Sunshine Vitamin (D)

Has your healthcare provider advised you test for Vitamin D as part of a routine check-up? If you don’t yet know where your big D lies, then it’s time you dig deeper. If you have, then you’ve been through the drill. You’ve either come out on top or at the bottom and have been asked to supplement with a sachet or D-360.

Y’all know all too well why getting out in the sun is important, but did you know there is a correlation between stabilizing D and reducing “bad” cholesterol or LDL? Decreased vitamin D levels can cause an increase in parathyroid hormone, which in turn leads to increased inflammatory diseases.

Do you know why Vitamin D deficiency abounds?

Most people are under normally required levels. I suppose we don’t get out in the sun as much as we once used to. Even very young children are coming out deficient in D. The optimal levels would be above 30 ng/mL. The best way to get the sunshine vitamin is from the sun since the body then beautifully regulates how much of you need.

Considering how little we get out in the sun, it is quite intriguing to me that we will lather on endless amounts of sunscreen to protect our skin from the harsh effects of the sun. Isn’t it ironic then that we are trying to block the very thing that we need?

Let’s look at the biochemistry of all this:

What happens when we get out in the sun?

When UV rays hit the skin, and by skin I mean, naked skin, the prohormone is released, but, “it is biologically inert and must be metabolized to 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in the liver and then to 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in the kidney before function. The hormonal form of vitamin D3, i.e., 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, acts through a nuclear receptor to carry out its many functions, including calcium absorption, phosphate absorption in the intestine, calcium mobilization in bone, and calcium reabsorption in the kidney.”

Vitamin D has been classified as a vitamin for far too long when it is a prohormone. Hence it isn’t a vitamin at all. D is probably one of the few vitamins that cannot be derived from plants or animal sources in abundance. Plants don’t have them, but animal sources do in low proportions—seafood, eggs, and meat specifically.

Vitamin D is a more recent discovery. D is young, as young as 1913, so the process of learning and relearning about this important prohormone is a continuing cycle. Plants need sunlight for photosynthesis. Human beings on the other, don’t quite suck the sun in and strut around like breezy green leaves. We need plenty of sunlight if we are dark toned or light, but how much of it depends on this color spectrum. If you get fried like sardines in the sun, then you know you’ve had way too much of it.

63%What happens when you are below average levels?

If you are deficient some symptoms will include:

  • Fatigue
  • Bone and joint pains (dietary calcium supports the needed serum calcium concentrates, but when this is missing or insufficient, the mobilization of calcium happens from the bones, so you can imagine how depletion affects everything else)
  • Back problems
  • Falls (in geriatrics)
  • Depression (the hippocampus, involved in regulating your mood contains vitamin D receptors, so if you are deficient, your ability in these regions to function normally might be affected)
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Cancer

Inhibitors of the D absorption: clothes, sunscreen, and adipose tissue inhibit the absorption process. So if you want to benefit from baking in the sun, get the sun directly on the skin as much as you can or move bag and baggage to a seaside location ☺

 

 

 

Advertisements

Diddle-e-Squat

Today’s post is about the SQUAT!
My message for women is and will always be that you must LIFT HEAVY!
Did you know Indians were the pioneers of the squat?
Before I begin elucidating more on the topic, a little history is always good.
Before the invention of the “western” toilet and the advancement of technology, squatting was a regular thing to do. You will see millions of people across the country sit in this position to sell wares, to wait for buses, to take a moment of rest. It is used in countless different ways. Squatting is normal for most Asian people.
At its best, the motion involved in a squat is the same as when you were a child. You sit down; you stand back up. Have you noticed how children play in a sandpit or play with their toys for hours on end in the squat position? As we get older why do we step away from what is a natural way to sit? Maybe our lifestyles? I don’t know.
Louis Attila, the professor, as he was known, is the one to whom the technique of squatting is credited. It became popular after Eugene Sandow won the bodybuilding championship in 1901. Sandow made headlines not just by winning the competition but also because of the way he looked. He looked like Hercules himself. He also wrote a book in 1894 promoting bodybuilding and specifically the squat. Countless men and women followed him and took up professional bodybuilding hence. The squat had many proponents, but four people have the distinctive credit of propelling it into the mainstream–Eugene Sandow, Henry Steinborn, Paul Anderson, Tom Platz.
These four names above only begin the conversation. A countless number of people since then have contributed to making the squat a mainstream fitness routine. You will hear 5×5, Smolov, or “breathing squats,” as techniques to power your squats, but whatever approach you take, make sure you do get the form of your squat right from the get go.
Now the interesting thing is, bodybuilding remained a sport primarily for men to pursue. It wasn’t until the 1970s that women became active participants in this sport. References to “strongwomen” are almost non-existent. There is information in bits and pieces but nothing that was documented for permanence. But real attention began in 1970 when Rachel McLish made headlines.

Rachel McLish
She was gorgeous and strong. Rachel won the first Ms. Olympia contest in 1980 and then again in 1982. She redefined the notions of female form, aesthetics, beauty and so much more. There are several names since Mclish that captivated audiences across the globe. You might want to look up Bev Francis and Anja Langer—all incredibly fit and gorgeous.
Women have found it harder to enter the sphere of powerlifting and bodybuilding because of popular notions of how women should “look.” Many women fear that they will bulk up and look “ugly” and “muscular” like men. Well, I can’t tell you how false this notion is.
I’ve been powerlifting for over two years now, and I don’t look anything like Arnold Schwarzenegger. If any, I often hear people say I look dainty as a flower
Moving on to the topic of the post:
Why is the squat the king of all exercises?
If you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle, the SQUAT is simply the best!
It is however, one of the most difficult exercises to master. If you do master it, consider yourself a FITNESS GOD! You will need much else to help you power through.
Why is the squat such a great exercise? It is great simply because it uses every single muscle in your body. All your organs come into play (almost). It doesn’t matter which side of the coin you are on, if you squat, you will achieve results.
Want to lose weight, squat.
Look like a beanpole; want to increase muscle mass, squat!
The right FORM is essential even before you start stacking weights on your back.
What’s the Proper Way to Perform a Squat?
Start with no weights. Free form squat!
I will highly recommend going through Medi’s site. 5×5 workouts got me started on the whole strength training routine. Do look it up here: https://stronglifts.com/squat/
It is the best explanation and guide on squats on the World Wide Web. Way more than I could ever explain.
Disclaimer*
Following content not particularly fascinating. If you would like to know the history of the squat and what it has to do with defecation, you can read it here: http://www.8asians.com/2011/06/03/t…