Catching the sun’s rays is vital for great health

Janine Andrade,  Siobhan Edwards-Bannon and Zoe Boxhall with the pupils learning about the human skeleton .
Picture : Habibur Rahman (171637-3)

Portsmouth pupils given tour of minor injury unit

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Wow, the sun is out. How different does that make you feel?

I love a bit of sunny weather and it makes my job much easier as well because

I can work outside with clients.

It also means that we start to think about how we look and our summer wardrobes.

Part of the reason you feel so much better when the sun is out is vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin!

It is actually produced by the skin and research has shown that we need around 30 minutes of exposure a day depending on skin type.

The best time to do this is at midday when you can

get more of the rays in less time.

Vitamin D has several important functions. For example, it helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.

These nutrients are needed to keep bones and teeth healthy.

A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain and tenderness as a result of a condition called osteomalacia (or bone softening) in adults.

Over the last few centuries human lifestyles have changed.

The industrial revolution resulted in more indoor

work and less exposure to sunlight.

Many societies around the world have been wearing more clothing over the centuries, further reducing skin exposure to sunlight.

These changes have brought with them a significant reduction in the natural production of vitamin D.

Countries responded to these changes by fortifying some foods with vitamins D2 and D3.

These include breakfast cereals, bread, pastries, oil spreads, margarine, milk and other dairy products.

Initially, some scientists complained that nutritional fortification and recommended supplementation doses were not making up for the shortfall.

These people were ignored, and sometimes ridiculed. However, over the last few years studies indicate that they may have been right after all.

Not that many foods contain vitamin D. Some fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, as well as fish liver oils, are considered to be the best sources.

Some vitamin D (mostly vitamin D3) is also present in beef liver, cheese and egg yolks.

Some mushrooms provide variable amounts of vitamin D2.

Sensible exposure to natural sunlight is the simplest, easiest and most important strategy for improving your health.

Sunlight exposure is one of the most powerful healing therapies in the world, far surpassing the best efforts of today’s so-called ‘advanced medicine’.

There is no drug, no surgical procedure, and no high-tech procedure that comes even close to the astonishing healing power of natural sunlight.

So get your bikini on and get out there!

Or are you feeling a bit self-conscious about showing more skin?

You probably think it’s too late to start anything especially as it’s June already but I recently put on half-a-stone and was dreading getting into my summer clothes.

To be honest most of them were really uncomfortable.

With this in mind I have put together a challenge to help people feel more confident in their holiday clothes.

This is only for seven days but it might just give you the kick start you need

I know it helped me!

You can register for this seven-day plan at busyfitmum.co.uk.

Nikki Caputa is a health and fitness coach who works one-to-one with clients and runs her own fitness camps where she trains groups.

Known as FAB Body Bootcamps, two are based in Fareham and one is in Portsmouth.

Nikki is also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

Visit fabbodybootcamp.co.uk and challenge-fitness.co.uk.

Follow Nikki on Twitter @nikkifitmum1.