How to Get Vitamin D in Winter Months With Little Sun

Winter is not exactly the sun’s “time to shine.” As the temperature plummets, people bundle up in layers inside their homes. But your body still needs to soak in the sunlight to make vitamin D and keep your bones healthy and strong. Vitamin D is an essential mineral present in a small number of foods. With the summer sun hidden and the winter blues raging, here’s how to get your required dose of vitamin D in the winter.

Benefits of Vitamin D

Before I get into what you need to do, let’s first understand why you must try to get sufficient vitamin D in the winter. One of the reasons why people get less vitamin D in cold weather is the lack of time spent in the sunlight. Although mushrooms, tuna, and fortified dairy products are good sources of vitamin D, nothing can beat a sunbath.

Beautiful young woman in the snow in winter.
You Have To Go Outside To Fulfill The Vitamin D Requirements Or Eat Plenty Of Healthy Food (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Since you spend more time indoors in winter, your body doesn’t receive sufficient sunlight to make its daily vitamin D quantity. You have to go outside to fulfill the vitamin D requirements or eat plenty of healthy food.

It strengthens muscles and is one of the best immunity-boosting vitamins. This makes it essential for older people, as they are more prone to suffer from muscle weakness and may fall, leading to potentially serious injuries.

Ongoing research shows vitamin D’s benefits due to its positive role in fending off viruses such as influenza and coronavirus. Vitamin D helps improve your immune response against colds and flu. Low vitamin D intake during winter is one of the major causes of widespread flu and other infections. From preventing diabetes and cancer to controlling blood pressure, vitamin D helps with anything and everything in your body.

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms in winter are not drastically different from the summer ones. These include muscle weakness or soreness, mood swings often ending in depression, frequent fatigue, muscle cramps, and bone pain.

Severe vitamin D deficiency may lead to bone diseases like rickets. While this is rare, prevention is far better than a cure. This deficiency may also cause other conditions like skin cancer, liver and kidney disorders, and obesity. Weight and skin color affect how well your body absorbs vitamin D from supplements or diet and sunlight.

How to Get Vitamin D in Winter: Go Outside or Try a Sun Lamp

Vitamin D belongs to the fat-soluble group of vitamins. Despite being a vital component of muscles and bones, vitamin D deficiency is prevalent, especially in winter. To counter this deficiency, just sit outside in the sun for twenty to thirty minutes, depending upon the light’s intensity and the color of your skin. 

Fair-skinned individuals absorb sunlight and turn it into vitamin D quickly, compared to individuals with darker complexions. So if it’s not too cold, get outside the house and walk around in the sunshine. That’s a straightforward way how you can get vitamin D in winter. Try winter workouts to warm up beforehand.

If you want to workout at home, here is a ten-minute Youtube video with five simple exercises that you can do without any equipment.

5 Winter Workout Options You Can Do At Home (Cardio-Strength-Both?) – Bob & Brad

A sunlamp for winters may prove more convenient for those living in foggy or freezing areas. Sunlamps are small, compact light boxes that produce the same effect as natural sunlight. A sunlamp has soft therapeutic light for you to fight those winter blues and replenish your vitamin D levels. 

The TaoTronics Light Therapy Lamp is highly effective in helping your body make vitamin D. That is one of the most significant advantages of sunlamps. They’re small and portable, so you can carry them with you to work or around the house.

Will you brave the cold and enjoy the natural sunlight, or buy a sunlamp for winter and keep it in your bedroom? Either way works in preventing vitamin D deficiency symptoms from occurring in your body.

Vitamin D Food Sources and Supplements

Vitamin D helps regulate calcium absorption in humans. If an adequate amount of vitamin D is not present in your body, surplus calcium may be absorbed. This can later form kidney stones. To prevent this and other problems, you need to eat well.

Some vitamin D food sources are mushrooms, eggs, fortified orange juice, and yogurt. Other fortified dairy items like milk and tofu are also rich in vitamin D. The benefits of vitamin D will be clearly visible once you start taking in a balanced amount regularly. If the aforementioned list seems too bland, try fortified cereal. It contains a sufficient quantity of vitamin D and is available in a variety of flavors.

You can also try vitamin supplements. NatureWise Vitamin D3 soft gels are a safe alternative to sunbathing if you want to avoid getting sunburnt or risking exposure to potentially harmful UV rays present in sunlight.

NatureWise Vitamin D3 supplements are gluten-free and made from natural ingredients such as olive oil. They have no allergens like eggs, peanuts, soy, and dairy.

You might’ve thought to yourself: how much vitamin D should I take each day? Here is the answer. Most supplements have the recommended dose written on their label. Adults should not take more than 4,000 IU or 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day. Also, daily intake of vitamin D is more effective than weekly administration.

However, keep in mind that excess of anything is bad. There is a rare chance that you may end up taking too much vitamin D, or it may accumulate in your body longer than it should. The side effects of vitamin D toxicity include nausea, vomiting, speech problems, fatigue, forgetfulness, hypercalcemia, excessive thirst, and stomach pain.

How Will You Get Your Vitamin D This Winter?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin made in the human body when the skin comes in contact with sunlight. Despite being crucial for normal bone and muscle strength, vitamin D deficiency is very common, more so in winter due to lack of sunlight. However, this deficiency can be overcome by soaking in as much sunlight as possible (aided by a sunlamp inside the house) and consuming supplements or foods rich in vitamin D.