, but you’ll also lose muscle, which means you’ll burn fewer calories. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you’ll burn.

* Exercise does more than the scale shows

If you gain 3 pounds of lean muscle and lose 4 pounds of fat, you’ve actually experienced a 7-pound improvement in your body condition, despite the scale only showing 1 pound of weight loss.

* Exercise curbs emotional eating

Working out has been proven time and time again to help regulate mood, which has a direct effect on people who eat when they’re stressed or upset.

* Exercise creates a healthy chain reaction

Healthy habits tend to cluster together. When people make positive changes, like getting more exercise, they tend to work on other health improvements as well, such as eating better.

* Exercise brings on the fun

Rock-climbing is more exciting than eating a celery stick. That’s why it’s sometimes easier to be active to stay slim than to maintain a strict diet.

* Exercise stops hunger

People who exercise and diet are actually less hungry than those who only diet, according to at least one study.

*  Exercise increases energy

Regular physical activity increases stamina by boosting your body’s production of energy-promoting neurotransmitters. That gives you even more motivation to get moving and shed pounds.

Source: Fitness Magazine August 19, 2009

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Positive thinking

It’s Not That We Have a Short Time to Live, But That We Waste a Lot of It

On The Shortness of Life” is one of Lucius Seneca’s most famous letters. It’s valuable to read it whenever you feel the urge to succumb to social pressure and treat time as less valuable than income. Time is non-renewable, and “On The Shortness of Life” helps put this in a practical context, as relevant now as it was nearly 2,000 years ago.

 

Seneca says, “It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested.”

The full letter is contained in the link below. For a quick 4-minute overview, you can read the bolded passages. But it’s worthwhile to read the entire piece on a slow evening. Each person identifies with different passages.

The letter is posted by Tim Ferriss, author of the bestselling book, The 4-Hour Workweek. If you’re looking for more tips on how to make the most of your life, I highly recommend picking up a copy. This book has had a MAJOR impact on my own life, and I suspect it will have a positive influence on yours as well.

Sources: Four Hour Work Week April 26, 2009

You may click to see also:->
*Do What You Love: Time is Too Short to do Anything Else
*Stealing Time for Yourself: Six Ways to Find the Time You Need to Change Your Life
A Different Take on Death From Carl Jung

Categories
Positive thinking

The Cycle Of Life

Aging Parents

For most of us a natural part of the cycle of life is when our roles as children start to shift from that into caretaking roles where are parents are concerned. This can be as major moving a parent into a retirement facility, or coming to the realization that it’s necessary to check in with them more often than usual. Whatever the case, such a shift is momentous as it signals a time of confronting our own mortality as we confront that of our parents. In addition, it can bring up issues about how well they cared for us when we were young. We may also find ourselves consumed with fear at the thought of losing them, even if we’ve been on our own for a very long time.

Talking to other friends and family who are going through similar experiences can be a large source of support. They can help us look at both the unresolved past and the unfolding present, and we are free to talk only about ourselves. Sometimes we need the kind of undivided attention a friend can offer in order to deal with the material that comes up at this time of our lives.

In many ways, this time of life signals a rebirth as we examine our individual past, as well as our familial past. As our parents’ lives move toward completion, we are able to see what they did with their time on earth, what we have done so far with our time, and what we might want to do with the time we have left. These challenges and blessings are all part of the cycle of life.

Sources: Daily Om

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