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The Sunny Side



Monday Canyon Ranch Zwift Ride Conversation

As the summer approaches us here in the USA, the sun is out, the weather gets warm. I thought it would be a perfect time to chat about the sun and how it can benefit us. Riding inside is beneficial, especially if you want either convenience, safety, or avoid a bad weather day. But being inside means that our sunshine friend has less visits. So with summer coming, lets chat about our amazing sunny friend Vitamin D.


What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is both a nutrient we eat and a hormone our bodies make. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that has long been known to help the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus; both are critical for building bone. Fat soluble means that it absorbed along with fats in the diet and are stored in the body's fatty tissue and in the liver.

Vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections and reduce inflammation. and we will get into the benefits of it.

Few foods naturally contain vitamin D, though some foods are fortified with the vitamin.


Vitamin D has a lot of benefits for your body ,but one of the biggest benefits it has is regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus that help facilitate immunity. It can help fight off cancer and is a huge component to immune system function.


1- Vitamin D can fight diseases:

Vitamin D has been known to...

Reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS),

Decrease the chance of heart disease,

Reduce the likelihood of severe illnesses,

and Support immune health.


2- Vitamin D is also a huge component in regulating your mood and reduce depression:

Have you ever noticed days you spend inside more leading to you feeling a bit more down or tired?

Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and decreasing the risk of depression. A review of 7,534 people found that those experiencing negative emotions who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in symptoms. Vitamin D supplementation may help people with depression who also have a vitamin D deficiency


3- Vitamin D has been know to support weight loss and healthy Metabolism:

With Vitamin D helping with mood and immunity, it can make you less anxious and also feel good. It has also been found to alter the storage and formation of fat cells and increasing levels of serotonin and testosterone. Studies show that vitamin D could potentially reduce the formation of new fat cells in the body. It could also suppress the storage of fat cells, effectively reducing fat accumulation. Additionally, vitamin D can increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects everything from mood to sleep regulation. Serotonin may play a role in controlling your appetite and can increase satiety, reduce body weight and decrease calorie intake.


For most people, the best way to get enough vitamin D is taking a supplement because it is hard to eat enough through food. Vitamin D supplements are available in two forms: vitamin D2 (“ergocalciferol” or pre-vitamin D) and vitamin D3 (“cholecalciferol”). Both are also naturally occurring forms that are produced in the presence of the sun’s ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays, hence its nickname, “the sunshine vitamin,” but D2 is produced in plants and fungi and D3 in animals, including humans. Vitamin D production in the skin is the primary natural source of vitamin D, but many people have insufficient levels because they live in places where sunlight is limited in winter, or because they have limited sun exposure due to being inside much of the time. Also, people with darker skin tend to have lower blood levels of vitamin D because the pigment (melanin) acts like a shade, reducing production of vitamin D (and also reducing damaging effects of sunlight on skin, including skin cancer).


So yes! Vitamin D is a good Vitamin to have. Now dont panic. You dont HAVE to ride outside right at this moment, but there are some ways we can take some time with our good friend Sunshine. just 30 min a day of sunlight can boost your Vitamin D levels. The best source of Vitamin D is through the sun. Yes food can have some amounts, but the sun is our best source of Vitamin D. supplimentation is a good idea for when you know you cannot get out and the sun will be gone for some time like the winter. But I encourage you all to see what you can do each day to get 30 min of a vitamin D boost. There are some great ways you can add some sunshine into your life.


1- 50/50

Riding indoors is AWESOME! I love it because its safe, convenient, and easy to be effective with working out and getting stronger. Sometimes you can miss out on the sun so Days that I am inside for training and its nice outside, i will do a 30-60 min fun afternoon spin or post Indoor ride spin to get some fresh air and a vitamin D boost.

I came across an article on Bicycling.com



BY ELIZABETH MILLARD. She wrote about how spending time with nature could influence your food choices from a new study that came out from the American Journal of Health Promotion.

They said

Just a couple hours spent outdoors can influence your food choices, getting you to consume more produce and diversify your healthy bites. Those that exercise outdoors experience an even greater connection to nature and therefore, a higher consumption of fruits and veggies.

Researchers surveyed 317 adults living in Philadelphia to measure their connection to nature, along with the foods and beverages they’d consumed the previous day. The results showed that those who spent more time outdoors and had a positive perspective about nature ate a more varied diet, and particularly more fruits and vegetables compared to those without that connection.

So a fun easy spin can not only be a vitamin D boost, but a great pathway to feeling good and making better food choices.


2- Move it outside-

The great thing about our indoor set ups are the fact that we can move them. When there’s good weather that means you can take your awesome set up and move it outside and direct some light and still feel the wonderful sunshine and get in good vitamin D. Sometimes it might even feel good to switch things around and move locations it’s somewhere different that you can be outside and feel the fresh air. It might seem weird at first but it doesn’t hurt to try and I can open You to more opportunities.


