The importance of Vitamin D

Why do I need vitamin D?

Vitamin D is important to your body to help absorb calcium and promote bone growth  and keeping teeth strong. Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Too little vitamin D results in soft bones in children (rickets) and fragile, misshapen bones in adults (osteomalacia). Vitamin D plays an important role for other important body functions such as regulate the immune system and the neuromuscular system. Vitamin D also plays major roles in the life cycle of human cells. Vitamin D is so important that your body makes it by itself but only after skin exposure to sufficient sunlight. This is a problem for people in northern climates.

vitamin D

Here are possible 8 signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency:

  • Getting Sick or Infected Often
  • Fatigue and Tiredness
  • Bone and Back Pain
  • Depression
  • Impaired Wound Healing
  • Bone Loss
  • Hair Loss
  • Muscle Pain

Good sources of vitamin D

From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight. The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors. But between October and early March we don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight. Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods

Sources include:

  • oily fish (such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel)
  • red meat
  • liver
  • egg yolks
  • fortified foods
  • or dietary supplements.

Your body doesn’t make too much vitamin D from sun exposure, but always remember to cover up or protect your skin if you’re out in the sun for long periods to reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer.

If you have any questions about vitamin D, please speak to out Fitness Professionals at SportsDock.


written by Jelena



What is the scale telling us?

In this day and age, many people are concerned with the concept of weight. Many see having high weight on the scales or gaining weight as a bad thing, but what if it didn’t have to be.

Getting in shape doesn’t always mean losing weight when looking at a scale. Some people feel disheartened when they start going to the gym or attending exercise classes regularly and get on the scale only to see they are still the same weight. But this does not mean that you aren’t getting results; it’s all about knowing the difference between losing fat and losing weight.

Recently, I have seen posts on social media of people documenting how they managed to stay the same weight whilst achieving a body that they are happy with and this was by working hard to reduce body fat whilst gaining muscle which led to overall body toning. A lot of them also made conscious decisions to stop stepping on the scales and instead use transformation pictures to document their progress. The average scale cannot tell you which percentage of your body weight is fat or muscle and therefore you could be losing fat and gaining muscle and a scale would be unable to tell you that. That’s why transformation pictures are great concept because they allow you to compare your body to previous states and allow you to recognise they physical changes your body has undergone which can help highlight that your progress.

So if your next scale weigh-in has you feeling down, consider using transformation pictures to help minimise the effect the scale has on how you view your progress.

by Beverley Osei-Henewaa

More sleep please

The importance of sleep in you training routine

The majority of us live very busy lives with work and family keeping us busy throughout the day. It a challenge just getting into the gym to training with a busy lifestyle! However please keep in mind the importance of sleep in your training routine.

A paper completed by show how athletes bodies, whilst asleep, secretes human growth hormone (GH) from the Pituitary gland whilst we are at rest. Growth Hormone is needed to help repair the body’s muscles through protein synthesis and also helps to break down fat in the body. Lack of sleep deprives the body of enough time to secrete GH to adequately build or repair the body and therefore can lead to injury or stop exercise progress.

The recommended amount of sleep for moderate to heavy exercisers is between 7 to 10 hours (Cheri Mah Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic) However Researchers from University of Pennsylvania suggest that you are unable to catch up on sleep. Therefore please bear in mind that an extra sleep at the weekend does not make up for lost sleep over the week.

Keep in mind that a good night’s sleep is an important part of anyone’s exercise programme!

Me? Addicted? Never! Maybe…

Can exercise be addictive?
I exercise regularly and am often told that I exercise far too much. So is there such a thing as being addicted to exercise? If there is, can it really be harmful?

Exercise addiction has been written about by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This organisation is responsible for identifying any type of addictive behaviour.

They suggest that this type of addiction is more of a behavioural nature and is similar to an obsessive compulsive behaviour. Other types of behavioural addiction are things such as gambling, food and sex. The organisation goes on to suggest that the body releases an endorphin high which leads to feeling of euphoria, which in turn can lead to the body craving this feeling.

So is this harmful? Well, just in the same way of doing anything to excess, yes it can be. However in my personal opinion, I would much rather have an exercise addiction than anything else!

What’s your number?

Is waist size important?

One of the most important things for the majority of members of any gym is to get their waist size down. Usually this is for body image reasons of wanting to drop a couple of dress sizes for the holiday, or men wanting to drop a couple inches to fit into a suit for a special occasion. But are there any health reasons we should be concerned with?

A recent study completed by the Medical Research Centre (MRC) found that people with a large waist circumference had a greater risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. The MRC suggested that men with a waist size larger than 40 inches/102 cm and women with a waist size of 34.5inches/88 cm had an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes. The study looked at 340,000 participants over 8 different European countries and is to date the largest study carried out of its kind. The study showed that from the 340,000 participants 7 per cent of men and 4.4 per cent of women who were over the waist size stated went on to develop diabetes within 10 years.

So if you have noticed that you waist size has increased due to an over indulgent holiday or other celebrations. Just bare in mind that you should worry equally about health reasons as well as wanting to fit into you favourite dress or shirt!

Surprise your liver, drink water!

It sounds obvious that you should drink water with your meals at home, doesn’t it? However government obesity advisor’s are calling for families to encourage drinking water at meal time to tackle the growing obesity crisis. They are suggesting that the amount of sugared drinks which are consumed by the populations is more than it has ever been. This, in turn, is not helping the obesity issues that we see in the general population currently. So would this work to help fight the ‘obesity crisis’.

Speaking on Radio 5 Live, Dr Julian Copper who is the Head of Food Science for AB Sugar Ltd, suggested that reducing sugar in a whole range of foods would not solve the obesity problem. He suggested that the general public still need to watch their calorie intake compared to the amount of activity they are doing. Professor Greggor of the Action on Sugar organisations suggested that the government are still not doing enough to solve this growing crisis. He called for the government to stop the advertising of all fast food and sugary soft drinks, especially within sporting competition. He also suggested that just like smoking, putting a higher tax on this type of food and beverage would encourage a change in the behaviour of the population. (Radio 5 Live 2014)
So should you try to drink more water? Well yes is the answer! There are many different benefits from drinking water, but perhaps the most important is that it has zero calories!!