3- Take a Walk-

Many studies have shown that taking a 5 to 10 minute walk after any meal has impact on your metabolism. This means that it helps you digest the food better but also keeps you moving and actually improves your metabolism. If you find yourself sitting for long periods of time or just inside it’s good to set reminders on your phone or take a walk every 30min - 60min. Getting outside for a little walk… It could be just five minutes but even that many studies have shown that getting outside and getting some fresh air taking a break from the indoors and from work can really improve blood flow but also keep your mind being creative now you to feel like you have a break in the day. It allows for more movement and it also gives you the benefit of getting outside and getting more vitamin D. The pure vitamin D from the sun.



4- Add to nature-

Adding to nature can be in many forms. It could be going outside on a bike ride we’re going on a walk. It could be going around and even picking up some trash that you find laying around. I’d also be going animal watching and just enjoying the outdoors and how this world has created such a wonderful space for us to live in. I find it incredible to go out to a park or a place with many wild animals to just wash and sit and listen to the sounds around me. Being in nature and with nature can an answer life but it also gets you outside so you’re getting more vitamin D but experiencing life at its fullest. It makes you think and be in the present moment which can lead you to feeling good and confident. It gives you a sense of self as well as wonder about the world we live in. There’s so much that goes into the World and it could just start with one walk that opens wonders and thoughts that you would never expect to find.


5- Try with a green thumb-

The wonderful thing about getting outside is you can find many things to encourage you to get outside and enjoy the sunny weather. Yes there are some days the sun is nonexistent but you can create a space you know you can go and feel the warmth of the sunshine even if it’s not there. Look into starting your own mini garden or go big and try to plant a tree. Embrace your inner green thumb. Try something new and tried to plant some basil or some tomatoes. I love this community that surrounds us as there are so many talented people out there. There are many amongst us that are so incredible with planting plants and this is why I love this community is because we can reach out to each other and really learn how to become one with nature and doing so that also gets you outside to where you are able to get vitamin D but feel healthy I feel alive. My nana would always have many plants both in the house and out. She would talk to them and they made the house feel light and wonderful. It also made us appreciate the outdoors and we found ourselves going outside more to garden to eat the peas and rummage around the new creating we had planted as kids. Plants main source of energy is the sun and I think it goes in hand with us on how that very light is the creation of peace and love and appreciation. Its the existence of being in the moment and living a bright life. Have you ever felt better from being inside and getting outside for some time in the sun? The warmth of its rays and the beaming light on your body. Its a hard feeling to express, but its truly something incredible and I think sometimes we forget to remises on that very existence of the incredible creation of sunlight and what is gives us.


6- Eat Out

No I don’t mean going to a restaurant I mean finding a place or getting outside and eating either breakfast or dinner or even lunch. Finding a little sanctuary you find in the sunshine to eat and enjoy your meal. I always reminisce -

Im not talking about going out to a restaurant, I am talking about taking your meals outside in a place you can enjoy the outdoors and get in some Vitamin D. I love the summer evenings eating dinner outside and staying outside watching the sun set. Even eating outside can make you more mindful and enjoy your meal whilst seeing nature. You can even pack away a picnic basket and go on a hike to a place for a nice afternoon lunch break or fins a place to ear your dinners each night. The fresh air and the world surrounding you makes the meal enjoyable allowing you to absorb not only the vitamin the sun emits to you, but the nutrition you are eating. Not to mention, the fresh air feel incredible and makes that meal wonderful and enjoyable.



7- Get out with Friends-

One way you can get outside and enjoy the outdoors getting some more Vitamin D is creating fun adventures with your friends and loved ones. Plan a weekly or even daily walk, hike, ore meal in nature with your friend and your family. It’s a great way to stay connected. You can even jump in on some community bike rides and make new friends. You can join groups that take to the outdoors. Having even more community and connections is such a special gift we all have for each other. This is why I love this community here and how you all are so connected, loving and compassionate to each other, I appreciate making friend here that expand beyond just the indoors and allows access to the great outdoors.


8- Say good morning to the sun-

One last way we can really benefit getting Full Vitamin D from the sun each day is to start our day with the dawn of the first sunlight. Exposure to sunlight for at least 10 min at the beginning of the day after you wake up will help rain cortisol and rejuvenate you to get your day off to a fresh start. It will almost act as a jump started and help align your circadian sleep pattern. You will also be dosed right away with the vital vitamin that will make the start of your day fresh and full of energy.


Now sometimes we are not gifted sunlight and I love how technology has created the opportunity for us to achieve sunlight exposure through special lights you can get to emit light like the sun would on days that are grim.



Yes that sunlight might just give us Vitamin D that helps out bodies, but I think it goes beyond just the Vitamin. I think its. A way we stay connected with Earth and the people around us. And even here, indoor cycling, there is still sunlight that emits from us all as we gather together for time together to share our love for cycling and be with one other. I know you all love the outdoors and It’s a true place of pure existence and creativity. As we get into this wonderful summer, I encourage you all to find ways to get out, be with friends and get some Vitamin D as yes being indoors is incredible, but its great to find a way to also enjoy the outside works and gather the tru benefits of the pureness of the suns Vitamin D.


Now I hope you all Enjoyed today and are planning great adventures outside, weather its a walk, bike ride, run, or even a reunion with some of friends here on Zwift!


What are some ways you all engage with the outdoors and get your dose of sunlight Vitamin D?


Please share and spread your tips and tricks on thing you do to create that incredible connection of human and nature and sunlight.




As Always,

Be kind, Do fearless











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